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#915977 - 03/01/03 06:57 PM Re: Getting the kids to practice
BeeLady Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 2340
Loc: Massachusetts
Originally posted by Palindrome:
You might (if it doesn't bother the refinisher) take them by the refinisher's shop, so they can see "their piano" progress.[/b]

Great minds think alike! This is just what we are doing in a few weeks to check out the place before we send ours out. Should be fun!

Now I am being "forced" take the 8 year old to cello lessons starting Monday! (Yeah!! \:\) ) See, all that fussing about practicing was just an act. He really does want to play, just not the piano..

I may just print this entire thread with all these terrific ideas. What a great generation of musicians we should have in just a few years!

Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!

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#915978 - 03/01/03 11:57 PM Re: Getting the kids to practice
ejks Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 175
Loc: Land of Lincoln
So many good responses and input here. \:\) I just enjoyed reading it so much I have begun passing on some of the ideas to some of my piano student's parents. I just wanted to share one little thing that may not work nowadays but it worked for my mom. Once we decided that I take lessons we made a deal that I had to practice while she did the supper dishes. Part of the agreement was that if I didn't keep up my end of the bargain she said I would have to quit lessons and do the dishes every night. Well wouldn't you know it? That kept me going. \:\) I eventually earned a B.Mus in piano performance and a Master's in composition. Music has been my life and I can't imagine how things would have gone had she not "bribed" me. This probably wouldn't work for most but I can look back and honestly say I was thankful for her "encouragement".
People will tell you they know what they like but what they really mean is they like what they know.

#915979 - 03/02/03 09:29 AM Re: Getting the kids to practice
Gardener Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/26/02
Posts: 290
Loc: New Jersey
Originally posted by ob1knabe:

Gardener--beautifully written.
Thank you. Great thread! \:\)
Two roads diverged in the woods and I ... I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.(R. Frost)

#915980 - 03/04/03 12:26 PM Re: Getting the kids to practice
ob1knabe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 141
Loc: New Jersey
I just wanted to thank everyone for their ideas. I know that I will certainly benefit from many of your suggestions. (And, yes, we've already made a few visits to the piano refinishers--so much fun!!!)

Magnezium--I think you sum it up great:

"It'll probably last long enough to get them addicted, but after that the discovery of true music takes place and then an altogether different kind of magic comes into play...do I make sense?"

Yes, you make sense! In fact, I believe that type of magic is even better than the kind you find a Disney World. \:\)
"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever"
John Keats

#915981 - 03/04/03 04:08 PM Re: Getting the kids to practice
bcarey Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 3378
Loc: North Carolina

I absolutely loved your post about your 2 year old twins! Perhaps, you have the real secret to initiating an early interest in music.

That reminded me of my 4 year old granddaughter who just might be the singer in the family. At Christmas, she was shopping at Walmart with her mom who sings songs to her all the time. All of a sudden she broke out with a very enthusiastic rendition of "Joy to the World" in perfect pitch (of course) while strolling down the isles with her mom. According to her mom, everyone in the store stopped dead in their tracks, listened and smiled as she sang every word to the first verse. I wish I had been there!

We are now teaching her to sing:

Joy to the World, all the boys and girls now.
Joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea.
Joy to you and me.

Gotta give these Walmart folks an encore! \:\)

#915982 - 03/06/03 04:08 PM Re: Getting the kids to practice
bboy1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 29
Loc: Illinois
I have a son (10) and daughter (8). However it was my wife and I that were interested in piano lessons. I took lessons for a short period of time when I was around 10 and then quit.

I decided I wanted to try it again, and my wife was interested too. We bought a piano and here's the amazing part, and the part where it gets on topic.

My kids were completely amazed with the look of a grand piano. My wife and I decided to get a player with the piano. Once my kids heard some songs they liked on the player and saw the keys moving and the hammers hitting the strings, they were hooked. Today (2 years later) they still put on songs they like and watch/listen. My son is learning "The Entertainer" and is constantly playing it on the player and then trying to duplicate it.

So I guess my first recommendation is that if you have access to a player, find some songs the kids like and let them listen and watch the piano.

The second and more practical way is to take lessons with them (I believe this was mentioned above). Luckily I'm a little more advanced than my son. He is constantly striving to "catch up" with me.

As for my daughter. She will do anything my son does and try her hardest to do it better.

Both children will be better than me before to long \:\)


#915983 - 03/06/03 08:50 PM Re: Getting the kids to practice
Piano Novice Need Help Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/06/03
Posts: 2
Loc: Utah
Well i'm not a parent (i'm 16) so my thoughts probably aren't much use but here i go anyway.
I used to think piano was a chore too but then i got a friend who is way into it, and way good at it. He used to practice 5 hours a day during his rapid period of inspiration and improvement. His skills made me want to have the same, and being that he is my peer and my best friend it made it cool i guess. There's kind of the idea, if you don't think it's cool that it's just the way it is to hate piano, so i guess do whatever you can to make it seem cool and ok to think piano is cool. It really depends on your relationship with you children and the way you raise them i think, because it seem that some kids have a more natural enjoyment of the piano that much later, or never sets into other pianists.

#915984 - 03/07/03 11:46 AM Re: Getting the kids to practice
ob1knabe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 141
Loc: New Jersey
Thanks for your input, PianoNovice! Glad to hear from you. In reading over my original post, I do make it sound like I am only looking for ideas from parents and teachers. Don't mean to do this. I think it would be great to hear from any of "the younger set" to learn directly what works. I know that there are already a couple other messages from posters similar in age to you. No doubt you all have a lot to offer here. Hopefully, we'll hear from you. ;\)

"A thing of beauty is a joy for ever"
John Keats

#915985 - 03/07/03 12:01 PM Re: Getting the kids to practice
BeeLady Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/02
Posts: 2340
Loc: Massachusetts
PianoNovice has a good point. Peer pressure drives much of what kids do.

My son first asked for lessons when his best friend sat down and played Star Wars on our piano. Now, 4 years later, he had a 13th birthday party last month. Some of the girls (he invited them ! )sat down and played. They then all came to the piano and took turns playing. But when the boys did the same, let me tell you, those girls were impressed! I think that should motivate him for another 2 years at least! ;\)

Life is like a roll of toilet paper...the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!

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