Growing pains

IMG_0126

Violinist and Ohio State University professor of music education Bob Gillespie has taught countless teenage string players. Here he explores adolescent character traits, and shares with teachers his valuable guide to dealing with adolescent moods and logic

I was at a loss to know how to motivate Jeremy. Yes, he was a very nice young teenager. He readily accepted instruction in his viola lessons. However, the progress in his playing was minimal from one week to the next. He said that he enjoyed playing the viola – he just did not like to practise. I tried to motivate him in all the ways I knew, but was not successful. Exasperated, I finally asked him one day if there was anything that would spur him to practise. He thought for a minute, as his mother (present) and I waited for a response. After a moment, he looked at me and said that he very much liked the cream puffs made by a well-known local bakery. He explained that having a cream puff as a weekly reward for practising would be ‘great’. His mother and I looked at each other. Could this possibly work? From here began the journey of successful practice – cream puff – successful practice – cream puff…

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe - online subscriptions from £4.50/month

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.

 

* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.