I have a musical child who will at times refuse to do the "boring practice" of work they know, to make to more perfect, more beautiful etc. That seems to be an ADHD thing, particularly polishing scales and technical work.

However, there is also a gap between what is played during practice and what is played for the teacher. Teacher gets the absolute most technically correct work that can possibly be delivered to him, while he begs for feeling and drama. At home, I hear feeling, drama and reckless abandone through the door, at least some of the time. The teacher's instruction IS going in, both on the technical and the artistic progress that is required, but he only gets technical perfection back at the next lesson. This is presumably not ADHD, but rather negative perfectionism and/or social anxiety.

I have actually recorded practice through the door and played it to the teacher to support my view that practice is not equal to lesson performance, which lead to some joking about what a terrible ogre he must be to be causing this grap between practice and lesson approach... This teacher is direct and specific but super thoughtful and kind in his word choices, his expectations are high but his methods gentle and kind. There is no actual reason to fear playing with feeling over technical perfection.

Which is to say, there can be more than one issue at play and the child may not even know which issue is causing what. Or may be so overwhelmed by multiple issues they just refuse to try.

Edited to add: And in fact it's not clear to me whether the fear of playing with more volume, drama or emotion in front of the teacher is about not being technically perfect enough in front of the teacher, or whether it is more a fear of feeling more raw and exposed in front of another person (teacher or otherwise). That to play as per practice would reveal too much of the self?


Edited by MumOfThree (07/12/19 08:21 PM)