I’m trying to keep a student from quitting!

Elizabeth Stoltzfus said: Sep 3, 2013
 Cello, Viola, Violin
Lancaster, PA
8 posts

I have a 9th grade cello student who started with me during the summer between his third and fourth grade years. Lately, his practicing has been minimal and he has started to loose interest. I’m looking for ideas of how to get him to stick with his instrument through high school. He is working on “La Cinquantaine” in book 3, and in previous years he had also played in the school orchestra, but at his last lesson he told me he isn’t going to play in orchestra anymore. I’m looking for any ideas here, from introducing some new, supplementary music, to any tricks anyone might have to renew his interest in cello and music lessons. Should I speak to his mother privately? This boy has also been heavily involved in sports and boy scouts, to the point where he misses at least one lesson a month due to another scheduled event. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Laura said: Nov 5, 2013
Laura Mozena
Suzuki Association Member
Mancos, CO
106 posts

In 9th grade kids have so much on their plate and it sound like this boy is very passionate about his other activities. It is a shame is is quitting orchestra because it can be very motivational. Possibly a string quartet with other kids his age? A summer festival or camp? And learning supplemental music is always great. How about a favorite pop song? Sometimes it’t tricky to get arrangements that are playable, but if he can play music that interests him it will keep him going. Good Luck.

Kiyoko said: Nov 18, 2013
 95 posts

Have you talked to him about why he’s not practicing and is quitting orchestra? In ninth grade it would seem to me that the key lies with him as to finding motivation for his success, and less so with his parents.

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