Is this normal for a childgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Everything About Teaching and Learning the Piano : One Thread
Since most of you here are teachers, I have a question as a parent. I have two children, age 6 and 8. They've taken lessons for over six months now. I think their progress is just normal, although one of their teachers said they progressed much faster than her average students. I don't have to drag her to practice or anything like that. It's part of her daily routine. She knows it and she practices six days a week. So, I'm not worried about the learning thing for now. What I'm curious is my 8 year old doesn't seem to show a passion for learning piano. My question is, would children keep going on until their teenage years without a real passion for the piano? Am I worrying too much?
-- Tweetie (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 30, 2001
I teach both woodwinds and piano in my private studio and have experience with siblings taking music lessons. Unless the 8 yr old has mentioned anything negative in response to piano or practicing, I would keep status quo. Depending on your school system, your older child will have the opportunity to try a string instrument and/or a wind instrument in 4th or 5th grades. All of the knowledge gained from piano will transfer over to these instruments. At that point, you may decide to obtain private lessons on the new instrument, and this could fuel the "passion" for practicing both. Piano lessons may fall to the wayside, and your child may ask to continue again at a later point.
I assume that your children take from different instructions from the way you worded your question. I would contact the older child's teacher and explain the difference you noticed between the 2 children and their zealous for practicing. Of course there are personality diferences between siblings, but let the teacher contemplate your observations. Myself, upon hearing this from one my music family, would consider a change in music to see if there are any improvements.
There are basic guidelines to follow in developing strong beginners. However, my goal is to help each child realize their greatest potential as a musician - and the gift of still playing music they want to play as adult. If I have to divert from the generally accepted ways of piano ped - I do whatever that individual student needs to enjoy and express the music within themselves.
Patti in OH
-- Patti Kolk (email@example.com), March 30, 2001.
Some kids have more of a passion for piano than other kids, just like some kids like math more than reading. But if you feel like music is a worthwhile subject for your kids to take (and all of us teachers certainly think it's highly valuable!), then I wouldn't worry about your 8 year old's lack of passion. I've taught students that weren't necessarily passionate about piano, but their parents looked at it as part of their school curriculum, and they became very competent pianists. And who knows, maybe your 8 year old will really find a love for it later. Or maybe find another instrument that she/he likes better. You might want to be on the lookout for competition between the 2. If the older one thinks the younger one is better at piano, this could be a cause for the lack of interest. Hope this helps.
-- Julie2 (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 03, 2001.
I was the same way as a child. I was "bright" by my teachers standards, and I was doing quite well, but I didn't show a love for the piano. It sometimes takes a while for a child to appreciate their ability...in my case, this didn't really happen until i was 17! ( now i am studying to be a piano teacher/performance. my advice: stick in there, and things may come around and your children may truly learn to love what they have aquired over the years, or they may just put it aside as a " hobby". whatever they do, be sure to be supportive and show them that you are behind them in the choices they make.
-- Amy (email@example.com), June 19, 2001.
i took lessons starting when i was 8, although my mom used to teach me some stuff on my toy piano even before that. i guess my teacher was musically inclined, because she put up with all my nonsense over the years (not practicing, forgetting my pratice record, etc.) now i am 17. i'm having a senior recital since im graduating this spring, and my teacher, my parents, and i all agree that i'm working much harder than i ever did ebfore. and i'm enjoying it too! btw, i also teach several chidlren, and i've had a lot of success with them. so even if a kid doesn't seem enthusiastic, unless he hates it, don't give up--it will pay off later!!
-- ashley (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 27, 2004.