Friday, July 1, 2011

Music Tip #78 I Promise

Sometimes you have to make a big impression on kids.  You have to do something that will stick with them.  You have to make them promise to do something in a memorable way—so they won’t forget. 

Here’s my little gimmick.  This is what I do with my piano students if practicing is not going too good, or they won’t listen to their mom and let her help them practice at home (I teach Suzuki so moms come to the lessons and help at home) or they keep forgetting to flat a note or whatever…….

I raise my arm up like I’m taking an oath and have them raise their arm as well.  Then I tell them to repeat after me.  “I promise I will let my mother help me… I promise I will let my mother help me….I will listen and follow her directions….. I will listen and follow her directions…..”etc. etc.  I try to make it funny, and have them repeat funny things because most of the time they don’t want to repeat me and have to do what they’re promising to do.

The mothers really appreciate this help.

How could you use this idea with your own children?  Define a problem that you’re having with your child, whether it is not picking up his clothes or not doing her chores on time, or coming home late past curfew. Then do the whole arm-raising-repeating-my-words scenario and see if it helps. 

Remember to keep it light and cheerful and sometimes funny.
 But make it impressive so it will stick
Then give your child positive feedback on their small successful steps.
Here’s a video of me doing the “I promise” oath at a piano lesson.  The ending is kind of abrupt because all of a sudden I got camera shy…. but you can finish by saying things like, "and if I don't,  I will wash all my teacher's dishes for one month!
Sorry about my poor camera quality.  Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong--or is it my camera?

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