Only 2 days to go to publication of the Review – Making it Fun Gets the Job Done, an ebook on how to make it fun and get the job done.
Yesterday I wrote about some of the the anxieties and frustrations associated with review.
Today I’d like to let you in on some of what parents and teachers are experiencing as a result of these frustrations and how they are unsuccessfully trying to cure them.
This is what teachers have to say -
- Parents get frustrated as to why students “forget” what they just practiced during the week. I have to once again stop and educate/remind the parent that review is part of the progress.
- Parents question my teaching ability as to why they are not advancing fast enough (when avoiding review is their supposed way to do that).
- The main consequence of review issues is that my students don’t know their old pieces as well as they should, which has a negative impact on integration of technique and skill development.
- It’s hard to get families to do the review. I don’t think it gets done unless they know that I will probably ask them to play one of the review pieces at their next lesson.
- Students cannot play past learned pieces sufficiently well enough for book tests.
Parents report these consequences -
- Demotivation, did not do enough review, so pieces are regressing rather than progressing.
- I back track and work on what my son wants to do and try to build in the new music through incentives (and bribery if necessary)
- Usually practice would dissolve and the review portion would be shortened rather than lengthened.
- Sloppy Review. Bad sound quality, missed or extra notes. A poor effort my kids and I get angry.
- My kid tends to play faster and faster on a piece, especially on the repeating parts. I have to remind him to slow down very often. He becomes resentful, argues or is defiant.
- Heated discussion about the benefits, ending up with grumpy faces on both of us.
- It ends up taking longer to do the review because we end up having to do it over and over again., but if I try to polish too much in review, enjoyment is lost.
- Not getting through all pieces due to tantrums.
What are parents and teachers trying, which doesn’t work?
From teachers -
- Telling parents to do more review and letting them know that review is an essential part of the Suzuki learning process.
- Expecting the parents to monitor the review process at home. They seem to think it’s an unnecessary extra which their busy schedules pre-empt.
- “Technique Chart” that I devised listing every piece that a student knows that cannot be checked off until the student can perform the piece easily with whatever technique is being asked for. These all work for a short time, and then rarely long enough to create a good habit.
From parents -
- Offering advice! (I play a string instrument too but he won’t take it from me. Letting a 5 yr old review by himself doesn’t work either.
- Nagging!!!! Being critical – bad news all round (which is fair).
- Playing 3 times slow, then twice at normal speed.
- Games, rewards, dice, different locations, charts and rewards help for awhile but then it is complaining again.
- Losing my cool. Bribes, threats, time out, praise, games. Things work for a little while and then they don’t.
- Vague instructions like “don’t forget your review” don’t work for us. Nor does leaving review till the end of the practice!
- Playing through all the pieces.
- Telling kids to slow down.
- A limited time “work-out” on the specific skills needed to address.
Looks like there’s more to review than meets the eye. There seem to be a lot of things that one could do. I’ll be back tomorrow with what parents and teachers really want to make it fun and get the job done.