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6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! #2739502
05/25/18 07:00 PM
05/25/18 07:00 PM
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sbsmusik Offline OP
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I just signed up two transfer students who have studied almost one year with another teacher, but literally have only played songs using their right hands. They are both 6 years old, smart, musical and seem to enjoy playing the piano, but their old teacher used a method book that doesn't address the left hand or bass clef at all in the first book (called "Piano-K: The Self-Teaching Piano Game"). Surprisingly, they have decent technique and know their treble c-position notes, as well as things like rests, half notes, etc. They've just never used their left hands at all(!!).

We've only had a meet-and-greet lesson so far, but I will see them again next week, and I'm worried about how to keep them interested/motivated while their left hands catch up.

I've never seen this before! Has anyone else had students like this? What did you do? Any suggestions?

Last edited by sbsmusik; 05/25/18 07:01 PM.
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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2739555
05/26/18 12:11 AM
05/26/18 12:11 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
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Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Why don't you write some exercises for them using ONLY the bass clef?


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2739567
05/26/18 01:56 AM
05/26/18 01:56 AM
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Richmond, BC, Canada
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Charles Cohen Offline
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My guess (from a non-teacher):

. . . Their left hands will "catch up" much faster than you expect.

The _conceptual_ work is all done. Only the muscles need to learn what to do. They're six, not sixty, with very plastic brains and nervous systems.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2739895
05/27/18 03:41 PM
05/27/18 03:41 PM
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Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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They aren't that far along. I'd just have them start in your fav method book from the beginning and tell them they're going to learn how to use both hands now. It should go quickly in the early pages for them since their reading is probably pretty good, so teach it as "review" and don't dwell too long on them.


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2740194
05/28/18 07:22 PM
05/28/18 07:22 PM
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And don't forget to congratulate their former teacher for what she did accomplish with them. Teaching five year olds is a dubious endeavour because they learn all you gave them and more in one third the time if you simply wait til they are older.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2740450
05/29/18 03:53 PM
05/29/18 03:53 PM
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Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
And don't forget to congratulate their former teacher for what she did accomplish with them. Teaching five year olds is a dubious endeavour because they learn all you gave them and more in one third the time if you simply wait til they are older.

Do you always discriminate and pigeonhole the kids by age??? You should look at each kid as an individual. There are plenty of 5-year-old piano students who excel better than their 9-year-old counterparts.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2740591
05/30/18 02:37 AM
05/30/18 02:37 AM
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South Florida
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Gary D. Offline
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
And don't forget to congratulate their former teacher for what she did accomplish with them. Teaching five year olds is a dubious endeavour because they learn all you gave them and more in one third the time if you simply wait til they are older.

I'm not going to congratulate any teacher for not teaching. Teaching only the treble clef is horribly bad teaching.

I spend most of my time with transfers undoing damage coming from clueless teachers who should not be teaching in the first place.


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: AZNpiano] #2740592
05/30/18 02:39 AM
05/30/18 02:39 AM
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Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Candywoman
And don't forget to congratulate their former teacher for what she did accomplish with them. Teaching five year olds is a dubious endeavour because they learn all you gave them and more in one third the time if you simply wait til they are older.

Do you always discriminate and pigeonhole the kids by age??? You should look at each kid as an individual. There are plenty of 5-year-old piano students who excel better than their 9-year-old counterparts.

I would not go quite that far. wink

I'm pretty sure that out of every 100 young students, the 9 year-olds are going to play better, in general.

That said, a really talented five year-old who is eager will play rings around a pre-teen or teen who shows up for half the lessons and is looking for a Personal Piano Trainer!


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: AZNpiano] #2740737
05/30/18 02:16 PM
05/30/18 02:16 PM
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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?

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2740752
05/30/18 02:51 PM
05/30/18 02:51 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?

That's a generalization. Just as one case in point, there are plenty of pianists who went to conservatories who even started at 3 years of age, even in modern times. So because you asked to be shown, here is one:

Here is another who is completely different in style/approach, but who like the previous, also started piano at 3 and ended up going to the conservatory:

Last edited by Tyrone Slothrop; 05/30/18 02:53 PM.

across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2740753
05/30/18 02:52 PM
05/30/18 02:52 PM
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California, USA
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
.... 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?


Within my circle of friends, the point of starting piano lessons at a young age is not to produce a prodigy, nor to put that accomplishment on a resume. It's not to get a head start on music so they can be ahead of everyone else. It's not to ensure they will still go back to piano as adults.

It is because the child is really enthusiastic about learning music right at that time.

This goes for any type of learning... ice skating, ballet, drawing.... it's just an outlet for learning, not that they must become experts, or that they do it for the rest of their lives.


Mom of Two Girls Who Used to Be Beginners
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: MomOfBeginners] #2740776
05/30/18 03:34 PM
05/30/18 03:34 PM
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Boynton Beach, FL
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Originally Posted by MomOfBeginners
Originally Posted by Candywoman
.... 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?


Within my circle of friends, the point of starting piano lessons at a young age is not to produce a prodigy, nor to put that accomplishment on a resume. It's not to get a head start on music so they can be ahead of everyone else. It's not to ensure they will still go back to piano as adults.

It is because the child is really enthusiastic about learning music right at that time.

This goes for any type of learning... ice skating, ballet, drawing.... it's just an outlet for learning, not that they must become experts, or that they do it for the rest of their lives.

The thing about piano that differs from the other activities you mentioned, is that it involves fine motor skills that a 3-year-old doesn't possess. I know Suzuki tries to overcome this, but I don't necessarily find Suzuki students ahead of traditional ones who start later - even at age 6 or 7 it's much better. Later for boys usually.

But every child is different. I have once in a while taught 5 year olds and they did very well, with the parent there during the lesson and helping them practice during the week. But again, as they grew, they sort of ended up where older students were who started later and progressed quickly.

Last edited by Morodiene; 05/30/18 03:34 PM.

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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2740788
05/30/18 04:04 PM
05/30/18 04:04 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,647
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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I think this age discrimination thing hit a nerve in me. I never judge a student based on his or her age. There is such a wild gamut of abilities, even within one school year. The advanced kids are bored out of their minds. The struggling kids need more support and are hopelessly lost.

As private piano teachers, we get to cater the education experience to each individual student. None of this "one size fits all" approach.

I don't have a large pool of 5-year-old students in my experience, but the talented ones from that group can outplay many of the 9-year-old starters who are still trying to learn bass clef.


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2740790
05/30/18 04:08 PM
05/30/18 04:08 PM
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Posts: 7,647
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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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.

WRONG! It is unwise for clueless teachers to teach four- and five-year-old students. There are teachers who actually know what they are doing.

Originally Posted by Candywoman
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?

By your ludicrous argument, nobody should take up piano lessons. Medical school resume???


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Morodiene] #2740796
05/30/18 04:19 PM
05/30/18 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MomOfBeginners
...This goes for any type of learning... ice skating, ballet, drawing.... it's just an outlet for learning, not that they must become experts, or that they do it for the rest of their lives.


Originally Posted by Morodiene
...The thing about piano that differs from the other activities you mentioned, is that it involves fine motor skills that a 3-year-old doesn't possess.


Little kids develop motor skills in a big mixed up bunch. Dividing them up into "fine motor" and "gross motor" skills is convenient for those of us studying and promoting development. Most activities require a mix of fine and gross motor skills. Piano, dance, skating, and drawing all have gross and fine motor components. All of these activities involve motor skills that students don't possess; that's why kids take lessons. Motor skills are developed by performing actions.


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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2740805
05/30/18 05:13 PM
05/30/18 05:13 PM
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I asked NOT to be shown videos. They prove nothing. I love Valentina's playing, but she would have been just as good today if she had started at eight. We don't say of famous neurosurgeons, if only they had started their medical studies at 15, they'd be so much farther today. People study things at reasonable ages.

I have heard the five year olds of other teachers play. They look cute. They have no bridge in the hand. Their timing is terrible. They have no finger muscles. They get applause. If that's good enough for a parent, power to you. To me, it's foolhardy.

Last edited by Candywoman; 05/30/18 05:17 PM.
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Morodiene] #2740831
05/30/18 06:14 PM
05/30/18 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Morodiene

The thing about piano that differs from the other activities you mentioned, is that it involves fine motor skills that a 3-year-old doesn't possess. I know Suzuki tries to overcome this, but I don't necessarily find Suzuki students ahead of traditional ones who start later - even at age 6 or 7 it's much better. Later for boys usually.


I'm sure you're right about 3-year-olds vs. 6-year-olds. When I talked about starting piano at a young age, I was referring to 5 and 6 year olds and not 3-year olds.

But my point is not how young students should start. My point is about the goal of learning piano (at least in my area). It's not to get applause. It's not to get a certificate, or to wow an audience. It's about getting 1-on-1 time with a teacher who is nurturing her excitement to learn new skills. That is exciting, and that is why they take lessons in the first place.

And yes, if they go on stage and perform, and fall short because they are too young, we will still feel proud and applaud. But I think you're missing the point if you think that performing and getting applause was the ultimate goal in the first place.


Mom of Two Girls Who Used to Be Beginners
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2740844
05/30/18 07:29 PM
05/30/18 07:29 PM
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I don't mind agreeing that most 3-year olds shouldn't start piano at that age. Even qualify that by saying I can clearly see that the vast majority shouldn't. But every once in a while there is a Mozart or Alma Deutscher who actually benefit from starting earlier. If, for example, Alma Deutscher had started her piano lessons at 8yo, she would have hardly composed her first full-length German opera at 9 years of age! These examples are few in number, but some of these former prodigies, such as Mozart and Chopin have really given us a lot by their musical gifts. I would not wish that Mozart or Chopin start later, since I really can't predict what would have happened to their gifts if they did. So I am glad that some children do start earlier, because every once in a while it pays off enormously.

I think one of the reasons there is opposition to this is an underlying presumption that there is one way to raise children, educate them, and so on. But different cultures can't even agree on a standard, so clearly there isn't one way. I take this issue a little personally, since when I was in school, I wanted out of school, my principal objected, my parents were traditionalists and wouldn't consent, I was a year too young for emancipation, and so I came close to suing the school system to give me a diploma. Fortunately for me, the college of my choice was accustomed to children like me and decided I didn't need a diploma to be admitted rendering my school's recalcitrance irrelevant and they also gave me a tuition waiver which circumvented the issue of obtaining parental consent. With hindsight, I do realize I brought on myself problems of socialization since my fellow students were 5+ years older than me, but to this day, I see nothing inherently wrong in what I did, even if I might not do it again. I'm glad there are open minded institutions like that who do recognize the individuality of students and accommodate that.

My basic feeling is every child is different, and some probably shouldn't begin music ever and others are possibly good to go at 3yo, and for those, there may be other compensations for some of the fine motor skills they lack. Personally, I believe there many Mozarts out there that never happened because they weren't given the right educational opportunities, including perhaps getting opportunities early enough in life.

Last edited by Tyrone Slothrop; 05/30/18 07:36 PM.

across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2740856
05/30/18 08:51 PM
05/30/18 08:51 PM
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In the Ozarks of Missouri
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Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I don't mind agreeing that most 3-year olds shouldn't start piano at that age. Even qualify that by saying I can clearly see that the vast majority shouldn't. But every once in a while there is a Mozart or Alma Deutscher who actually benefit from starting earlier. If, for example, Alma Deutscher had started her piano lessons at 8yo, she would have hardly composed her first full-length German opera at 9 years of age! These examples are few in number, but some of these former prodigies, such as Mozart and Chopin have really given us a lot by their musical gifts. I would not wish that Mozart or Chopin start later, since I really can't predict what would have happened to their gifts if they did. So I am glad that some children do start earlier, because every once in a while it pays off enormously.

I think one of the reasons there is opposition to this is an underlying presumption that there is one way to raise children, educate them, and so on. But different cultures can't even agree on a standard, so clearly there isn't one way. I take this issue a little personally, since when I was in school, I wanted out of school, my principal objected, my parents were traditionalists and wouldn't consent, I was a year too young for emancipation, and so I came close to suing the school system to give me a diploma. Fortunately for me, the college of my choice was accustomed to children like me and decided I didn't need a diploma to be admitted rendering my school's recalcitrance irrelevant and they also gave me a tuition waiver which circumvented the issue of obtaining parental consent. With hindsight, I do realize I brought on myself problems of socialization since my fellow students were 5+ years older than me, but to this day, I see nothing inherently wrong in what I did, even if I might not do it again. I'm glad there are open minded institutions like that who do recognize the individuality of students and accommodate that.

My basic feeling is every child is different, and some probably shouldn't begin music ever and others are possibly good to go at 3yo, and for those, there may be other compensations for some of the fine motor skills they lack. Personally, I believe there many Mozarts out there that never happened because they weren't given the right educational opportunities, including perhaps getting opportunities early enough in life.



My sentiments exactly. How many Mozarts, Liszts, Chopins etc...have WE missed out on because they didn't have the opportunity early in life?

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2740873
05/30/18 10:48 PM
05/30/18 10:48 PM
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Not many. Even what Mozart wrote at 5, we can do without.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2740877
05/30/18 11:09 PM
05/30/18 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
Not many.

I agree with the "not many", which is also what I said, but of those which started early and were great, there were some that were truly great.

Originally Posted by Candywoman
Even what Mozart wrote at 5, we can do without.

But you are assuming that Mozart would have had the same cognitive development if he had started music lessons at, say, 8yo instead. But is that necessarily true? We know that at some point, this not true. The brain has greater plasticity the younger you are. Few world-class concert pianists started in their teens, for example. In fact, I might speculate quite the opposite. That had Mozart started later, he would no longer be "Mozart". Of course this can't be proven either, but it is no more speculative than the thesis that Mozart would still be "Mozart" had he started later. That's why I am say I'd rather not take the chance, and so I am glad Mozart (or Chopin, Saint-Saëns, etc) started when they had, because the result was perfect.

Last edited by Tyrone Slothrop; 05/30/18 11:17 PM.

across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2740881
05/30/18 11:53 PM
05/30/18 11:53 PM
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I am totally lost in this thread. As I understand the purpose of the teacher section, it is primarily for teachers to help each other in teaching matters, share information on teaching, and so forth. The issue the OP has asked her peers for ideas on is that there is a transfer student who spent a year with another teacher, and this child learned to only play with the right hand. This may be tricky to correct.

I cannot see how the fact of the Mozart siblings, whether Nannerl or Amadeus, can in any way help with this situation. I assume that both children were taught the treble and bass clef and to use both hands, they were taught by their father so there is no situation of transfer students to learn from.

Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2740890
05/31/18 12:26 AM
05/31/18 12:26 AM
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Keystring it turned into a debate about what age to start kids in piano lol.
I thought from what I gathered, it was common for piano teachers to not take kids until 6 years old, because they saw the amount learned when the kid started earlier didn't give an edge over them if they started later in many cases. Was that not something I heard here? Maybe in a Facebook group?


Piano Teacher in Training
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: keystring] #2740898
05/31/18 12:46 AM
05/31/18 12:46 AM
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 349
Tyrone Slothrop Offline
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Tyrone Slothrop  Offline
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Posts: 349
Originally Posted by keystring
I am totally lost in this thread. As I understand the purpose of the teacher section, it is primarily for teachers to help each other in teaching matters, share information on teaching, and so forth. The issue the OP has asked her peers for ideas on is that there is a transfer student who spent a year with another teacher, and this child learned to only play with the right hand. This may be tricky to correct.

I cannot see how the fact of the Mozart siblings, whether Nannerl or Amadeus, can in any way help with this situation. I assume that both children were taught the treble and bass clef and to use both hands, they were taught by their father so there is no situation of transfer students to learn from.

I was only pointing out that contrary to an earlier assertion in this thread, there are children who start as early as 3yo who are very successful adult musicians. And that without certain children starting very young, it's possible we wouldn't have had certain famous historical musicians... (possible, in lower case) And as a consequence, while it might be bad for most young children to start music young, it really shouldn't be made as a blanket statement since there are exceptions. That's all.

Last edited by Tyrone Slothrop; 05/31/18 12:55 AM.

across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Candywoman] #2740904
05/31/18 01:45 AM
05/31/18 01:45 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,258
South Florida
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Gary D. Offline
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Gary D.  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2008
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South Florida
Originally Posted by Candywoman
I asked NOT to be shown videos. They prove nothing. I love Valentina's playing, but she would have been just as good today if she had started at eight. We don't say of famous neurosurgeons, if only they had started their medical studies at 15, they'd be so much farther today. People study things at reasonable ages.

I have heard the five year olds of other teachers play. They look cute. They have no bridge in the hand. Their timing is terrible. They have no finger muscles. They get applause. If that's good enough for a parent, power to you. To me, it's foolhardy.

Start kids when they are ready, and when you feel comfortable starting.

I prefer also to start kids at 6 or 7 most of the time, and not all kids are ready at 6. But I'm most certainly not going to make a rule about it.

At any rate, the topic was about what to do with a young student who only knows the treble clef. I'd like to see that topic returned to.


Piano Teacher
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2740905
05/31/18 01:46 AM
05/31/18 01:46 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,258
South Florida
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Gary D. Offline
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Gary D.  Offline
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G
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,258
South Florida
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop

I was only pointing out that contrary to an earlier assertion in this thread, there are children who start as early as 3yo who are very successful adult musicians. And that without certain children starting very young, it's possible we wouldn't have had certain famous historical musicians... (possible, in lower case) And as a consequence, while it might be bad for most young children to start music young, it really shouldn't be made as a blanket statement since there are exceptions. That's all.

That is also my position.


Piano Teacher
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: keystring] #2740910
05/31/18 03:23 AM
05/31/18 03:23 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 7,647
Orange County, CA
AZNpiano Offline
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AZNpiano  Offline
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Posts: 7,647
Orange County, CA
Originally Posted by keystring
I am totally lost in this thread. As I understand the purpose of the teacher section, it is primarily for teachers to help each other in teaching matters, share information on teaching, and so forth. The issue the OP has asked her peers for ideas on is that there is a transfer student who spent a year with another teacher, and this child learned to only play with the right hand. This may be tricky to correct.

But we don't have enough information, so everything we post here is based on mere speculation and (hopeless) extrapolation.

It would be nice if the OP could give us some updates. Or at least more pertinent information.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2740944
05/31/18 08:41 AM
05/31/18 08:41 AM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 106
NM
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NMKeys Offline
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NMKeys  Offline
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NM
Keep in mind, what they are showing you may not be what they have learned. Rarely do they bring ALL of their books with them (usually just the easy books or the ones they like)

I will tell them that this is the time to show me what they know and ...crickets.

Mom or Dad will be there play this song, play that song...crickets.

Sometimes it takes a few lessons to learn that they have a left hand and know how to use it.

If they actually do know nothing about the left hand, you may have to get creative. You will either need to find a left-hand book (does one exist?) or do a little writing yourself. Can you make up a left hand to go with the right hand? Can you work on broken chords or Alberti patterns?


Private Piano Instructor M.M.
Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2741032
05/31/18 03:17 PM
05/31/18 03:17 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 5,340
Reseda, California
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JohnSprung Offline
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JohnSprung  Offline
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Reseda, California
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
I was only pointing out that contrary to an earlier assertion in this thread, there are children who start as early as 3yo who are very successful adult musicians.


I've known two guys like that. The thing they have in common is that they walked over to the piano and reached up and pressed keys -- before they could see the tops of them -- because they *wanted* to. And they kept on pressing keys until they could play melodies by ear -- and from that very early age.

One of them died of leukemia four years ago, and the other is by far the best musician I've ever known personally. He's the one who refuses to even try to teach, because he's known it all so very long he doesn't know how he learned it.





-- J.S.

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Re: 6-year-old wasn't taught left hand! [Re: sbsmusik] #2741052
05/31/18 05:12 PM
05/31/18 05:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2017
Posts: 183
USA
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Andamento Offline
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Andamento  Offline
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I would begin with having the students do a lot of improvising with only their left hands.The Piano Safari and Hal Leonard Student Piano Library methods have nice teacher accompaniments to go with student improvisations. Or create your own.

Writing bass-clef-only exercises for the students, as AZN suggested, is a good idea.

Also consider re-working fingering in the book(s) they already used, and have them play the same music with their left hands instead of their right.

Or, as Morodiene suggested, just start over in whatever method you prefer. I'd add in supplemental left-hand improvisations and bass clef exercises you've written to give them additional left hand practice.

On another note, I was curious about what the Piano-K method was about--the philosophy the author espouses, and so on. I didn't find anything about the rationale behind using only right hand at first, but see that the left hand gets added in in the second book. Which is way too late, IMO!

The strange thing, though, is that your students spent almost a whole year in just that first book? There are only 12 songs in each of the three levels! Why did it take 12 months to do 12 songs?!

I wonder if they got started in the second book somewhere along the line and couldn't integrate the left hand after whatever length of time they spent on right hand only?

Something just seems really off about all that.

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