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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 01-31-2006, 12:48 PM   #21
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

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Originally Posted by wab
She currently spontaneously "plays" ... a bunch of percussion instruments...
You have non-percussion instruments in your house? Our daughter bangs on everything. The cat, her bathtub, me, the tv, her toys, the dishwasher, the door, my laptop (grrrr) etc., etc.

Life's a drum. Beat it.
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 01-31-2006, 12:51 PM   #22
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Funny. I guess its inherent in all kids. As far as Gabe is concerned, everything needs to be whacked, then dropped to the ground. If possible, after being dropped to the ground, the item should be removed from his sight. His latest trick is to take a couple of toys at a time to the laundry room and stick them out the cat door. Sometimes he later goes and pulls a few back in.

I think i'll put a cat door on the toy box his grandpa made him.

The whacking is creating interesting dynamics between him and the dogs and cats. He's almost got the 'pet, dont whack' thing down, though.
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 01-31-2006, 12:57 PM   #23
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

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Two things to look for in a teacher are personality and teaching ability. *Your child has to like the teacher and vice versa. *Learning takes place from that point.
Absolutely!!! *My parents started me on piano when I was 5 or 6 with a great teacher- loved her and practiced without prompting. *After several years, when it is said that I was getting good, there was a change in teachers. *The music wasn't what I enjoyed and the gal was the principal's wife.. 'nuf said. *When illness interrupted my lessons I refused to touch the instrument.

IMHO there is no harm in introducing a child at a young age to an instrument in which they have interest. *The minute it isn't fun back off and watch, perhaps switch to vocal music or dance because you are training the brain to recognize patterns and harmonies. *When you the eyes light up, try an instrument again. *Music should be joyful!!

Music education is highly correlated to math skills.. it is worth the effort.
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 01-31-2006, 01:00 PM   #24
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

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Originally Posted by (Cute Fuzzy Bunny)
I guess its inherent in all kids.
That's what I want to explore with her. * She's done the Kindermusik thing, so she's at the point now where random drumming has evolved into a pretty good sense of rhythm. * She can copy rhythmic patterns and likes to challenge us to copy her patterns. * *And she sings *all* the time.

So, I want to keep the momentum going. * The Suzuki thing appeals to me for some of the same reasons Montessori appeals to me. * It's non-competitive, immersive, structured environment for learning, and kids helping each other in a group setting (kids love to teach other kids, and it helps both the "teacher" and "student").

Anybody done the Suzuki Method?

I'm also looking into some software from MIT geared towards teaching kids how to compose music without the need to read music.
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 01-31-2006, 02:44 PM   #25
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Though I'll never be confused with a composer, I do compose music on my computer, but can't "sight read". I play guitar by "ear", but have learned enough about chord construction and scales to apply it to composing.

Of course, rock and country aren't terribly complex, generally speaking.
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 01-31-2006, 03:00 PM   #26
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Speaking of music, TromboneAl is performing tonight and says we can hear him via the Internet:

http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...2375#msg102375

Of couse that's assuming he's sobered up from celebrating the sale of his business...

(Did you catch the call letters for that station...? )


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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 01-31-2006, 03:18 PM   #27
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

If anybody wants to try the composition software, it's called Hyperscore and is available for free download here:

Hyperscore

Seems pretty cool so far....
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 01-31-2006, 06:10 PM   #28
 
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

We have a fairly large Asian population here, it is amazing to watch a kid play a violin that is as big as he is, and play it well.

My Son, the Snow Boarder/Skate Boarder, loves Tommy Dorsey, he took trumpet lessons when he was 8.
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 01-31-2006, 07:44 PM   #29
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Kid turns 3 in a couple months, and we want music to be an integral part of her life. So, what's the best age and approach to start?

I am a musical idiot with several false starts, and my wife took enough lessons as a kid to give her a nervous twitch whenever she sees a piano.
Wab, with all those fond memories of music, why in the world would your kid want to join in? Make no mistake, the kid WILL pick your attitudes about music & practicing. ("Daddy, why don't you play with me?") At least Tiger Woods' dad enjoys golf.

One of the things that caught my eye about Aerosmith's biography is the memories of the band members being surrounded by music. Steven Tallarico/Tyler is a fourth-generation member of a family of singers & entertainers. The Beach Boys grew up singing three-part harmony in the back seat of their car during family road trips. The Jackson family's father was a musician (admittedly a terrible parent).

Expecting your kid to pick up a talent that's not part of your life is like expecting her to become Warren Buffett because it's a good cerebral skill for a kid to have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
The Suzuki Method sounds intriguing, but our local Suzuki teacher reminded me of the Soup Nazi.
If there's one thing I've learned about ANY extracurricular activity, it's that you should only work with teachers you enjoy & respect. If you don't like the Suzuki Nazi then your kid won't either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Anybody done the Suzuki Method?
Unfortunately the only child we know who's done Suzuki is a trophy kid of obsessive parents. They forced her to partake of a number of "important" cultural/intellectual activities before she grew too old to be able to sponge them up effortlessly. She's pretty scary now at age 13; I'm pretty sure that she's setting fire to small animals & practicing satanic rites.

But boy do those services rock the violin.

From what little I know of Suzuki it seems like it works-- when the teacher & kid are on the same wavelength and admired/respected/liked by all. Kids play. If it's work, it ain't play.

You sound like you're doing what every parent should do at this age-- surrounding the kid with choices and letting her pick what she likes to do. Our kid went through one or two activities at a time for no more than six months and didn't stick with one until she was almost nine years old. She'll find her passion whether or not you're there to teach her!
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 01-31-2006, 08:57 PM   #30
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

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Originally Posted by Nords
Wab, with all those fond memories of music, why in the world would your kid want to join in?* Make no mistake, the kid WILL pick your attitudes about music & practicing.
Nords, isn't the whole point of having kids to make yourself immortal and live vicariously through them?*

I love music, but it always seemed like a foreign language to me.* *That's why I think it's key to expose the kid to structural elements of music while she's still in the language acquistion stage.* *I never got that myself as a kid.* *The first 5-6 years of life are really amazing in terms of brain plasticity, so I want to ensure that she at least gets the exposure.

After age 7, she can do whatever she wants.* *By then her programming is set.

Recommended book for new parents:

What's Going on in There?

Recommended longitudinal documentary:

Seven Up!
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 01-31-2006, 11:18 PM   #31
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

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Originally Posted by wab
Nords, isn't the whole point of having kids to make yourself immortal and live vicariously through them?*
Nah, I'm told that it's solely for the purpose of obtaining grandchildren. Although my FIL insists that if he had realized how wonderful grandchildren are, he would've had them first.
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 02-01-2006, 01:36 PM   #32
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

I sent the same question about lessons to a musician friend, and he recommended Suzuki if I could find a teacher I liked, but as an aside, he also gave me a good book reference I plan to follow up on.

It's interesting you should bring up the kids-are-sponges theory.* I've
been reading a book about the anthropological evolution* of music, it's
called The Singing Neanderthals, by a guy named Steven Mithen and it's
fascinating.* *It rather convincingly refutes the argument made by
Steven Pinker and others that music is just an evolutionary byproduct
of our language ability.* *Mithen's theory is that music predated
language, and was used to convey and, more importantly, manipulate the
emotions of others.* It's backed up by quite a lot of recent
experimental data.

The finding I thought was really cool is that infants apparently are
born with perfect pitch.* In their language acquisition phase they are
expert at analyzing and cataloguing streams of sound for repeated and
novel patterns.* They've tested babies with streams of musical sound as
well and they catalog it with the same technique as words, sorting it
into familiar patterns and novel patterns.* *If the identical scalar
pattern is transposed into another key, infants catalogue them as
novel.* Not sure how the experimenters figured this out, but it sure is
interesting.* *The idea is that as the child develops its ability to
perceive tonality in music, perfect pitch is a hinderance so it is lost
in most people.

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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 02-01-2006, 02:10 PM   #33
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Our daughters started at 6 years old.
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 02-01-2006, 02:51 PM   #34
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

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Our daughters started at 6 years old.
And ....?

Do they pull the legs off spiders, as Nords suggests? Or do they still enjoy making music?
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 02-01-2006, 03:11 PM   #35
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Wab,

My older one still likes to play. She is going to be in the competition. The younger oner does not like to play as much.

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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 02-01-2006, 05:38 PM   #36
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Do they pull the legs off spiders, as Nords suggests?* *Or do they still enjoy making music?
For those of you who are beginning to wonder about the Suzuki program, let me be clear that this kid would be pulling the wings off things whether or not she was a Suzuki student.

I'm not sure whether Suzuki drove her to it. I think she came to Suzuki that way, and she's the only kid I've ever known in that program...
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 02-01-2006, 09:24 PM   #37
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
For those of you who are beginning to wonder about the Suzuki program, let me be clear that this kid would be pulling the wings off things whether or not she was a Suzuki student.

I'm not sure whether Suzuki drove her to it. I think she came to Suzuki that way, and she's the only kid I've ever known in that program...
Ah yes, one of those kids that should come with their own "theme music" when they slink into the room...
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 08-20-2006, 02:27 PM   #38
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Time for an update.* *After hemming and hawing for months, we finally drank the Suzuki kool-aid!

Our new piano will show up on Monday, and the kid will start lessons at age 3.

We observed a few lessons, and we were impressed by the teacher and the love of music expressed by the kids (some of whom also played beautifully by age 6).

The teacher initially struck us as sort of a soup nazi -- "no lessons for you unless you buy a Steinway grand!"* *It turns out that she finds that kids stick with it longer if they have an instrument at home that can replicate the feel and sound of the instrument they use for lessons.* *She says her attrition rate is close to zero.

I was initially strongly leaning towards a digital piano, since the sound and action have become pretty good over the last few years, and they're relatively small and affordable.* * But the teacher twisted my ear, so we got an uber upright (a souped-up Bohemia 132).

We're excited.* *I plan to take lessons as well, and my wife already plays, so hopefully we'll get some use and enjoyment out of this new monster upright.

We should know if we made the right decision in about 15 years....
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 08-21-2006, 08:49 AM   #39
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

I have a good electronic piano. No matter how good the action, it never will sing like a standard piano.

Did you read last week's Business Week articles on competition? One of the articles is about music students. The bottom line is that the very best players are the ones who practiced the most.

I started playing the violin at a very young age and when I was twelve I played in an orchestra. Puberty intervened and I lost interest. I haven't played the violin for years. I still play the piano though for fun.

I hope you daughter enjoys her lessons. A good teacher means everything.

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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 08-21-2006, 12:56 PM   #40
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

wab, how nice to have an instrument that all of you in the family can have fun with!* It's my dream to buy a piano someday and learn to play.

When I was about 10, daily for about 3 months, I asked my parents to buy a piano and the answer was always "No, we can't afford it."* I think they did let me take several lessons with the plan of asking a family friend if I could practice at their piano, but that didn't work out so the lessons stopped.

Anyway, I know how to play some chords on the guitar but I mostly play the same "guitar (Catholic) Mass" songs that I learned from age 13 to 15.* It drives BF batty when I pick up the guitar every 6 months or so and start going over my repertoire of half-a-dozen Mass songs plus "Dust in the Wind" and a Beatles song or two.* He is a musician, plays the guitar and mandolin and teaches other people how to play them, and I have this low-level regret in the back of my mind that I am not taking advantage of asking him to teach me how to play better.

If only I had more time to practice, if only I could quit lurking and posting to this forum...*
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