View Full Version : Different strengths in your student
08-04-2005, 09:21 PM
When I did my Institute of Piping Teachers Certificate we were taught various ways of teaching but I was never given pointers on what has now come about. When I have played and learned new tunes I was more musical than technical but I now have a pupil who is the other way round (more technical than musical). I realised I was teaching him the way that I was taught but I wondered if there was anyone who had come across the same thing and had to change their teaching style in any way and how they did it.
He really looks forward to his lessons and is progressing at a speed that I couldn't have hoped for and doing everything I tell him to work on, so just wondered :shrug:
08-05-2005, 07:42 AM
Oh, yes, Abdpiper. We find that the students are a moving target, don't we? And if we don't appreciate that--and modify our lessons accordingly--we do our students little service.
It still never ceases to amaze me that a "tried and true" approach with one student isn't necessarily ideal for another.
Still, I try to keep a structured approach. But I modify how I'm explaining or demonstrating something to address the student's strengths and/or comprehension. For instance, some of my students can pick up a tune by starting front to back, sight reading and playing. Others need it broken down into phrases. One actually cannot proceed without labeling phrases (e.g., A,B,A,C). To force her to modify her way of learning will only frustrate her.
Perhaps, in most of these cases, the end does justify the means. :shrug:
08-07-2005, 07:28 PM
Most students piano, trumpet, clarinet, voice and bagpipe learn on a technical level first. There are three phases in the instrumental construction process. Fingering, rhythm and expression. You can't have expression if you don't have fingering and rhythm and you can't have rhythm without fingering. Learning to play musically is the last step in the construction process. Good musical expression comes from life experience. You can't play with rage and passion if you've never experienced those feelings. You don't say how old your student is. Most of the kids especially the teenagers play every thing fast. Sometimes the only thing they can relate to is "hold out the dotted notes". Even then it's not enough yet. Have them listen to some good expressive recordings.
Just some thoughts,
08-09-2005, 09:44 AM
My instructor told me I was a very technical player. Being a former trumpet player, I thought it was quite the compliment.
I can't speak for your student but for me, learning the technical aspects of the tune first removed that as a hurdle which allowed me to think about the "melodious" :wink: aspects of the tune.
I've no suggestions for you but I wanted to share my personal experience.
Also, because you recognize it, I would say you're on the right track. :thumb:
08-09-2005, 10:57 PM
The pupil I'm talking about is 14 and also plays other instruments. Another one I have is currently in the "fast as possible" phase and that's is going to take a of of work to change:)
I'm a former trombone player and due to the fact it is not a fingered but slide (keep it clean people, that's the 4th version) instrument, I think that's why I got the musical side of piping first.
Thanks for the help everyone:) :)