A father wants his 1 year old child to start piano lessons
Posted 13 October 2019 - 15:57
I wouldn’t describe it as lack of readiness for the lesson itself: rather the one-to-one interaction with an adult outside the family that some children of this age are just not ready for. There is often a big difference by a year or so later.
Posted 13 October 2019 - 16:33
Maggiemay has an interesting point here. In France the age of compulsory schooling has been reduced from 6 to 3 years old this year. I think this is much too young. some children may well be ready but it is a nightmare for those who are not. the younger sister of one of my piano pupils cried all day every day for a month before she reluctantly accepted that she had to go to school. That is not the way to start an educational journey. This particular child comes form a very united family and I think she simply wasn't ready to go beyond that.
Posted 14 October 2019 - 07:23
When I was doing my 1 year post grad teacher training, one of the violin teachers we visited, at a centre in Ebury Street London if I remember right ( ?) said she was teaching a little lad violin who was 18 months old. Apparently he had seen a toy ( or very small ) violin in a shop window some 6 months earlier, presumably he must have seen a violin being played at some point and associated the sound with the instrument, or maybe someone in the family played, I don't know.
He wouldn't let stop saying that he wanted the violin, so his parents bought it for him.
On finding that he wasn't just getting frustrated and trying to break it or just plucking the open strings, but actually playing tunes ! they went in search of a teacher who would be able to start such a young child.
The teacher said that despite the fact he was quite forward in his development he couldn't co-ordinate standing up and playing the violin at the same time, so he and she and his Mum sat on the floor, him with a beaming smile.
Sadly I never found out how well he progressed.
Personally, I prefer starting children around 7-8, unless they are very exceptional or have a parent who is a good musician. By the time they get to 12 or 13 they are often at the same level as a child who's started at 4 or 5, but often with fewer technical problems ( on violin ).
Posted 14 October 2019 - 13:00
I take the little ones on a case-by-case basis. Some children are ready at age three, some are not yet ready at age thirty.
The youngest I've ever been asked to teach were a pair of four-year-old twins. I was teaching their older sibling at the time. I had known them since they were maybe two years old, and I suspected they were ready, so I did a consultation with them and their mother. I was surprised at how well developed their sense of rhythm was, and they also had very good pitch discrimination. They were also able to focus long enough to have a productive lesson, so I took them on. They were a joy to teach, but ultimately they lost interest.
I started at the ripe old age of three myself; I was a horribly uncoordinated child and I couldn't tell my right from left! My first teacher was my mother, who taught me all she could, then she started me with a proper teacher at age four. That teacher was very patient and saw potential in me; I will always be grateful to her for believing in me as a young man. (Miss Mince, if you ever read this, know that I love you and I recall your faith, kindness, and perseverance every time I sit at the keyboard!)
These days, my studio is primarily adults and teenagers. I seem to be developing a reputation locally (hopefully a good reputation) as a teacher who works well with adults. Many local teachers, especially the "serious" teachers, aren't particularly interested in taking on adults, but I find fulfillment in teaching all ages.
Posted 17 October 2019 - 20:25
Posted 17 October 2019 - 23:31
The ideal age to start lessons, has to be the age at which the prospective student is receptive to criticism, and that can range from five to eighty five plus.
Posted 18 October 2019 - 09:12
(Miss Mince, if you ever read this, know that I love you and I recall your faith, kindness, and perseverance every time I sit at the keyboard!)
What a great name! Do you by chance remember her first name ? I have noticed that piano teachers often have romantic first names and down-to-earth surnames -- my first teacher for example was called Miss Violet Prigg. Apologies for being off-topic.
Posted 18 October 2019 - 10:47
I dunno, maybe I'm feeling grumpy today, but I sort-of feel some parents are determined to buy every opportunity they can for their kids, rather than actually engage with the heart instead of the wallet. There are some lovely, lovely toddler music groups around, where mums (and dads) and toddlers do music-based activities together, and quite what everyone gets out of it depends on what they want to: undoubtedly it's good for appreciation of rhythm, sound, and note, but it's also good for the motor-skills, social skills and general happiness of the toddlers, and it's good for the parents too. At a tiny age like 1.5 unless the kid is in a very strange and unique situation, one of those groups would almost certainly be a much better step in their life-journey.
Aquarelle, I hope you won't mind me saying that 3 is a ridiculous age for compulsory schooling no matter how play-oriented. There is little or no correlation between the achievement and the age at which compulsory education starts across Europe; the Finns are quite as bright and knowledgeable as everyone else, and they start at 7 I think; the Germans I believe are 6 but have some flexibility according to the development of the child. These are not backward nations with bad academic outcomes. In general education, it is a very depressing thought to me that the ages at which children go to school have always been dictated by Government's concerns about the impact of children on parents' employment, not by concerns about what's actually best for the education of the child. They still are.
edit: here's a link; it's not the most recent, but it's still valid: http://theconversati...or-school-29005
Posted 18 October 2019 - 13:09
I would suggest the father of the baby bought one of those Fisherprice or similar musical toys. One which the baby could bang his/her little fists on and make a little doggy pop out of a box. Or how about one of those chunky little keyboards that have a wooden hammer and about four notes?! Any parent with any common sense could see to that themselves. No need to hire a piano teacher. No reflection on your own piano teaching of course!
Along the same lines as this I would advise the parents to sing, clap and hum songs and nursery rhymes to their little one. What could be better for developing their musicianship as a baby or toddler? Do it any where, any time. My sister used to sing with her girls when they were brushing their teeth. When I was little we used to sing songs on car journeys and I'm sure I could hold my own in a round like "London's burning" by the time I was 5 or 6. Surely general exposure to music and singing is the best approach while children are tiny, not a weekly individual piano lesson!
Posted 18 October 2019 - 13:19
Perhaps the parent could take lessons, so they will be able to supervise practise when the child is old enough? At 18 months, my children couldn't walk, let alone have control over individual fingers. Even at 4, they were more interested in tearing around the house and digging up the garden than in any activity that involved sitting still for more than about 30 seconds! I used to play nursery rhymes, and they would join in singing or banging things, but I would never have considered formal lessons until they were old enough to want them for themselves.
The little ones that I've taught successfully (admittedly not many) have been able to clap to the beat, copy rhythms and sing vaguely in tune before beginning lessons - these are the things parents should be looking at.
Posted 18 October 2019 - 13:22
Can I add ability to control bowels before seeking to control a piano?
Posted 18 October 2019 - 14:06
"... a musician's lot is not a nappy one.... naappppyyy oneeeee"
Posted 18 October 2019 - 14:08
I have enough stools in my house already! (Don't worry mods, I'll shut up now!)
Posted 18 October 2019 - 14:21
Can I add ability to control bowels before seeking to control a piano?