Pitfalls Of Personality In Children's Piano
There are pitfalls of personality in children's piano of which a teacher should be aware. Some kids are not at all suited to regimented, repetitive effort. Kids sometimes have personal qualities that work against them in their efforts to learn the piano. Even so, almost everything depends on the manner of the teacher. Usually it is the very bright, energetic child that may have a problem. The teacher needs to find an immediate channel for that energy.
Refugees From Disciplinarians
I taught a girl today that was a "refugee" from a very strict piano teacher who had turned the child off to the piano completely. She is so relieved to have a sympathetic teacher that she becomes almost unhinged, bobbing about, talking like a magpie and generally exhibiting every quality of hyperactivity.
But I have found that she is exceedingly intelligent, and needs only someone patient enough to try to get the best out of her. This is exhausting for the teacher, like herding cats. But like a sheepdog, I have to slowly lead her back to the center and not break her spirit while doing so.
No Other Choice But Patience
There is no other choice but patience with a child like this, for she was observant enough to catch me losing my cool when she continually wasted time. "Am I annoying you?" she asked sweetly. I lied and said no. There is no advantage to be gained in that admission. Later, I thought perhaps I might have said, "No, but I want you to learn so you need to pay attention a little more."
But given her history with the strict teacher, I think it is still wise to back off. She is smart enough to know that I am trying to set a limit. But I am smart enough to wait and see if I can get her to apply herself without using guilt as fuel. If guilt has a power of one, love has a power of ten thousand. Patience always wins, just as a child's stubbornness often wins. As soon as you give in to impatience, the child's stubbornness wins.