Emotional outbursts in 8 y o(4 Posts)
Looking for some help or advice. Our 8 y o daughter has been learning piano for a few months now. Initially it was fine, but for the past couple of months or so, she sits down to practice, and in minutes gets worked up, starts crying, screaming, shouting because she can't do it immediately. We have tried reasoning with her, explaining that that's how learning an instrument works, that everyone makes mistakes, that it doesn't matter - nothing works. If she just got a little frustrated from time to time, or just cried a bit, we could cope, but she explodes in a way that is just over the top. We have tried rewards, we have tried not being there when she practices, nothing works for more than a day or two. We would let her quit except she doesn't want to, and we don't want her getting the message that when things are hard, you just quit. Any suggestions, please?!
My 8 year old DS sometimes does this too when he reaches a point where he needs to go back over some recent pieces to reinforce what he's been learning. He gets really cross with himself when he can't produce what he wants to hear and I actually think his love for the piano makes it worse because he cares so much about doing it well. With DS, he finds that going back a couple of pages in his current practice book to play a few pieces that he can do confidently before he re-attempts the new pieces helps. Maybe you could also ask your DDs teacher to suggest some other books or pieces at the same level that she can just work through to give a change of scenery so to speak but at the same time help to really make herself secure at that point before moving on again? With my DS he loves playing pieces that he recognises from elsewhere so we will sometimes buy books of pop hits/songs from the musicals etc.. as the more structures practice books, whilst important in terms of developing technique can be a bit dry sometimes.
I also get DS to break pieces down into manageable chunks so he'll maybe just work on the first few bars in a session rather than trying to get through a whole piece to make it less daunting and then he'll play a few other bits that he knows and enjoys to make sure his practice session is a mix of new challenge but also includes some pieces that allow for simple enjoyment of the instrument.
Thanks. The practice sessions at the moment are determined by her teacher - once she can play stuff, it's off the list. I've told her until I'm blue in the face that she can play for fun whenever she wants, that practice is just to make sure she covers the stuff she's working on for lessons, and I keep reminding her of what she can already play. Feel as if we are in a corner on this one - she doesn't want to listen to anything we say by way of encouragement.
Maybe you need to take control of her practise for a few days and go back over some easier things rather than following what the teacher has set. If she's having no fun and finding it stressful when she is doing the practises why on earth would she want to play for 'fun' at any other time?
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