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 Post subject: Piano lessons
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 7:38 am 
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Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 9:09 am
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This might seem tangential, but I think learning an instrument is good discipline for doing exams and so on (trying not to get modded, but I do think this as well!).

Does anyone know any good piano teachers within a reasonable distance of Minchinhampton? They would need to be willing to consider quite a young age (not yet 5).

thanks...


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 Post subject: Re: Piano lessons
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:32 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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Most piano teachers won't take such a young child - 7 is the usual age to begin.


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 Post subject: Re: Piano lessons
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:28 am 
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I think 6-7 is the usual age to start just to have hands big enough to play. My dd started violin at 4-5 - it was rather painful on the ears but at least you can get small size instruments. She does not play violin now but she went on to learn to play brass instruments quite quickly and can read music.


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 Post subject: Re: Piano lessons
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:03 am 
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My youngest started at 5, he had to sit in a car for the duration of his brothers' lessons anyway come rain or shine so gave him a reason to be there. His lesson was short and fun. However it has not made a pianist of him, bit heavy handed, nor do I feel it will help with his 11+.


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 Post subject: Re: Piano lessons
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:15 am 
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Unless they have a real apptitude for it, it just makes them bored :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Piano lessons
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:29 am 
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I am a music teacher and I would say very strongly that under 5 is far too young to be starting piano lessons; it's a difficult instrument and needs good reading skills, hand coordination and fine motor skills, and big enough fingers. You really should not be getting your child to learn an instrument just because you are thinking about the 11 plus. Starting at this age can be completely counter-productive. Honestly - I've seen it!

If your child is genuinely interested in learning an instrument, and if you have a piano in the house already, just let them play around on it and have fun. If they are really keen to learn something more formally, buy a recorder and tutor book and learn the basics. But do it together - buy yourself a recorder too and have fun together. Starting formal music lessons very young has the effect in many cases of completely putting children off music. Of course there are exceptions, and these are usually in very musical households where parents play the instrument anyway and start gently teaching their own children. What you don't want to end up doing is fighting with your child to make them practise - you want them to be doing it because they love it. They will need support and encouragement of course but it shouldn't be a battle!

I would say if they do show real musical interest, think again about lessons when they are in year 2 or 3.


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 Post subject: Re: Piano lessons
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:12 am 
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Peridot wrote:
I am a music teacher and I would say very strongly that under 5 is far too young to be starting piano lessons; it's a difficult instrument and needs good reading skills, hand coordination and fine motor skills, and big enough fingers. You really should not be getting your child to learn an instrument just because you are thinking about the 11 plus. Starting at this age can be completely counter-productive. Honestly - I've seen it!

If your child is genuinely interested in learning an instrument, and if you have a piano in the house already, just let them play around on it and have fun. If they are really keen to learn something more formally, buy a recorder and tutor book and learn the basics. But do it together - buy yourself a recorder too and have fun together. Starting formal music lessons very young has the effect in many cases of completely putting children off music. Of course there are exceptions, and these are usually in very musical households where parents play the instrument anyway and start gently teaching their own children. What you don't want to end up doing is fighting with your child to make them practise - you want them to be doing it because they love it. They will need support and encouragement of course but it shouldn't be a battle!

I would say if they do show real musical interest, think again about lessons when they are in year 2 or 3.

I'd say this is spot on.....I've let mine try various things -if they enjoy- it is worth carrying on with- if they don't ...it's not worth the stress :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Piano lessons
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:32 am 
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Thanks for the replies. I started at 4 many moons ago and loved it. We have a piano and I play it every day when the kids are here, and they regularly go on it and have a go (but I don't teach them anything). I didn't have any problem handling the keys until I tried the late grades, where my hands were too small at the time. But the early grades were absolutely fine. Reading music though - that could be an issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Piano lessons
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:42 am 
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I agree with Peridot here, piano lesson will not help with 11+ state schools IMHO. Yes it might help in getting scholarship or just places in some good independent schools.

As far as that young age is concerned, I was also given the same advice about starting age and my boys started learning at Year 4 when they just turned 8. But I see in some music festivals some kids especially from a particular ethnic background playing high grades piano pieces at a very young age, which clearly tells me that they must have started at the age of 4 or even less. The boy who got the first prize for Level 5 piece was only 7. And I personally know someone whose son got fully funded scholarship place at Harrow School and that boy finished Grade 8 violin and piano by age of 11 :shock: But he is gifted child no doubt about it.

Coming back to starting early, yes I have also seen another friend (who himself is very musical, plays piano, saxophone, octapad etc) started piano lessons for his son when he is was 3yrs +, by age of 6 when his son did Grade 1, the little boy was bored and finally left it :(

A child will usually continue with some activity only if he/ she loves to do it otherwise gradually it becomes counter productive for both the DC and the parents.

If one is really keen , then can check with a music teacher whether the child is really gifted or talented and keen to do music at young age otherwise come back to it in few more years. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Piano lessons
PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 12:01 pm 
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You sound like the ideal parent to support your child with piano gurdjieff! I started a little older than you did, at 5, in a very musically supportive family and apparently I loved it too. But as I said that is unusual. I honestly would still let them learn through playing and having fun at the moment and start formal lessons at the beginning of year 2, depending on reading ability. Good luck and have fun with them!

Cross posted with indiemom - and yes indiemom's right, you do see young kids at very high levels sometimes. They are unusual, and some really are gifted. But some have been pushed so hard, being made to practise against their will for hours a day (because practising is the only way to get good, even if you are a genius, believe me!) that they burn out and want to rebel/give up.

Remember also, if you go for a music scholarship at private school, my understanding is if your child gives up the instrument or doesn't sing in the choir, play in the orchestra etc, funding may be withdrawn.


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