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Teaching to kids
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DIY
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September 10, 2011 - 3:33 pm
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Yeah but force and encourage is different things.

I don't have any kids nor do I know how to best handle them. But I still think that inspiring, motivating and encouraging is way better than forcing.

"Why don't you dance to the music I hear inside my head?"
(Kent – Music Non Stop)

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DIY
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September 10, 2011 - 4:12 pm
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And I'm sorry that I did not read every word in the thread before I posted. It will not happen again.

I just feel really strongly when it comes to forcing people to do or like or be something they don't want to or can't be. I simply just don't think force and too much pressure is the answer when it comes lo learning.

"Why don't you dance to the music I hear inside my head?"
(Kent – Music Non Stop)

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pky
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DIY said:

There is a learning process and that involves a lot of patience and is not always fun and can be quite frustrating. But still it is the love for music that keep you going, well at least for me that is. 

You can guide the kid and help it to see how awesome music can be. Try to encourage without pressuring and find a way to inspire. Show videos of how cool it can be. Expose the kid to lots of different kinds of music to get it curious. Even music you don't like your self.

But then again, violin might not be the right instrument for this kid. Did the kid chose the violin or did the parents chose it? Is the kid mature enough? Is it peered up with the right teacher? Maybe the kid just doesn't wanna play at all. It might end up find sciences, sports or computers more appealing. Would that be so terrible?


Fiddlerman said:

A great teacher is obviously very important. If he looks up to the teacher he will want to be like that person, "a violinist".

I agree with DIY and Fiddlerman's opinion about a great teacher is vital — when the child and the teacher click right, the child make great progress and he/she may look up to the teacher and wants to be like that person (that's how my nephew wanted to be — like me, and now he is a far better pianist than I am). If the teacher knows how to work with young children, it would be better, too!

I don't compare my daughter with other children's progress so I don't know if she is doing great, but she does make steady progress, a little bit a week (according to her teacher she would stay in suzuki book 1 for two years).  

it's nice that you want your children to have a specialty, like FM said, ask your child if he wants to stop the lessons (BTW, your second child is probably copying what her brother is doing — refusing to practice, and btw, it does hurt my daughter's colar bone practicing violin, what we do is we let her wear a scarf or a piece of cloth, and take breaks when it starts to hurt). if he does not want to stop, give him choices when he wants to practice (e.g., before or after breakfast, before or after PM snack – remember the choice has to be within your limits and it's best not to do it before bed, by then he might be too tired and practice wouldn't go well).

And, ask him what he doesn't like about practice? We encourage our daughter by telling her if she practice well then her teacher will teacher new thing and more challenging pieces. I never told my daughter how long she should practice either, however, she needs to go through what she needs to practice. Since i work full time and my husband didn't know a thing about music (Plus, she would negotiate with him and he would give in to her... and I'm the strict one), so practice with her is my responsibility (shcool homework is his) and we have to practice before bedtime. That is a very tough time because both of us are tired. Therefore, during weekday, I let her get by if she did not get perfect practice, but during weekend, I try to get her to practice more and longer so she could perfect her skills. however, i also let her take longer breaks.

My daughter's teacher has a chart for her each week, if she practice everyday, then she gets a stamp or a sticker. I have to check if she practice each skill — to encourage her i replaced check with happy faces, which she loves a lot. Now she even begins to draw happy faces on her own for her own practice.

i did not let my daughter start violin lesson until she is 5.5 years old, because i felt she was not mature enough to listen and follow directions and instructions.

I'm not saying I am doing all the right things with my daughter (I might be better able to practice with her when I'm not tired or not having a headache), I'm just sharing my experiences (things I would do with my daughter) when I'm being reasonableembarassed.

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Jauniba
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September 10, 2011 - 7:12 pm
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frownWell, I didn't mean to upset anyone ...I do force my kids to take lessons. I'm not saying I muscle them into it, or beat them or something....but I've made it not an option not to. Seriously....if I didn't, Lukas would do NOTHING. And I mean nothing. He would start and quit fifty things a year and never get anywhere. He wouldn't brush his teeth, he would eat only junk food. As his mom, I have to ask him/remind him to do these things, but some things are just not an option.  Trust me, he would do very little besides eat and watch tv.

For example....At the end of the school year last year (and this was first grade) they had an awards ceremony and afterwards his teacher came up to me and said, "I had to give the spelling award to some other child, although Lukas deserved it - he was the best....but since he never did his spelling homework even once, I really couldn't do award him for his behavior." Another kid overheard and giggled, "yeah, Lukas was really lazy." Grrr. At that moment I learned that Lukas had been intentionally stuffing his spelling homework into his desk and not bringing it home. We had our parent teacher conference very early in the year and she probably hadn't noticed yet, so I never found out about it. LOL. I'm just saying.

Did I start the kids off too early? Possibly. But I did that only because when I was a kid I felt kind of upset that I started at 9, when other kids had already been playing for 4 years. 

So, yeah, this is what I'm trying to do....motivate and encourage without forcing....but for the moment, a whole lot of forcing is going on. But that kinda covers all aspects of life right now.

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pky
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September 10, 2011 - 7:26 pm
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Jauniba,

I strongly agree with you that sometimes there's not an option for the kids because they are still young and you know better (i hope:P). I did not give my daughter an option either.

You seem like you have a very smart child there (talented like the FM). I think you ought to seek a teacher that will click with him.

Another thing is, did you ever let him know what the teacher had told you about the spelling award? It might not harm (might be helpful infact) to tell him because he didn't do his homework he missed his award. i always told my daughter, "you could do really well if you do it but you have to do it, otherwise you end up can't do anything right/well."

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SaraO
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September 10, 2011 - 9:02 pm
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Yeah, I'm really familiar with the concept or forcing some things on kids. I'm just starting my second year of homeschooling. The kids don't get away with anything anymore, lol.

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Jauniba
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September 10, 2011 - 9:08 pm
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Well, here's a different question that I've been pondering: what is talent?

Is there such thing as talent? Or is it all hard work? A combination of the two? Isn't it silly when one has played the violin for 30 years and hears "oh, you're so talented?" Really, isn't it a lot of dedication that put them where they are? It isn't like they just picked up the violin and knew how it worked (as we all know, it's a rather complicated instrument).

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Fiddlerman
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September 10, 2011 - 9:38 pm
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Talent definitely exists and is basically when a skill comes easier to one person than it does for most.

I have had students that can learn difficult etudes and studies almost perfectly after just one weeks work. I've also had students that work their butt off and will never achieve what is necessary to become a professional violinist.

However, one cannot succeed on talent alone. In order to succeed you need talent, drive, ambition, and a desire to work.

All this said, untalented musicians can accomplish a lot with extreme hard work. There are different levels of talent as well. Talented musicians can ruin their chances by taking things for granted and not working hard enough. Obviously the combination of both is the best.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Jauniba
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Yeah, true. I did observe how the little Asian boy in Lukas' first violin class picked up everything super fast. And then he quit, suddenly, to the dismay of the teacher. I definitely do not think this comes easy to Lukas like it did to him.

I truly admire homeschoolers. Our new violin teacher scheduled our first lesson for like a Tuesday at 10 am. She assumed that we, like the rest of her students, were homeschoolers.

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Huey142
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In my opinion, I think you shouldn't force your children at such a young age. I'm a teenager but when I was a kid I get easily fascinated by different things and it only lasts for awhile so I think that you shouldn't force them to take it if they don't want to. Who knows, I mean violin and piano might not be their thing, it might be a guitar or a clarinet I mean you don't know the future. So I think that if they want to stop, you should let them and when they get older and have the undying passion for an instrument of their choice, then you can let them learn it because they would be old enough to make a commitment. Even if you force them now, they might play the instrument with hatred and contempt because it is forced. If you let them play what they want, they would play it happily. Sorry for all my babble all I want to say is to never force them and let them play what THEY want to play and not what YOU want them to play when they get older and be more responsible. This is just in my opinion. The caps might offend some people but I meant no harm. Please don't take it the wrong way. This is just my opinion.laugh

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Jauniba said:

frownWell, I didn't mean to upset anyone ...I do force my kids to take lessons. I'm not saying I muscle them into it, or beat them or something....but I've made it not an option not to. Seriously....if I didn't, Lukas would do NOTHING. And I mean nothing. He would start and quit fifty things a year and never get anywhere. He wouldn't brush his teeth, he would eat only junk food. As his mom, I have to ask him/remind him to do these things, but some things are just not an option.  Trust me, he would do very little besides eat and watch tv.

For example....At the end of the school year last year (and this was first grade) they had an awards ceremony and afterwards his teacher came up to me and said, "I had to give the spelling award to some other child, although Lukas deserved it - he was the best....but since he never did his spelling homework even once, I really couldn't do award him for his behavior." Another kid overheard and giggled, "yeah, Lukas was really lazy." Grrr. At that moment I learned that Lukas had been intentionally stuffing his spelling homework into his desk and not bringing it home. We had our parent teacher conference very early in the year and she probably hadn't noticed yet, so I never found out about it. LOL. I'm just saying.

Did I start the kids off too early? Possibly. But I did that only because when I was a kid I felt kind of upset that I started at 9, when other kids had already been playing for 4 years. 

So, yeah, this is what I'm trying to do....motivate and encourage without forcing....but for the moment, a whole lot of forcing is going on. But that kinda covers all aspects of life right now.

I know he might not be doing anything but why don't you let him do something simpler like reading a book playing IQ games (I play IQ games too and it really is hard and beneficial) everyday and not something you have to commit yourself to. I do agree that people learning musical instruments started early but there are many people that started late too and can still be as good because it all depends on practices and even if he gets really good at it, he might not be happy and I think happiness while playing an instrument is crucial to musicians. I know I'm young and inexperienced but I really think that you shouldn't force him because I know forcing is never the solution, but if you still want him to play, maybe you can let him watch videos of amazing performances of violins and piano and then it might urge him to play and be as good as them someday.(I know that worked for me ^^)

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pky
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Jauniba said:

Is there such thing as talent? Or is it all hard work? A combination of the two? Isn't it silly when one has played the violin for 30 years and hears "oh, you're so talented?" Really, isn't it a lot of dedication that put them where they are? It isn't like they just picked up the violin and knew how it worked (as we all know, it's a rather complicated instrument).

Yes, there's talent, but IQ does not mean anything. I once watched a tv show, a girl claimed that she had very high IQ and was considered talented but she dropped out of high school.  In that show, she had to answer questions to see if she was talented. She failed to answer many questions that even a foreigner like me could answer about the USA! (mostly high school knowledge).

 Einstein said, "success is 1% of talent and 99% of hard working" (or a touch of genius and a lot of courage, I don't remembered the exact quote)

and yes, there is talent. Einstein, Edison, mozart, yoyo ma, FM, akim camara, jocelyn you, etc but they probably all work hard to achieve what/who they are now.

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pky
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September 11, 2011 - 2:44 am
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Jauniba,

As a mom as well as an early childhood educator, I understand what you are doing for your children and what you want your child to be.

As a parent, you need to set boundaries and limits for your children so they will be safe, they would be self motivated, they would be able to fit in the crowd, ....

 

Scenerio 1:

in the morning when everything is hectic and you are trying to get everybody out of the door so no one would be tardy for work or for school. But one of your child is whining about his/her clothes when you offered him/her a choice of two -- green or blue, but he/she wanted yellow. What would you do? (given that the yellow shirt is available)

Scenerio 2:

Here's a child, refused to do his/her homework (either because he/she thought it was too boring, he/she already knew how, just didn't want to do it, ...) and you know that is to help him/her practice on that subject so he/she would master the concept and do better and could move on to the next concept. In addition, it is a requirement for the class. However, this child is throwing a fit, kicking, screaming.... what would you do?

 

Scenerio 3:

I could go on and on, but I will stop here. i just want to make the point clear:

As a parent, one should know when to set appropriate limits, boundaries, and give choices and you need to know your child and yourself well to do this. When you have limits, boundaries, and choices, make sure you follow through. Some example would be: When you are done practicing you may watch your favorite TV show. If you finished your home work, you will get a sticker. Remember, always use positive reinforcement. I do give my daughter treats for doing well, but eventually, I want her to be able to self motivate herself.

My oldest brother did not finish elementary school because he didn't like it for some reasons that I didn't know. About ten years ago, my mom was in tears when she told me this, "He blamed me for not pushing him back to school! I used a shoulder carrying pole to chase him, and he wouldn't go! and he blamed me!"

My parents never forced me to do anything, including my homework. When i was little, my older siblings helped me with my homework, but when I was in highschool, I quit doing my homework. When there's inspector coming, I let my friends do them or copy them for me. They got their practice I got my homework done. I turned out okay but I wish my parents or my siblings had pushed me harder so i could have done better. :P

Some kids need some gentle nudges (let's not use the word "force" because I think it is a little too forceful), some a little harder, some does not need it at all, like that Jocelyn you, I don't think her parents need to push her at all - she just picked up songs after songs, classical, pop,...

Sorry, too talkative again!

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