Too much struggle

Not a great lesson today. I probably tried to change things too much, too fast.

I watched a video by Edward Kreitman today about listening. In the video, he emphasized that a student should have an internal mental image of a song before she begins to play it. He noted that if a student runs out of notes when singing a song, she’ll run out of notes when playing.

So I decided to check M’s inner image of Meadow Minuet by asking her to sing it. She could only reliably sing the A section (the first 8 bars), even though she can play the B section (the next 8 bars). So I decided that we would not practice it today, which did not please her.

Also, she wanted to start by practicing in Read This First, and I refused this request too so we could focus on her review pieces and the Guitar Olympics material. This did not please her.

Also, she was extremely fidgety when we started by doing note reading on the couch, and so we were in conflict over that (a fidgety body leads to a fidgety mind, so I insist on a certain degree of stillness).

We ended up doing:

  • Note reading off the instrument with the metronome. This was improved. She can’t read E/F/G very well, so we worked on those three notes.
  • With Steady Hands.
    • She does have a pretty solid mental image of this song, but she can’t keep track of what she’s doing reliably, so she doesn’t (for instance) know when to end because she doesn’t know where she is.
  • Conducting Go Tell Aunt Rhody and Lightly Row, with note names. She did better than yesterday.
  • Playing Perpetual Motion on the G string after first playing the G scale. She kept playing C# instead of D. She was able to identify the problem note, though we didn’t solve it.

I wish I could figure out how to make our lessons more cooperative and less of a struggle.

And I feel like it ought to be possible, because I’ve managed to indoctrinate M into seeing herself as a guitar player. Proof: today she made a birthday card for a friend, and next to her signature, she drew a little guitar.

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