Unlock a world of musical knowledge by connecting with passionate musicians across the globe.

Home Forums Music Forum Are Frustrated Students Frustrating You? (All Teachers)

  • Are Frustrated Students Frustrating You? (All Teachers)

    Posted by Eliza Fyfe on August 31, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I just remind them that part of the reason they’re here is to make mistakes and that mistakes are a healthy thing in order to assess and improve. I also remind them that it’s all fun and should be enjoyable and not stressful, otherwise tension will make things less achievable! It’s about loosening up and not fearing these errors…!

    Phil Schneider replied 6 years, 10 months ago 3 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    August 31, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Yep, 100%. I always say “this is the place you can make mistakes. Make every mistake here so that when you get on stage there are none left to make”. Or something along those lines.

    I feel like the crux of when I get most frustrated with students is when they don’t believe in *my* advice. If they don’t believe in themselves and beat themselves up for making mistakes then at least they’re showing a whole lot of bravery showing up for each lesson. It’s when they’re having their doubts about me as a teacher that things can become difficult, because then it’s difficult to connect with them and get results.

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    August 31, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Well said Kat! The amount of times I’ve said “This is the place to make mistakes. Otherwise, why else would you be here? If there were no mistakes, I wouldn’t be of much help!”

    When have they had doubts??

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    August 31, 2016 at 10:04 am

    It’s only rarely I get a student that seems like they’re not ready to improve. I don’t mind if they doubt my advice and ask for clarification – I enjoy those moments where we can discuss things and get nerdy😛. But maybe a couple of times a year I’ll get the commitment-phobe come in. This is the kind of person who has tried 10 different singing teachers in the last year and then doesn’t quite believe me when I come up with some new advice they haven’t heard before, but is also cynical when they hear something familiar. To be honest I don’t really understand this mind-set. The other kind of commitment-phobe I’ve witnessed is the one who’s tried swimming, then tennis, then oil-painting, and then has finally come to you. The kind of person that doesn’t know what they’re looking for and doesn’t really want to practice or even improve; they’re just kind of lost. These people are also usually really “busy” but are bad at prioritising your (and their own) time. They never practice and they’ll reschedule you 3 times in a row so they can fit in some other hobby and not even think that they’re putting you out haha.

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    August 31, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Mid-life crisis.

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    August 31, 2016 at 10:05 am

    haha exactly!

  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    August 31, 2016 at 10:22 am

    I love Kat’s observations here. I’m very much an advocate for allowing students to make mistakes. I find students get frustrated when they try something new and the body doesn’t quite know how to handle it yet. Often I find that they try something and the voice will break and that break then drives them back into doing things in their habitual way.

    At these times I remind the student that they’ve been locked into their habit for a long time, so it might take us a long time to retrain or remove that habit. We just have to give the body time to work it out and trust the exercise and our bodies.

    However, sometimes that frustration also creates an opportunity to try a new tactic. Change the conditions of the exercise (or trying a new exercise entirely) whilst still striving for the same result. I did this just yesterday with a pupil and the lesson ending in such a positive way compared to our previous lesson.

    One other issue I find is that frustration often comes when someone is doing an exercise for the sake of doing an exercise. If you clarify what the exercise is doing, slow the student down and get them to really think about what they are doing, then they are much more likely to do better with the exercise and make a positive change that is then reflected in their attitude.

  • Kat Hunter

    Member
    August 31, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Yep great points, Chris!

    Slowing down and clarifying the purpose of the exercise is a really good one to get them back into focus. I think sometimes when you slow down and discuss it, it also provides a space for the student to ask more questions, which can only be a good thing.

    Another way of REALLY making sure the student understands what is going on and understands the value of an exercise, is to ask them to do an exercise once the wrong way (or the old way), and then the right (or new) way again. This takes a lot of concentration but allows them to really feel the difference between the old habit and the new habit. This way they can directly hear and feel the difference and it will make practice easier at home if they feel themselves slipping into old habits during the week.

  • Eliza Fyfe

    Member
    August 31, 2016 at 10:22 am

    Excellent advice, Kat. I was going to add to that by saying, get the student to correct what I’m doing, but actually yours is better because they need to actually feel it themselves!

  • Guest Teacher

    Member
    August 31, 2016 at 10:23 am

    To ask them to do both ways,the old and new is a really good one I agree.It’s very important for the students to actually experience the benefits of the new way of doing things and understand and feel that this way will make them improve their performance.
    I find useful,as well,to really make them see that mistakes are an essential part of the learning process but as well remind them that those mistakes can be learned from others so you don’t spend the time making the mistake and them re-learning.That their is a way of saving that time going strait to the most effective practice.So showing them where each kind of practice leads you help as well.

  • Phil Schneider

    Member
    August 31, 2017 at 10:23 am

    Are frustrated students frustrating you ?

    Most of us teachers have some students who are easy to work with and others are somehow draining. Part of this is the attitude they bring into the lesson. Some students are easily frustrated if they fail to get the exercise right first time, there is a lot of huffing and puffing which increases on each following attempt. How do you deal with this? I always remind students mistakes are inevitable. It is a game of probabilities over a long term. Don’t judge just play. Be mindful. The consequence of their frustration is you can become infected yourself or become frustrated at their frustration. Don’t let it happen to you.

Log in to reply.