Guitar and behavior

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I called difficult child's guitar teacher last wk to tell him that difficult child would definitely be in class this Thurs.
    Now I have to eat crow. (by the way, I can see why difficult child doesn't like his teacher; he's a droll stick-in-the-mud. Still, difficult child has to learn with-diff personality types.)

    We were arguing and escalating this a.m. about whether difficult child would go to guitar class today and he insisted he could do it by himself. Right.

    I just finished The Manipulative Child, and you're supposed to stop, pause and redirect. I was getting really peeved with-difficult child thinking he can do anything with-o classes or lessons and yelled, "FINE. PROVE IT!" (So much for pausing, LOL! But I got the redirect part down pat. :D:tongue:)
    He immediately grabbed his guitar and showed me the frets and a few notes. (He can't do chords yet.)
    He is SO peaceful when he plays.
    He was like a completely diff person. I could have sat there all day.

    difficult child was actually in tears because he feared having to play his notes in front of 3 other kids. Talk about high anxiety.
    I remembered that my mom let me drop out of voice lessons (after she had pd for them) because the teacher wasn't really a teacher--just had me sing scales all day with-no input whatsoever, nothing about breathing or relaxing or projecting--it was clearly extra income to supplement her own vocal performances.

    So remembering that, and seeing how stressed out he was, I decided to let difficult child off the hook. It really bothers me that we went to such lengths to get that guitar, but if he's crying about it, it's just not worth it.
    I made a unilateral decision to let difficult child drop out of guitar. I hope husband agrees tonight when I tell him.

    We will get private lessons for difficult child at some point.
  2. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    If the teacher is not a good fit for this activity, then you have made a good choice.

    My difficult child wants to play the trumpet but does not want to perform so I do have him in private lessons. I have told his teacher that he is only to do the recitals if he wants to. I don't think he needs to play in front of anyone ever if he doen't want to. He can play just for himself if he wants.

    So, he has been in private lessons for about one year now. He hasn't gotten very far but again, I don't care - he will progress at his own speed and if it takes a year to get through what others do in two - three months, so be it.

    Let him enjoy his guitar in his own world. Just means he is spending more time on the very basic than most kids do.
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member


    that is so great that when he plays it's as if he's in a different world. that is how i feel about my difficult child when she is acting/singing in her new theater group. it's soo healthy for them i think to have that outlet i think it's great you have created it for him. truly.

    i share your thoughts on this totally. i really do. there are also video tapes i believe you can get at the library with the basics of guitar. i decided that if once difficult child started the theatre group she became too anxiety ridden due to the other children that i would not push her to go forward. i also decided that if the play date comes in january and she cna't make herself go no stage which to be honest i am thinking is a def. possibility i will not get upset i will just say well maybe next time. granted the dance school will be totally irrate because she actually got a real part iwth a few lines. yet who cares.

    anyway i rambled just wanted to say i think you made the best choice and a wise choice. after time in his own time and becoming more comfortable maybe than he will want to attend the class. maybe you could start by having him play infront of family and when he sees what praise he is getting it will boost his confidence than maybe just maybe you can slowly ease him in.
    my difficult child has tons and tons of anxiety as well and social anxiety. i'm getting her tested for asperger's or high functioning autism just to double check me that it wasn't missed. they say those children due to the misdiagnosis can fall into depression, become anxiety ridden, etc. and exhibit behaviors that look as if it's tons of different disorders.

    i wish you luck as always. :)
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Maybe you could order one of the guitar lesson DVDs from Amazon. My daughter went that route and, while it wasn't as good as a good teacher, it did help her.

    I'm definitely in the camp that if the teacher isn't a good fit, it ain't worth it. Our kids will learn nothing and learn to hate something they might just love and be good at. Hope husband understands.
  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    What's the old saying about music soothing the savage beast? :D I agree that if it's causing more stress than enjoyment, it's not worth it. Let him go at his own pace. Get him some books for beginners. Let him try to teach himself. When he's ready again, you can look for someone who's a better match for him. Maybe an older teen or a young 20-something. Someone who can relate to him better. Music should be something you love to do for yourself. If you have to browbeat a kid to do it, he'll never enjoy it.
  6. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I think it's worth hunting around for a teacher that's a good match for your kiddo at this time in his life. My oldest takes bass guitar lessons at a place that has a really laid back philosophy. Normally I'd want to know I'm getting my money's worth but band is so intense that I'm glad he's got this easy going approach to balance it.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    With difficult child's it's best to rent or borrow to see how they do first. If it's not a good fit, they let you know and often don't try and it doesn't work out.
    Maybe he'll change his mind ;)
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Thank you all.
    I'm off to school in a little bit to meet with-the teacher and explain ... sigh.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Okay, it's done.
    Poor teacher. There was only one kid in the class.
    Everyone dropped out except for her.
  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I wonder why so many dropped out of the class. It's so cool that he is in his own world when playing his guitar.
  11. trinityroyal

    trinityroyal Well-Known Member

    Sharon said what I was thinking...usually when all of the students are abandoning a music teacher at the same time, it speaks volumes about the teacher rather than the students.

    It is very cool that difficult child gets so into music. It might be a wonderful thing for him.

    Hope you find the teaching method that works best for difficult child.

    As for the anxiety about playing in front of people...if it makes your difficult child feel any better tell him that I used to get so anxious about playing the piano in front of people that I would banish everyone from the room when I was practicing. I didn't want anyone to hear me play. At all. Ever! (Took me till about 35 to get over that one)
  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Contact the parents of the other kids who dropped to see what's up. Especially if it's a non-tenured teacher that needs to move on out.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    It's an elective class so I'm not worried about the teacher sticking around too long. :)

    Trinity, gosh, I'm almost that bad. :)

    husband has a patient who teaches guitar and he can't afford to pay his bill. Guess who's going to barter? :) :) :)
  14. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    husband and I teach and perform mountain dulcimer.

    Our first lesson is always free because we want to make sure we are a good "fit" with the student.

    Music is a wonderful thing to learn, but I'm of the opinion that unless one is doing orchestra - it must also be fun (not saying orchestra can't be fun, it just also needs to be structured). I took 8 years of classical piano instruction, so I know that part of it too. But what we are doing is for fun.

    There are many, many venues for lessons available now - DVD's, online interactive videos, books with CDs. Yes, there are "right" and "wrong" ways to play, but as long as ergonimcally one isn't hurting oneself, I wouldn't bother all that much with the "wrong" ways now - you want to instill a love of the music first.

    What type of music does difficult child want to play? You may find someone giving lessons that loves that type of music is a better "fit" than someone that promotes themself as a "music teacher". Look on craigslist for your area for possible teachers - and also for music venues to "haunt".
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Neat, Skeeter, I don't recall that you played and taught dulcimer. They are so cool.
    Too bad we don't live closer ... :)

    I have no idea exactly what difficult child wants to play. He doesn't know. He just insists he does so we get off his case. I'll have him play/pick the notes he can play, this afternoon, for practise.