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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: malkin] #2748243
06/30/18 07:36 AM
06/30/18 07:36 AM
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 4,118
Virginia, USA
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Virginia, USA
Originally Posted by malkin
but my guess is that most parents want their kid to learn to play piano.


Or some similar goal.

I sent my kids to lessons for a specific reason. I wanted them to get the basics of music language at an early age. They hadn't expressed interest, really, but it was my observation that adults I knew who attempted learning an instrument or joining a choir at an advanced age, without the childhood background, really struggled and in fact normally failed. So it was sort of an investment in their possible future. Whether they chose to do anything with it later would be up to them - but the groundwork would have been laid; I did not expect either to achieve any great facility. (I did require practice.)


gotta go practice
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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: keystring] #2748259
06/30/18 08:30 AM
06/30/18 08:30 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 725
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by keystring
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?

I guess it was something like that - it sure as heck wasn't dissection! wink


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2748261
06/30/18 08:42 AM
06/30/18 08:42 AM
Joined: May 2015
Posts: 3,740
Florida
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by keystring
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?

I guess it was something like that - it sure as heck wasn't dissection! wink


US/Canadian longitudinal study: MRIs are used

Brain plasticity -music

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: NobleHouse] #2748265
06/30/18 09:06 AM
06/30/18 09:06 AM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,155
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Candywoman Offline
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse
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?!


Check out this article.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/10/world/asia/china-corporal-punishment-education-discipline.html

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2748277
06/30/18 09:46 AM
06/30/18 09:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,842
*sigh* Salt Lake City
malkin Offline
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
Originally Posted by NobleHouse
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?!


Check out this article.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/10/world/asia/china-corporal-punishment-education-discipline.html



Every year I am told by parents of various ethnic backgrounds in the US that they discipline their kids physically and they wish the school would do so as well. As school staff, we suggest other methods.


I've been trying to change my signature quote for weeks.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2748364
06/30/18 04:06 PM
06/30/18 04:06 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 971
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Online content
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In the Ozarks of Missouri
Originally Posted by Candywoman
Originally Posted by NobleHouse
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?!


Check out this article.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/10/world/asia/china-corporal-punishment-education-discipline.html


And here is an article talking about how 70% of Americans think it is ok to hit their kids. My only point is that this thought process is not only in China, but throughout most of the world, including the U.S. Doesn't make it right though....

https://www.brookings.edu/research/hitting-kids-american-parenting-and-physical-punishment/

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2748385
06/30/18 05:31 PM
06/30/18 05:31 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 725
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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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. You don't have to begin too early to be successful.

I sense a real resistance to the idea that some younger children benefit from early music education. While you may be right in general sense (my 25yo is still not yet ready for piano lessons! haha), I can't see how you can deny that there are those who benefit. Lydie Solomon started at age 2 and was accepted to a conservatory by age 7, and won first prize in the Paris Conservatory at 14. Martha Argerich started piano at age 3 and played her debut concert at 8 with Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 1 & Mozart's Piano Concerto No 20. Why do you think it is so impossible that young children might benefit from early music education, and some much more than others? Is it just that it goes against your personal experience? Have you considered that there might just be something off with your personal sample of students?


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2748415
06/30/18 08:33 PM
06/30/18 08:33 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 555
Hawaii
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TheHappyPianoMuse Offline
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Hawaii
Over the years I have evolved my own style of teaching based on my "spiritual" belief that music is one of life's great gifts. That to make learning the piano an arduous continuation of regular school work is a sure way to squelch any enthusiasm. And is to me a great tragedy. I want to make the learning process a joy ... for some like a game, for others a goal.

I have been uniquely fortunate that my financial wants are few ( I didn't even have a car until an ex gave me his old one and I learned to drive at 60 ) and apart from the first few years in the US, I have had the freedom to choose my way of teaching and my choice of students. In thirty years I have had only one which I dropped ( diplomatically over the summer vacation) because of her "teen" attitude and lacquered fingernails. I like to think most of my students have had music in their lives in one way or another. Some of the students advanced to teaching in Conservatories and Universities. And many later told me that standing beside the piano as I belted out snippets of a concert level performance hooked them forever. We shared happy happy times together.

My only problem has been parents. And I've weeded most of them out with that first phone interview. I never consented to preparing for the traditional exams .... I consider the first 8 or 9 levels to be a waste of time. Although I do refer to the RCM books which are excellent. I do not give formal recitals. A piano"party" is an alternative. I do not want pressure laid upon my students. What I DO want is for them to learn to read the notes. Above all to READ the notes. Fluently and easily, Because that's the key to enjoying playing the piano way after those lessons are over.

And the age question for me was a personal decision. Unless the child can read and write in his own language, fluently ... he's going to have problems coordinating those notes, with their names and values and fingerings and their time values and the correct pulse and tempo and dynamic. And on and on and on. . Reading music challenges the brain as mere reading and writing a language does not.

An older child will learn MUCH faster and that omnipresent enemy ... which is boredom ... is forestalled. An older child's fingers will be stronger and his hand larger. His attention span will be greater. If a child begins piano at 6 ... and when he's 9, his best friend of the same age, begins lessons ... by 10 and 1/2 they will be at almost the same level. And the one who started later will be much more engaged. Yes I know teachers will howl at me for this. And there ARE exceptional students who can begin much earlier.

But I'm interested in the majority. And I want to share music as a joy .... not another tool for parents' competitive urges. I prefer students to be 6 or 7, fluent in reading their own language and able to sit still for the half hour lesson. And with those parameters I could always promise them a fun lesson. With snatches of concert level music played by me as a reward at the end of the lesson and always allowing them a "dream" piece of music after their regular work. And above all, offering praise and encouragement with humor and above all ..... JOY. grin yippie

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2748422
06/30/18 09:49 PM
06/30/18 09:49 PM
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,155
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It's not so much you sensing a resistance, but rather me having outlined all the reasons why children could and should wait with piano lessons until a reasonable age.

If children take one of those early music programs for four and five- year- olds, as opposed to piano lessons, it might help in one area or another, but it's not necessary. Most commonly it's a way for piano teachers to ensure themselves beginning students before other teachers get a crack at them.

But I'm not going to argue with you anymore. Your argument would be like a 90 year old who has smoked all her life advocating for smoking because she happens to have good health. It might be true in a few isolated cases that smoking can help you age better, but the evidence is in that it will likely be the cause of a great many health problems.

If a parent really wanted their child to have a head start in piano lessons, I think their best bet would be to sing a lot with their children and march around the room in time. Also, they can spend a lot of time valuing music in their home and talking about it, and taking walks out in nature for inspiration.

But ultimately, the secret is in the stars, because doing all this won't guarantee a musically gifted child. The real test is when the child is challenged by his first gifted music teacher and practices with joy. Other components can give a child an edge, like the visual arts. By the same token, having a particularly keen parent who can break problems down on a daily basis could help.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2748433
06/30/18 10:38 PM
06/30/18 10:38 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 725
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
500 Post Club Member
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Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 725
Originally Posted by Candywoman
It's not so much you sensing a resistance, but rather me having outlined all the reasons why children could and should wait with piano lessons until a reasonable age.

Even if you are right 98+% of the time with this approach of starting later, you miss out on the 2% which could benefit from an earlier start. And perhaps you are not the person to teach that 2%, but maybe there is someone out there to do that.

I don't have a stake in this music argument. My own child was never ready for piano at any age, and I don't think she is ready even now in her 20's. However, extending from music to a non-arts, academic realm, there are people such as my former high school principal who believed children should only go to the university who finished 12 years of school and that if one didn't finish 12 years, by definition, one was not ready for the university, and therefore he should actively oppose any moves to depart from this tried and true model. Fortunately (or unfortunately, as some might think), the university I ultimately attended disagreed with that viewpoint and admitted me 3.5 years "too early" even though my principal refused me a graduating diploma, and then because my parents also were siding with my principal, the university waived my tuition so that I could attend without my parent's active participation in this process.

As you said to David-G, this is at best anecdotal and has no instructive value, and I am not claiming any for my story, but based on that anecdotal experience, I honestly believe that true readiness depends on the individual involved. I am hopeful that there are teachers who would nurture a ready individual, regardless of their specific age -- or else there would be no more anecdotes to the contrary from anyone, everyone being forced to conform to the same instructional mould.


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: TheHappyPianoMuse] #2748464
07/01/18 04:22 AM
07/01/18 04:22 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,323
South Florida
G
Gary D. Offline
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Gary D.  Offline
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G

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,323
South Florida
Originally Posted by TheHappyPianoMuse
Over the years I have evolved my own style of teaching based on my "spiritual" belief that music is one of life's great gifts. That to make learning the piano an arduous continuation of regular school work is a sure way to squelch any enthusiasm. And is to me a great tragedy. I want to make the learning process a joy ... for some like a game, for others a goal.

I have been uniquely fortunate that my financial wants are few ( I didn't even have a car until an ex gave me his old one and I learned to drive at 60 ) and apart from the first few years in the US, I have had the freedom to choose my way of teaching and my choice of students. In thirty years I have had only one which I dropped ( diplomatically over the summer vacation) because of her "teen" attitude and lacquered fingernails. I like to think most of my students have had music in their lives in one way or another. Some of the students advanced to teaching in Conservatories and Universities. And many later told me that standing beside the piano as I belted out snippets of a concert level performance hooked them forever. We shared happy happy times together.

My only problem has been parents. And I've weeded most of them out with that first phone interview. I never consented to preparing for the traditional exams .... I consider the first 8 or 9 levels to be a waste of time. Although I do refer to the RCM books which are excellent. I do not give formal recitals. A piano"party" is an alternative. I do not want pressure laid upon my students. What I DO want is for them to learn to read the notes. Above all to READ the notes. Fluently and easily, Because that's the key to enjoying playing the piano way after those lessons are over.

And the age question for me was a personal decision. Unless the child can read and write in his own language, fluently ... he's going to have problems coordinating those notes, with their names and values and fingerings and their time values and the correct pulse and tempo and dynamic. And on and on and on. . Reading music challenges the brain as mere reading and writing a language does not.

An older child will learn MUCH faster and that omnipresent enemy ... which is boredom ... is forestalled. An older child's fingers will be stronger and his hand larger. His attention span will be greater. If a child begins piano at 6 ... and when he's 9, his best friend of the same age, begins lessons ... by 10 and 1/2 they will be at almost the same level. And the one who started later will be much more engaged. Yes I know teachers will howl at me for this. And there ARE exceptional students who can begin much earlier.

But I'm interested in the majority. And I want to share music as a joy .... not another tool for parents' competitive urges. I prefer students to be 6 or 7, fluent in reading their own language and able to sit still for the half hour lesson. And with those parameters I could always promise them a fun lesson. With snatches of concert level music played by me as a reward at the end of the lesson and always allowing them a "dream" piece of music after their regular work. And above all, offering praise and encouragement with humor and above all ..... JOY. grin yippie




Nice message. Yes, children starting very young may progress much slower, so starting a kid at 4 who is not ready and very special may mean that by age 12 he or she is not much further ahead than another who starts at 7. That said, we want to get them started as soon as they are ready, so it's a judgement call. The flip side is that a very young child may be super excited about something very simple, while an older kid tends to be more impatient about getting to things that are more advanced sounding and thus seem more impressive.

Age six to seven seems about ideal for kids who are ready, but I would never rule out starting earlier for the special ones who are also ready.


Piano Teacher
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2748589
07/01/18 03:47 PM
07/01/18 03:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,323
South Florida
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Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I am hopeful that there are teachers who would nurture a ready individual, regardless of their specific age -- or else there would be no more anecdotes to the contrary from anyone, everyone being forced to conform to the same instructional mould.

I insist on a trial lesson for very young students, but I never rule out that a little one might be ready. If 1000 kids age 4 all start really slowly or make no headway at all, that doesn't mean that #1001 might not be a total outlier.

It is best to keep an open mind and leave things open for exceptions.

And, by the way, your principle was a total idiot.

Last edited by Gary D.; 07/01/18 03:47 PM.

Piano Teacher
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Gary D.] #2748596
07/01/18 04:42 PM
07/01/18 04:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2018
Posts: 971
In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Online content
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NobleHouse  Online Content
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Joined: Jan 2018
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In the Ozarks of Missouri
Originally Posted by Gary D.
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I am hopeful that there are teachers who would nurture a ready individual, regardless of their specific age -- or else there would be no more anecdotes to the contrary from anyone, everyone being forced to conform to the same instructional mould.

I insist on a trial lesson for very young students, but I never rule out that a little one might be ready. If 1000 kids age 4 all start really slowly or make no headway at all, that doesn't mean that #1001 might not be a total outlier.

It is best to keep an open mind and leave things open for exceptions.

And, by the way, your principle was a total idiot.


As a non piano educator, I agree with Gary D. on both points made in his post!

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Gary D.] #2748598
07/01/18 04:52 PM
07/01/18 04:52 PM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 725
Tyrone Slothrop Online content
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Originally Posted by Gary D.
It is best to keep an open mind and leave things open for exceptions.

thumb

Originally Posted by Gary D.
And, by the way, your principle was a total idiot.

Well, he thought he was looking out for my best interest. I still remember, decades later the phrase he used: "academically mature." "You are not academically mature enough to go to the university." Nearest I can figure out even today is that his idea of academic maturity, whatever that might mean, was tied to chronological age, because what else could it be tied to? Fortunately, my U. also probably did not know what he meant either! laugh

I don't begrudge people doing what they think is best for other people's welfare, but sometimes what they think is right is not, and then if they become obstinate about their perspective on the right thing, well...


across the stone, deathless piano performances
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