“Baby, Take a Bow!” Part 2

(To read Part 1, click here)

Now, for the second part of our exciting “Baby Take a Bow” group lesson…

After practicing our bad vs. good bows, it was time to practice our pieces for the upcoming performance at the local mall. I explained to the students that there are always distractions while we play. Babies cry, people sneeze and cough, someone might forget to turn off their cell phone, and on and on. These distractions would be even more prevalent at the mall where we were performing.

We discussed how important it is to stay focused on the music we were playing. No matter what happenens, we must not react to it. That can sometimes be a hard thing, so we took the opportunity to practice. I had a student come to the piano. Another student was assigned as the “distractor.” Their job was to do anything they could to get the performer to loose their concentration. The only rule was they could not invade the performers personal space or touch them in any way.

DistractionsOh my, did the kids have fun with that one! They slammed doors, dropped books, jumped up and down, stared at the performer, and anything else they could come up with. My teenage group was a bit more hesitant to make such annoying distractions, so the whole group played “distractors” during each performance. They soon warmed up, and were jangling keys, playing hand-clapping games, and were much more distracting that my elementary group.

Every single student performed admirably with all of the distractions. No one lost their concentration, even with all the revelry going on around them. After we had all taken our turns, I praised them for their focus when performing. I told them that it would never (I hope!) be that bad in an actual performance. There would always be distractions, though, and now they knew that they were capable of a polished performance no matter what was going on around them.

The lesson was a great success, and when the annoying security alarm kept going off at the mall, my students kept going with their focused, polished performances!

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5 Responses

  1. Question about your recitals…are your students’ recital pieces more difficult than their weekly songs? If so, how much more difficult? How long does it usually take them to prepare for the recital?

  2. Hi D’Net,
    Wonderful class you had. I plan to learn from you and play similar games with my group class. There are supposed to be 10 of them, but already I have 4 cancellation. It’s this Saturday. I hope no more cancellation!

    It’s very disappointing that the parents of my students don’t care about group class. I know it’s difficult because it has to be a weekend.

    How did you manage to get them to sign on? how many of them are in one class?

    Thanks. I strive to be a great teacher like you.

    Lydia

  3. I had a hard time getting students to extra classes as well. Now, I have group lessons on weeks with a Monday or Friday holiday, such as Thanksgiving, Labor Day, and so on. I don’t teach any regular lessons those weeks – just a few group classes. I have had much better attendance since I started doing it that way.

  4. My recital pieces are generally not harder than what we are currently working on. Usually just longer. I don’t want their progress coming to a grinding halt in learning a piece that is a bit beyond them. That being said, I do give some students a challenging piece, because that really motivates them. I have a large stack of “easy but sounds hard” pieces I use a lot for recitals.

  5. Hi, I’ve been teaching forever 🙂 I teach group class the last week of the month instead of individual lessons. Parents and teachers love it.
    Pam

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