There are some really good posts here...
I think that there are two themes that we touched on:
1) a broad-based education that does not specialise too early is important to develop well-adjusted young adults;
2) trying to specialise in too many areas is not the same as 1) and is counter-productive if done just to keep a child busy (to exhaustion).
My experience is that the 'can only practise ten minutes violin because I have hockey, jazz dance, and piano as well' type of pupils
cannot be asked to drop everything else to glorify me into being their no.1 exclusive choice: what we can do is to adjust our expectations,
and as others here have said better than me, this is when we push back unrealistic demands from pushy parents who think ten minutes a day
makes a pupil ready to launch on the grade I-to-VIII conveyor belt. Thus, we tell parents (or the adult learners) that with ten minutes a day, four
days a week, at best in a year we can expect competent fingering of the first three fingers in the first three Major sharp keys and a just-getting-by
bowing: anything above that would be considered a gift from the Olympian gods.
I had a pupil for the last couple of years who has gone from no music reading or violin knowledge to now being ready for Grade 2: I had her work
through all the Fiddle Time books, Violin Star 2 and 3, a bucketload of Irish tunes from The Session.org, plus pop/Disney tunes, Chinese violin solos,
classical music of various kinds, scales, technical drills, position shifts to second...AND vibrato. For the last year she has been practising between five
and six hours, yes, FIVE AND SIX HOURS.... A WEEK... She has just turned ten years old... This is an exceptional child... For this pupil, I have no problem
doing an exam, given how much more she has digested beyond the tiny list of pieces in the grade book... For a pupil who practises that much and with such
passion, who always turns up at her lesson smiling and with all her music/backing tracks/homework ready, I can do one exam per year, no problem. . .
...................but she is the exception...................