Revitalizing my daughter during practice : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread

My daughter's teacher has not succeeded in solving this problem. My 11-year old daughter has played piano for 5 years and has had enormous success so far, winning competitions, playing in Weill Recital Hall, and so on. She just had a very good year and matured tremendously in her musicality and technique. But for the past 4 to 6 weeks, she has been in a very bad slump. She is not making progress in her new repertoire, is losing the old pieces, and seems to dawdle during practice. Is this burn-out? She is willing to sit for hours and practice, but it is non-productive. She insists she wants to continue playing, but it doesn't look like she is enjoying it. I don't know what I can do to motivate her and help her to continue the progress she has made so far. HELP!!

-- Stewart (, July 02, 2003


If your daughter is willing to sit for hours, she MUST be getting some enjoyment from the piano! Is she a good sight-reader, or does she perform mostly above her reading ability? I have found this is often the root of a motivational problem.

Try to talk to her teacher and try some innovative things. Could she help some of the teacher's younger students (as a studio assistant)?

Duets with other students are also fun, and require working with others and gaining a more "social" aspect of music.

A variety of music is wonderful--the spice of music, so to speak. Try ragtime, jazz, hymns, Broadway show tunes, new age, or any other styles that would interest her.

11 is a great age--she might just be on a plateau--not uncommon, and as long as she enjoys playing, not a big worry, either.

Hope some of these ideas help.


-- Ruth Farkas (, July 03, 2003.

I'm not sure how the school year works where you are from, but here in Canada, it ends June 27th. For the last four weeks, many of my students have experienced the customary end-of-year dip in interest. Could this be the case with your daughter? Is she due for a break in lessons?

Dawdling serves a purpose. It helps you to synthesize your knowledge and experience, and make your piano playing your own. It helps you to recharge emotionally.

You might consider buying her a nice cd with piano music, or even orchestral music, as a present, but basically, I suggest leaving this one in her court for a while.

-- Anita (, July 03, 2003.

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