Tuesday, July 31, 2012

When Do I Start Lessons For My Child?

  I often get phone calls from parents who see an unusual talent in their young child. When should piano lessons begin? I have a two-year old granddaughter who demands a piano lesson when I come to teach her older siblings. What is she really asking for?  In my opinion she is asking for a musical experience.

    She has observed that music brings a great deal of pleasure to her parents and siblings. She is attracted to the piano and the sounds she can generate from that big, beautiful instrument. She is ready to explore the patterns and negotiate the keys in varied ways. She needs time to playfully explore music but one-on-one piano lessons are in the future. Lessons with a teacher are a long process of acquiring skill and musicianship not just an exposure to music.
  I teach music and movement classes to 18 month- 4year-olds to give this musical experience to the very young child. Some of these children come to me later with some foundation and are ready to embrace practice and accountability. A rule of thumb I believe to be true is that parents need to be with their child to practice until they are at least 8 years old. After that age they have some ability to go to the piano alone and know how to approach their practice sessions. Before then, they need the loving support of an interested parent.
Here are some other posts that address working with your children:
  How To Be As A Parent
  One Arrow At A Time

Monday, July 16, 2012

Clicking On the Keys

   Ah, the dilemma of telling that pretty little girl she really must cut her fingernails. She has no traction and the clicking is obnoxious.  I personally do not have nails that grow in beautiful petals but occasionally I run for my clippers to take them down. My own granddaughter had the discussion just last month. On that day, there was a real struggle between a future as a pianist and beautiful painted finger nails.