Adhd student

Share your experiences or ask for help with special needs students

Postby Beckywy » Thu Jan 13, 2005 4:24 pm

I have a student who has trouble sitting still, talks a mile a minute - but constantly changing topics, will not focus or concentrate or listen to instruction. He's failing school, and spends most of his time in the principal's office because of disruptive behaviour. I've tried talking to the mother about his inability to focus during piano lessons, and maybe she should have him diagnosed, but she refuses, and chalks it up to immaturity. I didn't say that I think her son has ADHD, but pointed out he has a lot of trouble sitting still and focusing. In a 30 min lesson, I might be able to get him to play 3 notes on the piano before he's off sliding down the bannister or something. This is not my studio - in this instance, I teach in their home. Anybody have ever had students like this? Well, I'm using the tonka trucks - and everytime he completes 1 task I've given him, he can move the tonka truck towards the stairs at the end of the hall. Oh, this student is 9 years old.
"The real purpose of studying music-to unite ourselves with our special gifts in such a way that one would add strength to the other" Seymour Bernstein
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Thu Jan 13, 2005 7:59 pm

Beckywy wrote:I have a student who has trouble sitting still, talks a mile a minute - but constantly changing topics, will not focus or concentrate or listen to instruction. He's failing school, and spends most of his time in the principal's office because of disruptive behaviour. I've tried talking to the mother about his inability to focus during piano lessons, and maybe she should have him diagnosed, but she refuses, and chalks it up to immaturity. I didn't say that I think her son has ADHD, but pointed out he has a lot of trouble sitting still and focusing. In a 30 min lesson, I might be able to get him to play 3 notes on the piano before he's off sliding down the bannister or something. .. Oh, this student is 9 years old.

Hi, my name is Megann Zeigler and I am Dr. Zeigler's wife. He had me read your message because I am a high school teacher in Special Education and teach behavioral students. It is interesting to read your description and I have a few ideas for you but would like to clarify a few things. When you say that he can not stay on subjects and talks about different subjects all the time my question is does he change subjects or stay on a main theme but asks different things. I guess I need more information to determine if he might be just ADD/ADHD or if he has other conditions. I have several helpful techniques that can be used and would work in a way that he would not even know that you are using them. I don't know if you would be interested but if you would like to talk you can send a private message to Dr. Zeigler with your phone number and I could call you. I also could then give you other ideas of things you could use if he turned out not to be ADD/ADHD. I disagree with the idea that he is just immature but also don't know the home situation. So again if you would like to talk just let me know. I will be glad to call you at home, correspond by private e-mail or PM.

Megann Zeigler
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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Postby Dr. John Zeigler - PEP Ed » Tue Jul 19, 2005 9:37 am

It's worthwhile to point out that we have recently added a new article by Ann Fernandez, Are We Having Fun Yet? Teaching Learning Disabled Students, to the main part of the site. It is filled with lots of useful tips and information. :)
All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom. - Albert Einstein
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Postby Stretto » Thu Jul 21, 2005 1:30 pm

by Beckywy on Jan. 13, 2005: I have a student who has trouble sitting still, talks a mile a minute - but constantly changing topics, will not focus or concentrate or listen to instruction . . . In a 30 min. lesson, I might be able to get him to play 3 notes on the piano before he's off . . .


Beckywy,

How are things going with this student now? Have you found anything that works you've had success with for helping this student's lessons run smoother? I was interested in any helpful strategies you've had success with that might help other teachers like me with kids who can hardly sit still in general (I realize this is normal behavior for younger children). Also, what kind of success and strategies have you had with him practicing at home?

I've skimmed over the article Dr. Zeigler is referring to in the above post and am planning to go through it more and check on a few of the resources listed to get some tips that might help me with any student in ability to focus even if not related to ADHD. A couple other problems with kids ability to focus not related to sitting still is also why I was going to check on the information.




Edited By Stretto on 1121975825
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Postby Beckywy » Thu Jul 21, 2005 2:11 pm

We have a strange routine for every lesson. First, he gets 2 mins to tell me everything he wants to say before we begin. After which, he has to give me 5 mins back. Then we do some finger exercises and arm exercises because he has a lot of energy, so we press our fingers together as hard as we can, and he does some lifts where he puts his hands on the bench and lifts himself up with his arms. After which, he has to sit at the table and we go over some theory work for 5 minutes. Then, back at the piano, I play the melodic line of the piece he's working on, and he has to sing it with me - he's usually standing behind me - I don't care what he's doing as long as he's singing in pitch, then he has to sit, and we play the piece together. This is to the end of the lesson. I have a stop watch for everything and he understands and respects the time that I'm giving him. Sometimes he needs more breaks, and that's when I give him a minute, and he usually stops at the end of the minute.

In terms of practicing, he has a favourite song he loves to perform. If he practices for 5 mins, with his sister's supervision, he is allowed to play his favourite song. (yankee doodle). If he cheats, his sister usually tells me, and he doesn't like that.
"The real purpose of studying music-to unite ourselves with our special gifts in such a way that one would add strength to the other" Seymour Bernstein
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