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Topic Options
#1318839 - 12/05/09 09:49 AM lesson at home or not?
jnod Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 794
Loc: Toronto
Any opinions out there on whether it's better for a kid to have his/her piano lesson at home or to go to a school/their teacher's house?

Just axin' - considering a switch for my son....
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780

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#1318845 - 12/05/09 10:23 AM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: jnod]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Go to the teacher's studio. He or she likely has many more resources there which will give your child a broader experience.
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

#1318848 - 12/05/09 10:26 AM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: jnod]
Crayola Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 299
Loc: Chicago, IL
I've always been in favor at teaching lessons from my home. I've converted part of my home into a studio with lots of pictures, bulletin boards, books, and resources. When students are at my home, they know that they're on my turf, and must follow my rules. (shoes off, wash the hands, no feet touching keyboard, etc.) I can be the teacher and be in charge of what happens and what I don't let happen.
If lessons take place in the student's home, there are many factors the teacher has no control over - the quality of piano, the location of the instrument (is the TV on in the same room?), the other siblings running around, the phone ringing, the family pet, etc. etc.
I think students can also concentrate better at a different place. They won't be distracted by their own toys, by mom or dad walking around the house, etc. They know they are at the teacher's house to have a lesson and focus for a given amount of time, as apposed to being babysat by a musical tutor.
Forgive me, other teachers, if my views expressed are contrary to what you've seen in your experience. I suppose I'm just coming up with worst case scenarios. There very well could be good lesson-at-home experiences. But I'm all in favor of lessons at the teacher's place.
Independent Piano Teacher, NCTM
Member of MTNA and ISMTA

#1318870 - 12/05/09 11:14 AM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: Crayola]
Barb860 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/09
Posts: 1654
Loc: northern California
Minniemay and Crayola said it very well and I agree with both posts.
Piano Teacher

#1318891 - 12/05/09 11:38 AM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: Barb860]
DragonPianoPlayer Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/06
Posts: 2462
Loc: Denver, CO
There are advantages to playing on different instruments. In most cases, the teacher's piano will be better and well maintained. At least it will be different.


#1318968 - 12/05/09 01:34 PM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: DragonPianoPlayer]
lilylady Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/17/05
Posts: 4983
Loc: boston north
As one who had done both in the past.

For sure...the teacher's studio...

for oh so many reasons
"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."

#1319038 - 12/05/09 03:23 PM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: lilylady]
jnod Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/04/09
Posts: 794
Loc: Toronto
Thanks everyone - that's about what I expected but it's good to hear it from the source.
Bach English Suite #5
Scarlatti Sonata K141 . L422
Mozart Sonata K333
Schubert Impromptu opus 90 D899
Schubert Moment Musicaux opus 94 D780

#1319061 - 12/05/09 04:14 PM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: jnod]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15445
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I think when a student goes to a teacher's studio, they see other students who are also learning and usually have a chance to hear what they're doing, which can be inspirational. Also, they can focus better on learning while being surrounded by musical things, rather than distractions at home.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#1319120 - 12/05/09 06:03 PM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: Morodiene]
Canonie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/04/09
Posts: 1941
Loc: Australia
Teacher's studio definitely. It sets the scene for exciting things about to happen, and for concentration as well.
Even if they only cross paths with one or two other students I think that is a positive aspect. The good piano and lots of resources are also benefits as said above.
Having said that I do have an adult student where I cycle to her house (health reasons) and that seems to work very well for us, adult students can make sure the learning environment is good, although I don't like the DP!!

Composers manufacture a product that is universally deemed superfluous—at least until their music enters public consciousness, at which point people begin to say that they could not live without it.
Alex Ross.

#1319128 - 12/05/09 06:18 PM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: Canonie]
ToriAnais Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 244
Loc: Australia
I only ever once tried to teach a lesson in a home, and oh my god, never again. Started off nice enough - the parent was grateful to me for coming to her home and made me a latte, and I thought, yeah, this is going to be good. Then we get into the kids room where her piano is, and she starts playing with her dollies, even pulled out her school homework and started looking at it!! Never. Again.

However, if there was some situation where I really needed the money and absolutely had to teach in a students home, i would insist the piano was moved to a room where there were no distractions (the spare bedroom for example).
Piano teacher since August 2008.

#1319140 - 12/05/09 06:36 PM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: ToriAnais]
Piano*Dad Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10780
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
For piano lessons we have always used teachers who taught out of their own studio, as opposed to traveling to you. But I can certainly imagine circumstances in which an occasional visit to your home might work well for the teacher on a particular day or for a particular set of reasons.

#1319884 - 12/06/09 10:47 PM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: Piano*Dad]
Chyan Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/05/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Sweden
I teach the kids in their home. Works very well for me as a teacher. After having tortured them through tough passages for 20-30 minutes I allow them to take a break and have a snack and/or drink before we continue. They can take more pain and stress in their home environment.

Discplining them (if necessary which is very rare) is easier at their home. Mom and Dad pay for the lessons and are thus on my side cool .

#1319959 - 12/07/09 12:50 AM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: Chyan]
DadAgain Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/09/09
Posts: 365
Loc: Brisbane, QLD
I grew up having piano lessons at my teachers house, but my violin/viola lessons in my own home.

My string teacher would teach a number of students from our village (in UK) and would base herself in our house for 1 evening a week. It was very convenient for me and my sister and made things easier for everyone in our little community. It did mean our house became a bit of a musical social hub (not necessarily a bad thing) and no doubt my ability to focus on other schoolwork on those evenings was negatively impacted!

In general - I see no problem with having lessons in the students home - so long as the environment is suitable: i.e. dedicted appropriate room with (for piano lessons) a half-decent piano. I can say without a doubt that for years and years I was NEVER late for a viola lesson, never suffered from having forgotten to bring stuff and didnt complain if my teacher was running a bit late or early....
Orchestral Viola player (stictly amateur)....
Hack Pianist.... (faded skills from glory days 20 yrs ago)
Vague Guitar & Bass player.... (former minor income stream 15 yrs ago)
Former conductor... (been a long time since I was set loose with a magic wand!)

#1319972 - 12/07/09 01:22 AM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: DadAgain]
mstrongpianist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/07/09
Posts: 38
I have a 9yo who's home I visit, and I remember all the reasons why I quit giving piano lessons in the home. Distractions during the learning process doom progress! And she is stagnant. Concepts which once came so easily, she now struggles with. I'd either like to change her environment or drop her all together. She's a bit overscheduled anyway, and add the distracted learning environment and the lack of practice time, this arrangement equals a big waste of money for her parents.


#1320365 - 12/07/09 02:04 PM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: ToriAnais]
MordentMusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/12/09
Posts: 56
Loc: Windsor, Ontario, Canada
each way has its pros and cons. When the student comes to your house, they usually act as a guest, are more well mannered and polite and inclined to pay attention. Not to mention, teachers have more resources in their home for teaching, and generally speaking, a better instrument to play on. Though this can also be nerve wracking for a student, not to mention inconvinient for the parent.

Children who learn at their own home feel more comfortable in their surroundings and with their instruments. You can take a more casual approach to teaching, and better show that you're an ally to their learning experience, and you definitely get more face time with the parents to communicate about any problems, good practicing technique, and just to keep them up to date in general.

I LOVE teaching my students at their house. Better than at my home actually just because I get all that time with their parents, and it doesnt' put me on the spot to have my house pristine for "company"... the only down side is that they want to show you everything... which can be a good motivator for "if you do a good job then you can show me your new video game" but at other times they'll randomly go running out of the room to show you something, or they'll keep toys around the piano and become overly distracted.

I hope this has been helpful... my opinion of the pros and cons of both.
Mordent Music - Offering Piano and Music Theory Lessons in Windsor, Ontario

#1322754 - 12/10/09 03:14 PM Re: lesson at home or not? [Re: ToriAnais]
musiclady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 431
Loc: Toronto, Canada
With my piano students, many of my students have a better instrument than I do at home, and sometimes I like getting out, especially in one of the areas I travel to where I run errands before or after student's lessons (usually after).

Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com


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