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Topic: OT piano lessons

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  1. #1

    OT piano lessons

    My little girl has been asking for piano lessons. I thought I'd ask the experts.

    What is the best method to learn piano. How do I find beginning classes for her (5 yrs old).

    Thanks.

    (I know (think) there are methods like Suzuki, Yamaha and the like. Any others? I want her to use the method that will give her the best foundation.)

  2. #2

    Re: OT piano lessons

    Many folks like Suzuki. I think the most important factor by far is the teacher. Don't be afraid to keep ditching them till you find the right match. My daughter had a turkey at the start, but now she has a fabulous teacher and is playing every day, mostly for her own enjoyment (improvisation). When a kid starts inventing on the instrument you know things are moving in the right direction.


    JG

  3. #3

    Re: OT piano lessons

    I'm afraid that I hate Suzuki. I have had to repair the playing of many pupils who started with this method. Also, music reading is not a priority, which means that pupils are unable to make music for pleasure...

    Daryl

  4. #4

    Re: OT piano lessons

    I have a friend who takes violin lessons in a group, where they don't start to learn how to read music, but it's alla bout imitation. Now, this group is focused on folk-music, which do have another tradition than e.g. classical music. I learned the piano from the age of 8 in a "traditional" way, with a rather "old-school" teacher (well, it WAS quite some time ago... ). I do think that the ability to read music is important.

    I guess it all boils down to your/the pupil's personal preferences and character, as well as which type of music that is in focus. And the age, of course! For a 5 year old, learning how to read music might not be the first thing to do, and the joy of music should be the main criteria. Although I'm no expert on this, so...

    Cheers,

    Chris
    New music at
    www.calegy.com

  5. #5

    Re: OT piano lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by Allmoge
    I guess it all boils down to your/the pupil's personal preferences and character, as well as which type of music that is in focus. And the age, of course! For a 5 year old, learning how to read music might not be the first thing to do, and the joy of music should be the main criteria. Although I'm no expert on this, so...

    Cheers,

    Chris
    Of course, the snag is that learning to read music is hard. When a child is young, they have no conception of how hard it is, so my method includes reading from the start. That way all my pupils can actually sight-read better than they can play...! For an instrument like the piano I think that it is essential if one wants to play any sort of classical music with others.

    Daryl

  6. #6

    Re: OT piano lessons

    The one thing I'd say is to find out what music your daughter wants to learn to play, and then to find a teacher who will teach towards that kind of music. Are there specific pieces or songs she wants to learn? (You say she's five, but don't speak of what she likes to listen to or do on the piano: does she want to write songs or be able to improvise or mainly play Beethoven...? Has she in other words seen you play, and wants to play music like yours?)

    You'll of course want her to have the foundations to be able to play many kinds of music, but there's no reason to put her in the hands of someone who disdains, and doesn't know, popular music if that's what she wants to learn, and no reason to make her suffer through "Jingle Bell Rock" if she wants to play "Around Midnight" or "Gaspard de la Nuit."

    (My first piano teacher wanted me to learn "Fascination" and "Jingle Bells." It was a long time before I returned to the piano...)

  7. #7

    Re: OT piano lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by Daryl
    I'm afraid that I hate Suzuki. I have had to repair the playing of many pupils who started with this method. Also, music reading is not a priority, which means that pupils are unable to make music for pleasure...Daryl
    Don't get me wrong. I'm no Suzuki fan, and my daughter isn't being taught that way! Trad approach, but with the kind of piano teacher I would have killed for when I was a kid. Always supportive, always fantastically positive for every lesson. At 5 the distinction between classical and pop is moot. She'll be learning how to read notes, how to hold her hand and fingers, etc.,etc...

    Of course as she progresses she may want to play popular music, and that's just fine. Everything should be made available in my view, although I'm old-fashioned enough to say that technique is still real important. Lack of technique stifles you in the end, even though, for me at least, I hated scales, arpeggios, etc.

    My kid's using "Piano Adventures" (Nancy Faber) which looks better than what I used as a kid: John Thompson. Also, she's got some Bartok for kids, which although dead simple, is amazingly difficult.

    At 5 only the "Piano Adventures" series would be applicable, I guess. But who knows? Glenn Gould was playing the Well-tempered Book 1 complete at the age of 10!

    JG

  8. #8

    Re: OT piano lessons

    Just want to add that the level and pace of teaching are also important. It must suit the individual - are you a slow learner, take it a bit easy - are you a fast learner, keep up the tempo. Of course, a private teacher would then be best in order to be able to follow the individual development. Teaching music in groups may have its advantages, depending on the type of music, but evaluate then what kind of progress your girl (and noone else) can make in such a group.

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGrant
    Everything should be made available in my view, although I'm old-fashioned enough to say that technique is still real important. Lack of technique stifles you in the end, even though, for me at least, I hated scales, arpeggios, etc.
    JG
    My old teacher always said that all music consists of scales. Do you know how to play scales well, then you could play all the other pieces as well. But on the other hand, if you can play Chopin's Revolutionary Etude, you'd also be able to play the scales...

    Cheers,

    Chris
    New music at
    www.calegy.com

  9. #9

    Re: OT piano lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by rJames
    My little girl has been asking for piano lessons. I thought I'd ask the experts.

    What is the best method to learn piano. How do I find beginning classes for her (5 yrs old).

    Thanks.

    (I know (think) there are methods like Suzuki, Yamaha and the like. Any others? I want her to use the method that will give her the best foundation.)
    Why dont you teach her..?? Listening to your RMX tunes , i thought your playing was great!
    I have a 6 month old at home and everyday i sit him on my lap in front of my S80 with OldLady loaded up and let him smash the keys and turn the CC controlers!!!! Rich

  10. #10

    Re: OT piano lessons

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Pell
    Why dont you teach her..?? Listening to your RMX tunes , i thought your playing was great!
    I have a 6 month old at home and everyday i sit him on my lap in front of my S80 with OldLady loaded up and let him smash the keys and turn the CC controlers!!!! Rich
    Yeah, well my 3 year old nephew was sitting with me while I was writing yesterday, and then announced that he thought that my music was disgusting, and that his was much better. Mind you, having listened back to it today, I think that he had a point.

    Daryl

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