Thursday: We had some extra time this morning, so I decided we’d do our entire lesson in the morning. We stayed with this Twinkle accompaniment, and I just wanted to get through four measures. It was like pulling teeth. Each time M played a measure or two, she’d drop her hands, get out of position, roll her eyes, and grumble. In a half hour, we didn’t get through even two measures perfectly more than once or twice. So frustrating!
I kept reminding M that by not cooperating, she was dragging things out, and we might have to practice in the evening. And she kept playing carelessly. This is the same type of garbage that she was doing with the Suzuki repertoire when we were trying to get through more. I thought I’d get less of it by using this new music.
When we got home after school, we practiced again. But I started by trying to give her some control and also illustrate my point about focused practice: I had her time me, using the stopwatch, as I played through the four-bar section 5 times perfectly. It actually took me 7 tries, and with some talking, it lasted 3 minutes. I told her that was how long her practice could last if she really focused.
She did a better job paying attention than she did this morning. Also, at one point, she made a “joke”: I said, “Now I want you to play that section a little faster,” and she played a few bars of the Bach Tanz quickly. “That was a joke because I played faster, but I played something different,” she explained.
We also had a nice moment where she got really upset and frustrated about being able to string together two measures, saying she couldn’t do it, and then managing to do it after we simplified and simplified down to just the few notes that were giving her problems.
She never did get through all four bars, but she did do some focused, attentive playing. Now if only she would try to do more of it.