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how to help without major fall out each time

(14 Posts)
badbelinda Tue 11-Mar-14 18:48:52

How can I help 10 yr old DD prepare for grade 2 music exam in 2 wks time without totally winding her up? It seems that every time I "help" her we both end up miserable. I've been staying out of the way this week and letting her either practice on her own or with non-musical DH or DGP who just tell her how wonderful she is. This is fine some of the time but I don't feel we're doing her any favours by not helping with the bits that need work at this stage. I just find that I can't seem to do this without us falling out. I'm an educator as part of my job so v. good at giving positive feedback etc etc at work it's just at home it seems to completely wind her up. I'm not uber competitive mother but would hate it for her if she doesn't pass and am glad that this possibility doesn't seem to have crossed her radar. I feel like I'm taking the joy out of it for her and wonder if I should just let her get on with it and stop trying to help since it never ends well.

HolidayCriminal Tue 11-Mar-14 19:31:20

I think you know the answer!
Must confess I didn't really try to help DD, she would end up hollering at me, too.
(although I have learnt to tune her violin now, YES! )

redexpat Tue 11-Mar-14 20:03:39

Yes I too think you know the answer. Leave her to it. She probably knows what needs to be done.

harriet247 Tue 11-Mar-14 20:06:34

Yeah leave her to it, or schedule a couple of half hour lessons with her tutor.

Goldmandra Tue 11-Mar-14 20:11:42

Don't express any opinion apart from how wonderfully well she's doing. Let her teacher pick up any mistakes.

The most I'd do is ask her after each lesson how it went and what the teacher has suggested she works on with perhaps a bit of specific praise when you hear her doing that.

It's really hard to step back but I've learned the hard way too. I've also realised that when I think a piece has some serious flaws it is probably actually at the level of a secure pass.

Logically what other options do you have than to take a step back? If you interfere you spoil her practise so might as well just keep yourself busy elsewhere and let her get on with it.

badbelinda Tue 11-Mar-14 20:25:05

OK. point taken. will bite my tongue and try to let her get on with it

MomOfTwoGirls2 Tue 11-Mar-14 21:09:22

Maybe help her plan/structure her practice. Then leave her to it. But make sure she participates in this planning.

As part of the planning, rather than practice a piece over and over, have her identify tricky bars and practice these several times before playing straight through. And perhaps reduce the number of times she practices straight through to encourage this.

badbelinda Tue 11-Mar-14 21:18:16

I think part of the problem is that I played a similar (though not the same) instrument to quite a high standard when younger and feel I should be able to help her more. My DM is a music teacher (though wasn't mine) and always helped me practice though when I think back honestly we did fall out about it regularly! Also can't really remember what standard is needed to pass at this level - hopefully not as high as I'm imagining.

drnoitall Tue 11-Mar-14 21:20:05

Go online and read exam tips together (exam board website).
Watch/listen to exam pieces on utube.
Give her space to practise.
Does she have the cd play along version of the exam pieces? This can really help with timing.
Attention to dynamics of music goes long way.
Marks are awarded for a variety of elements so even if she is lagging in some areas she can still pass by being good in others.
Best of luck

whois Tue 11-Mar-14 21:21:11

Book in some extra lessons with her teacher, you helping will wind her up! She'll know which bits she isn't getting right.

Mum always got me to do lots of short practices around exam time - so 10 mins on scales before we left for school. 10 mins when we got in before relaxing. Then proper practice before dinner.

whois Tue 11-Mar-14 21:22:00

When I say she'll know, I mean your DD will know and probably won't like you pointing it out :-)

badbelinda Tue 11-Mar-14 21:25:54

Trouble is who is, she doesn't seem to know and just plays through without stopping unless I point it out which I'm now going to try very hard to stop doing!

badbelinda Tue 11-Mar-14 21:26:56

Sorry whois not who is

kennyp Tue 11-Mar-14 22:19:48

i put the timer on for my daughter (7 minutes). 7 mins is what i tell her and actually it's 9 (such a rebel!!) - by which time sometimes she's totally into in and wants to keep going (result!!) (that has actually happened!!)

i also once wrote a note to her instrument teacher asking him to pass on some top tips as i am more of a pain in the arse than i thought possible (according to dd). which seemed to help. her music teacher is very calm and horizontal.

also - when theere's a rest in the music (if there's one?!) i make a stupid noise, then dd has to start again as it annoys her hugely. this has helped with one tricky bit she's doing at the moment. good luck!!!

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