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Thunderstorm anvil - NOAA
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When I arrived at an 8-year-old  student’s house during a developing storm one day, her 4-year-old sister was home but her mother wasn’t.

The mother had called a few moments before to say that she would be home shortly.

The clouds moved in quickly.  Soon we heard thunder.  It was loud!

Soon it became obvious that the little sister wouldn’t be able to handle being by herself in another room during the lesson.  She opened the door to the basement, where the piano was located.  Since she was about to cry, I had to do something!

The piano was located near the stairs.  I sat on the steps with the 4-year-old, dreaming up ways to distract her by including her in the lesson.

A potentially awkward situation turned out to be fun!

The older girl played a little “concert” of some pieces she knew.  Some of the songs had words, so we could all sing along.

I showed the little girl how to conduct ~ she loved it!

We talked about the music her sister played.  Was it fast?  Was it slow?  Happy?  Sad?  Funny?  Did she like it?  Why or why not?

I played a march and a dance while both girls moved to the music.

We clapped along with another piece or two.

Although I hadn’t planned to be the babysitter that day, in this case I had no choice.  Happily, this time, it worked out well.

And then Mom came home.

Whew!

Have you experienced a similar situation while teaching lessons?  How did you proceed?  How did things work out?

Please share your experiences in the comment section below!

While you’re here, please take a look at my new E-book ~ “Goal-oriented Practice:  How to Avoid Traps and Become a Confident Performer ~ make steady progress without getting stuck!  PRINT VERSION NOW AVAILABLE at the Amherst Music House, at Collective Copies, or by sending me an email (gretchensaathoffbook@gmail.com).  Coming soon:  Kindle version on Amazon.com!

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