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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2741088
05/31/18 08:30 PM
05/31/18 08:30 PM
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I had to go look after reading your post. BOOK 1 is only supposed to take 12 WEEKS not months! It is supposed to be 1 song a week. It sounds like more of a homeschool/home learning book than a teacher-guided book. If that took a year, you are going to have bigger problems on your hands than just a missing left hand.


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: NMKeys] #2741100
05/31/18 09:00 PM
05/31/18 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by NMKeys
I had to go look after reading your post. BOOK 1 is only supposed to take 12 WEEKS not months! It is supposed to be 1 song a week. It sounds like more of a homeschool/home learning book than a teacher-guided book. If that took a year, you are going to have bigger problems on your hands than just a missing left hand.


Yes, and when I googled the series, somewhere it said it (Book 1, maybe, or the whole 3-book series?) was intended for 2-4-year-olds! These particular students the OP mentions were probably 5 years old when they started--and were going way slower than the recommended pace for toddlers?!

What a waste on so many levels!

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Andamento] #2741158
06/01/18 03:18 AM
06/01/18 03:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Andamento
Yes, and when I googled the series, somewhere it said it (Book 1, maybe, or the whole 3-book series?) was intended for 2-4-year-olds! These particular students the OP mentions were probably 5 years old when they started--and were going way slower than the recommended pace for toddlers?!

One thing is for certain: At this age, mastery is not guaranteed upon first exposure. A good instructional series would take a cyclic or spiral approach, reiterating the same concepts periodically. Most little ones actually don't mind excessive repetition that would drive us adults crazy beyond belief.

Originally Posted by Andamento
What a waste on so many levels!

Well, for one thing, it's a big money-maker for the publisher. But, on a more practical level, it gives the student a sense of accomplishment, that they actually finished something.

This was my biggest issue with Succeeding at the Piano's first book. It is so dense and L_O_N_G that it takes forever to get through, especially for the slower kids or kids with very little passion for piano to begin with.


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: AZNpiano] #2741414
06/01/18 08:23 PM
06/01/18 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
This was my biggest issue with Succeeding at the Piano's first book. It is so dense and L_O_N_G that it takes forever to get through, especially for the slower kids or kids with very little passion for piano to begin with.


Yes, SATP Preparatory level is very long. Well, their Prep book that came out in 2010 anyway. They've since (copyright 2014) published an All-In-One Approach containing more books, with fewer pages. Whereas what was four books in the original series before getting to Grade 3 (Preparatory, Grade 1, Grade 2A, and Grade 2B), the All in One series has seven books before Grade 3: Preparatory A, Prep B, 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, and 2C.

I haven't used any of the all-in-one SATP books, but the one free sample I received of Prep A had 52 pages to the original series' Prep book's 88. So at least those newer books are shorter, though all-in-one books can have some drawbacks, too.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2743370
06/10/18 08:50 AM
06/10/18 08:50 AM
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There are 2 types of arrangements you can get students to start using their left hand.
1 type involve melodies that juggle between L & R. A student is still technically playing 1 line of music, just that notes to the L or R of the mid-C will be played with the appropriate hand.
The other type is chords. Before even getting into reading the Bass line in a serious way, you can introduce students to playing music with simple chords. An easy piece like "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in C you can add 3 basic chords like C (CEG), F (FAC) & G (GBD). Get the student to play with just the R and then introduce chords a few bars at a time until the student is comfortable filling in the whole song with chords.

After they are comfortable playing with both hands, you can introduce reading the Bass Clef. A student needs to be able to play the R and then the L line separately with accuracy before putting the 2 hands together.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2743509
06/10/18 07:13 PM
06/10/18 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
Yes. It is extremely rare to find a five year old student who is able to handle piano lessons. If they are, it doesn't prove the point that a five year old should take lessons. Just wait til they're older, I say. You will achieve everything just as well. If you just wait til they're older, there is less risk of burnout in the student. They do better in far less time. It saves the teacher the behavioural challenges. It saves the parents money and time. In short, it's unwise to teach four and five year olds piano. And don't show me some youtube videos of four year olds. It doesn't mean a thing. Show me where they are at a much later age like eighteen and compare them to other eighteen year olds. Most students don't go beyond eighteen anyhow. I want to see long term gain. Where are all those prodigies? Do they show up at the university in music? No. I didn't see any of them at my university. Often their parents just want their kid's resume to look good for medical school. Do they play the piano as adults?

I have been rather shocked by the view expressed in this thread that children of five are too young to start piano lessons. I am not a prodigy, I am not a gifted player, I am a moderately competent amateur player. I started lessons at 5 and have been enjoying the piano since then. I cannot see that starting the piano at that age has done me any harm whatsoever. If I had started later I might never have taken to the piano at all.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: David-G] #2743513
06/10/18 07:38 PM
06/10/18 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by David-G
I have been rather shocked by the view expressed in this thread that children of five are too young to start piano lessons. I am not a prodigy, I am not a gifted player, I am a moderately competent amateur player. I started lessons at 5 and have been enjoying the piano since then. I cannot see that starting the piano at that age has done me any harm whatsoever. If I had started later I might never have taken to the piano at all.

On the flip side of the coin, I've taught many late-starters (ages 8, 9, and up) who are completely ill-prepared for piano lessons, mentally, physically, or both! Two of the worst students I've ever encountered are cousins who both started piano at age 11.

The best course of action is to refrain from making any generalized statements about age and piano-readiness. It really, really depends on the individual student.


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: David-G] #2743543
06/10/18 10:22 PM
06/10/18 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by David-G
Originally Posted by Candywoman
Yes. It is extremely rare to find a five year old student who is able to handle piano lessons. If they are, it doesn't prove the point that a five year old should take lessons. Just wait til they're older, I say. You will achieve everything just as well. If you just wait til they're older, there is less risk of burnout in the student. They do better in far less time. It saves the teacher the behavioural challenges. It saves the parents money and time. In short, it's unwise to teach four and five year olds piano. And don't show me some youtube videos of four year olds. It doesn't mean a thing. Show me where they are at a much later age like eighteen and compare them to other eighteen year olds. Most students don't go beyond eighteen anyhow. I want to see long term gain. Where are all those prodigies? Do they show up at the university in music? No. I didn't see any of them at my university. Often their parents just want their kid's resume to look good for medical school. Do they play the piano as adults?

I have been rather shocked by the view expressed in this thread that children of five are too young to start piano lessons. I am not a prodigy, I am not a gifted player, I am a moderately competent amateur player. I started lessons at 5 and have been enjoying the piano since then. I cannot see that starting the piano at that age has done me any harm whatsoever. If I had started later I might never have taken to the piano at all.

Typical starting for lessons also has a cultural component. According to the wife, in the countries of the former Soviet Union, 6yo is quite a usual age to start the standard 7yr music school program. She says the end result of 7 yrs is just that you are considered a "proficient" pianist that can play most any score, so in that case, I'd guess this is probably equivalent to ABRSM 8 or RCM 10, or close to that. Keep in mind that until relatively recent times, school prior to the University/Institute in those countries was also only 10 years and not 12, so this just goes to show there is nothing really absolute about a lot of our western assumptions about children and how much they need this or the other thing, or what age is especially good for something or other.

Perhaps one of our Russian readers can either verify or amend what I just said above.

Last edited by Tyrone Slothrop; 06/10/18 10:24 PM.

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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: David-G] #2745121
06/17/18 02:39 PM
06/17/18 02:39 PM
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David G,
Your experiences are only anecdotal evidence and would not help a pedagogue understand when to teach a young child piano. You seem to think that since nothing bad happened to you for starting earlier that nothing better could have happened to you if you had started later.

I'm glad you succeeded as an amateur, but have you ever considered that the instruction you got may have limited you in some way? Perhaps you could have been a gifted player with proper instruction. Perhaps your parents selected your teacher based on the fact that she taught five year olds. Supposing they had picked a piano teacher who refused to teach anyone under six? Supposing that teacher had been able to get twice as much out of you in your first year of piano instruction? It follows that teachers who are wise in one decision may be wiser in others.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2745140
06/17/18 05:00 PM
06/17/18 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by sbsmusik
I just signed up two transfer students .....

We've only had a meet-and-greet lesson so far, but I will see them again next week...

Update? How did it go? smile Any insights yet for teachers who may run into this at some point?

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: David-G] #2745141
06/17/18 05:10 PM
06/17/18 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by David-G
Originally Posted by Candywoman
Yes. It is extremely rare to find a five year old student who is able to handle piano lessons. If they are, it doesn't prove the point that a five year old should take lessons. Just wait til they're older, I say. You will achieve everything just as well. If you just wait til they're older, there is less risk of burnout in the student. They do better in far less time. It saves the teacher the behavioural challenges. It saves the parents money and time. In short, it's unwise to teach four and five year olds piano. And don't show me some youtube videos of four year olds. It doesn't mean a thing. Show me where they are at a much later age like eighteen and compare them to other eighteen year olds. Most students don't go beyond eighteen anyhow. I want to see long term gain. Where are all those prodigies? Do they show up at the university in music? No. I didn't see any of them at my university. Often their parents just want their kid's resume to look good for medical school. Do they play the piano as adults?

I have been rather shocked by the view expressed in this thread that children of five are too young to start piano lessons. I am not a prodigy, I am not a gifted player, I am a moderately competent amateur player. I started lessons at 5 and have been enjoying the piano since then. I cannot see that starting the piano at that age has done me any harm whatsoever. If I had started later I might never have taken to the piano at all.



I agree with David G. It is shocking to hear "some" of the teachers saying a five year old is too young to begin lessons. It is also encouraging that "other" teachers disagree and say every student is different, and thus you cannot pick an age and say it is too young (or too old?). Again, this is a very good reason for both teachers and prospective students to interview each other or at least have a discussion before beginning lessons.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2745143
06/17/18 05:13 PM
06/17/18 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
Yes. It is extremely rare to find a five year old student who is able to handle piano lessons. If they are, it doesn't prove the point that a five year old should take lessons. Just wait til they're older, I say. You will achieve everything just as well. If you just wait til they're older, there is less risk of burnout in the student. They do better in far less time. It saves the teacher the behavioural challenges. It saves the parents money and time. In short, it's unwise to teach four and five year olds piano. And don't show me some youtube videos of four year olds. It doesn't mean a thing. Show me where they are at a much later age like eighteen and compare them to other eighteen year olds. Most students don't go beyond eighteen anyhow. I want to see long term gain. Where are all those prodigies? Do they show up at the university in music? No. I didn't see any of them at my university. Often their parents just want their kid's resume to look good for medical school. Do they play the piano as adults?


I'm glad no one told my parents he should wait when I started lessons at the conservatory at 6 years old. I studied piano for 20 years and take master piano lessons when I can.

Steve


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2745145
06/17/18 05:14 PM
06/17/18 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sbsmusik
I just signed up two transfer students .....

We've only had a meet-and-greet lesson so far, but I will see them again next week...

Update? How did it go? smile Any insights yet for teachers who may run into this at some point?

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: keystring] #2745199
06/18/18 12:45 AM
06/18/18 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by keystring
Originally Posted by sbsmusik
I just signed up two transfer students .....

We've only had a meet-and-greet lesson so far, but I will see them again next week...

Update? How did it go? smile Any insights yet for teachers who may run into this at some point?

I think we have collectively scared away another OP.


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2747178
06/26/18 12:15 PM
06/26/18 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
Your experiences are only anecdotal evidence and would not help a pedagogue understand when to teach a young child piano. You seem to think that since nothing bad happened to you for starting earlier that nothing better could have happened to you if you had started later.

Here is a non-anecdotal research, and the results of earlier studies. Both studies show positive effects for children 4-6yo with early music education.


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2747374
06/27/18 07:36 AM
06/27/18 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Candywoman
Your experiences are only anecdotal evidence and would not help a pedagogue understand when to teach a young child piano. You seem to think that since nothing bad happened to you for starting earlier that nothing better could have happened to you if you had started later.

Here is a non-anecdotal research, and the results of earlier studies. Both studies show positive effects for children 4-6yo with early music education.


Two interesting studies! I have always "heard" this, which is why I started my son on the piano when he was very young. I think it is very important to find a teacher that knows how to teach such young students. For that matter, it is also important for "us" older students to also find a teacher that knows how to teach senior citizens.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2747507
06/27/18 02:46 PM
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A lot of my youngest students come with grandparents, not parents, and I teach BOTH at the same time.

I see no difference, really. It's always the same thing. Get them to understand how to find lines and spaces, get fluency. I disagree wish so much that is written about how to teach anyone that I rarely post here any more.

Any skill that challenges the brain and develops new abilities is important, at any age. Not just for children. Learning to do music correctly is a hugely positive thing for everything else.

I don't need studies to tell me I'm right.


Piano Teacher
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2747684
06/28/18 01:35 AM
06/28/18 01:35 AM
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Multiple studies have shown that children who began musical training before age 5 with a minimum of 15 months of training had a larger corpus collosum than those that didn't. Study on the benefits of early musical training on the corpus callosum (The function of the corpus callosum is to integrate motor, sensory, and cognitive performances between the two halves of the brain contributing significantly to efficient executive function, or the execution and maintenance more generally of complex cognitive abilities.) Other studies have shown that musicians have a 11-25% larger corpus callosum. Musicians have a significantly larger corpus collosum Although this is not necessarily a cause/effect relationship with children who started music lessons early, it is suggestive and food for thought.


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2747958
06/29/18 01:28 AM
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Here is a non-anecdotal research, and the results of earlier studies. Both studies show positive effects for children 4-6yo with early music education.[/quote]

The first research project was done in Beijing. This is an entirely different culture than what we have here. For starters, they beat their kids to get them to do as they wish. Secondly, the culture supports sacrificing to learn something. Thirdly, we don't know what was taught at the lessons and we don't know if all the same benefits would have accrued if the kids were allowed to play around freely and take piano later, say at the age of seven.

I could only find the abstract for the second study.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2747961
06/29/18 01:42 AM
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The third study might be true, but it doesn't answer the question of what sort of musical training is needed in early childhood to get the benefits of a larger corpus callosum, (perhaps they need only sing and dance?) nor lacking this advantage, how a student could catch up in less than one year given the correct teacher.

Finding a good teacher is more critical. After that, practice is the number one consideration: how much, and what quality of practice. You don't have to begin too early to be successful.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2747962
06/29/18 01:48 AM
06/29/18 01:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
The first research project was done in Beijing. This is an entirely different culture than what we have here. For starters, they beat their kids to get them to do as they wish. Secondly, the culture supports sacrificing to learn something. .

Do you speak with Chinese people on a regular basis? Your assumptions reflect VERY outdated constructs.


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2748013
06/29/18 08:12 AM
06/29/18 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman

The first research project was done in Beijing. This is an entirely different culture than what we have here. For starters, they beat their kids to get them to do as they wish. Secondly, the culture supports sacrificing to learn something.


Ouch! I don't think you meant to be offensive with this, but those statements haven't been generally true for decades, if ever. The only family I have left is comprised of my Taiwanese in-laws, and (like many teachers) I get Asian students in my studio. Among my students and their families, and also among my family, even considering the actual "tiger" parents, I only know one person who believes in physical punishments. And while many of these parents do sacrifice for their children's education (a laudable practice, IMHO, if the kid appreciates it), that is certainly not true across the board.


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Austin, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko", Baldwin Upright, Yamaha P-255
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Dr. Rogers] #2748040
06/29/18 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Originally Posted by Candywoman

The first research project was done in Beijing. This is an entirely different culture than what we have here. For starters, they beat their kids to get them to do as they wish. Secondly, the culture supports sacrificing to learn something.

...those statements haven't been generally true for decades,

True.

Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
...if ever.

Not true.

Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
The only family I have left is comprised of my Taiwanese in-laws...

Also, note Beijing culture is very different from Taiwan culture. Almost like Singapore, they really only share a language and some ancestral roots at this point. (OK, I'm bucking the "One China" people here. LOL.) But this difference doesn't make what you said less true or what Candywoman said more true.


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2748073
06/29/18 01:19 PM
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I'm speaking of Chinese people in Beijing, not North America.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2748161
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
I'm speaking of Chinese people in Beijing, not North America.


It is still NOT true! How long have you lived or worked in China to make these kinds of statements?!

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2748171
06/29/18 10:40 PM
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I just went back on this thread. We have ONE unfortunate statement by Candywoman getting all the attention, and the actual things have gotten lost. I suggest the idea be dropped entirely about how kids might have been taught in Beijing and culture of sacrifice, because these seem red herrings and thus unfortunate.

At issue were some studies that were cited. I looked at the "non-anectodal research". it starts off sounding impressive, because the study was done by "MIT". Then right after "piano lessons have a very specific effect on kindergartners' ability to distinguish different pitches, which translates into an improvement in discriminating between spoken words....." Ok, as a trained educator at the primary level, as well as a linguist, I have never heard of pitch awareness helping with language. But then we it's in Beijing where the language is by nature tonal. As usual we have a generalized eye catching title, typical of journalism, and people will go with impressions and miss the facts.

For the corpus callosum - did they put all those young children through CAT scans, once before and once after piano lessons, to determine an size increase?

How about having piano lessons for the purpose of learning to play the piano? At an age where the child is ready to participate, which will vary from child to child.
Originally Posted by Candywoman
Finding a good teacher is more critical. After that, practice is the number one consideration: how much, and what quality of practice.

I can't help but agree with both these points.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2748174
06/29/18 10:54 PM
06/29/18 10:54 PM
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Posts: 15,965
Canada
keystring Offline
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(Can't edit typos.)

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2748201
06/30/18 03:46 AM
06/30/18 03:46 AM
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AZNpiano Offline
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Until the OP decides to come back and provide more information, this thread is just going to veer off topic.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: AZNpiano] #2748203
06/30/18 04:13 AM
06/30/18 04:13 AM
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Canada
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Until the OP decides to come back and provide more information, this thread is just going to veer off topic.

You have a point.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2748238
06/30/18 08:22 AM
06/30/18 08:22 AM
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malkin Offline
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I have seen other research comparing brain activity (PET scans, maybe, but don't remember for sure) of adults who had music instruction as children with adults who had regular instruction in some other activity.

The studies showed differences related to duration of instruction, but didn't look at the musical skill outcomes of the subjects. I guess there may be parents who enroll their kids in piano lessons with the goal of creating a bigger corpus callosum, but my guess is that most parents want their kid to learn to play piano.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

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