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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 08-21-2006, 01:36 PM   #41
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Our new piano will show up on Monday, and the kid will start lessons at age 3.
Hm, piano lessons at 3... Have you given any thought to the Chinese water torture yet?
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 08-21-2006, 01:44 PM   #42
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Hey, it could be violin, clarinet, or trumpet lessons.
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 08-21-2006, 01:51 PM   #43
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flipstress
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...*
If you can play G, C, D, A, Am, C, E, Em, and maybe throw in Bm, you can play more songs than you can remember the words to... (Voice of experience...)
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 08-21-2006, 02:49 PM   #44
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

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Originally Posted by Cute & Fuzzy HFWR
If you can play G, C, D, A, Am, C, E, Em, and maybe throw in Bm, you can play more songs than you can remember the words to...* (Voice of experience...)
I am good, except for the Bm.

I can also play Classical Gas.

How about you Fliptress? Form a band?

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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 08-21-2006, 09:15 PM   #45
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrooge
Hm, piano lessons at 3... Have you given any thought to the Chinese water torture yet?*
That seems to be the conventional wisdom, but so far the kid loves the piano and virtually all aspects of music.* * The kids we watched taking lessons loved the lessons, and their parents told us that their kids love to practice voluntarily.* * I was amazed enough to commit a small fortune to a new piano, lessons, and quarterly piano tuning.

The piano itself is pretty interesting, too.* *I knew nothing about them before researching this purchase.* *We ended up getting one that was made in Eastern Europe and modified by a local fanatical piano tech who invented his own action that emulates the characteristcs of a grand in an upright.

You can read about it here.
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 08-22-2006, 09:56 AM   #46
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Man, you guys are always tempting me to buy stuff.
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 08-22-2006, 12:52 PM   #47
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

HFWR, I can do Bm, F#m, Bb, etc., not very well though--fingers not strong enough from lack of practice.* I have some songbooks I go through also--music from the 70's--and BF has tons of songbooks with guitar chords.

Someday, Martha, someday a band* * For now, I'm just happy to sing karaoke with little nephews and nieces at their house.* The lyrics are right in front of me--no need to memorize! Oh, we have to work on our choreography to the disco tunes though.
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?
Old 08-22-2006, 05:05 PM   #48
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Re: When should our kid start music lessons?

Quote:
Originally Posted by flipstress
HFWR, I can do Bm, F#m, Bb, etc., not very well though--fingers not strong enough from lack of practice.* I have some songbooks I go through also--music from the 70's--and BF has tons of songbooks with guitar chords.

Someday, Martha, someday a band* * For now, I'm just happy to sing karaoke with little nephews and nieces at their house.* The lyrics are right in front of me--no need to memorize!* Oh, we have to work on our choreography to the disco tunes though.
I was in a karaoke bar last december and saw the greatest duo. First a really nice looking young woman in a party dress sang that oldey- "My Boyfriend's Back and Your Gonna Be in Trouble.."

Then her girlfriend, a Lesbian in a tux looking pretty much like a character out of Brideshead Revisited got up and sang, "I'll Be Home For Christmas..."

They were really good.

Ha
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Perspectives from a music teacher
Old 02-08-2008, 05:24 PM   #49
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Perspectives from a music teacher

Hi there,

My name is Mitch Odom and I have a private music school on Mercer Island, WA - the Metropolitan Academy of Music. This is a very intersting thread, and I've seen some very insightful comments here.

So far my youngest student was three years old. He was a big exception however, but loved music to the degree that I was able to teach him to compose at that age. Currently I have two four year olds and a few five year olds. They are generally more challenging to teach at this young age, but can turn into exceptionally fine musicians by starting young. Most of my beginning students start before they are 8 or 9 years old.

If your child shows an interest in music, that is definitely a time to consider music lessons. Some schools specialize in music for youngsters, and you should investigate those and sit in on a class to evaluate the program.

What I normally tell parents is that there are three things that are important for a child to learn music: 1) a desire to learn 2) a good teacher 3) an instrument to practice with.

The desire to learn provides the impetus to pracice and attend lessons. A good teacher is both highly qualified as a musician, and has the ability to relate to the student at their level. Kids like to do things that are fun, and a good teacher makes learning a fun process for them. As we all know, your rapport with your teacher greatly affects your attitude toward the subject and your willingness and ability to learn.

If your child has a short attention span (frequently associated with youngsters) then he or she should have a shorter lesson that is quick paced - so as to keep their attention. Some teachers will consider offering a shorter lesson than the traditional half-hour lesson.

There is a fine balance between challenging a student and over-burdening them with assignments that are difficult to achieve. I have seen some students that came to me from other teachers that had learned a lot in a short period of time. Their parents brought them to me because the child was overwhelmed and wanted to quit music lessons.

The best teachers offer unlimited encouragement, as learning to play an instrument well is not an easy task. Each small achievement should be rewarded with praise. That enables the student to feel his or her progress and encourages them to continue practicing so as to get more verbal rewards.

Bad habits lead to poor lessons, discouragement, and finally giving up the dream of playing music. Good practice habits will cause them to see progress. This is encouraging to the student, and they will want to continue to do better and better - i.e. practice!
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:32 PM   #50
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I once heard a concert pianist (?) discussing practice. He said somethng to the effect that if he missed one day of practice, he could tell. If he missed two days of practice, the conductor could tell. If he missed three days of practice, the audience could tell...
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Old 02-08-2008, 06:07 PM   #51
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Wow, it's been two years since I spawned this thread. Time for an update.

We started our kid on the piano at 3 1/2. And we went with the "soup nazi" teacher. She's been at it for a little over a year now.

It has been a great experience. The teacher was right -- a good instrument is important. Our kid could hear the difference between a good and not-so-good piano at a very early age. Their ability to discriminate sounds is very good, and their goal is to reproduce what they hear. So an instrument that can replicate the teacher's sound (and what they hear on CDs) appears to be key.

Practicing at home with parents is at least as important, if not more so, than the quality of the teacher. Our kid bonds with us at the piano, and we try to keep it fun for her. In one year, she has passed us both in her piano chops and her ear.

Personally, I wasn't interested in raising a concert pianist, but seeing the level some of the other kids play at is inspiring. They love to play. They develop a great musical sense. And many of them get a kick out of composing as well as stretching to play complex pieces.

And all of the kids I've met have developed into Good Kids (TM). They have a sense of calmness. Great concentration. No performance anxiety. And all without losing any of their natural playfulness.

If you're thinking about it, do it. And go with something like the Suzuki Method. It has a lot in common with other proven educational philosophies, like Montessori. Your kid doesn't need any special talent. They learn "talent."
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