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#943332 - 10/02/06 01:25 AM Teaching you own children  
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 384
Piano&Flute Offline
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Piano&Flute  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 384
Alberta, Canada
Hi Everyone

I was wondering how some of you teacher/parents out there feel about teaching your own children piano. I have always planned on taking my son to someone else for formal lessons when he is old enough just to keep some separation there. Any experiences or opinions?


Registered Private Piano and Flute Teacher
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#943333 - 10/02/06 03:31 AM Re: Teaching you own children  
Joined: Jan 2004
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btb Offline
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btb  Offline
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Pretoria South Africa
Hi StephanieF,

In an age of employing specialists ... where home-teaching might come to be regarded as second-best ... fading as it so easily does into the list of domestic chores ... or the fact that children are topnotch manipulators of the family routine ... success on the home front does not appear to enjoy a high success rate.

Could it be that parents are so busy earning the daily bread that children quickly realise that quality parental time is very limited ...
and learn to tune in appropriately.

Perhaps this is the reason why I never tried to teach my own children in specialized activities (with the exception of story-telling)... in which I was obvious choice as qualified teacher ... whether sport, sketching, water-colours, piano-playing, mountain-climbing, model-making, architecture ... and yet as grandfather ... I’m like the proverbial Pied Piper with my 3 young grandchildren ... we’re off on cloud-9 finding buried treasure, playing cricket on the lawn,
sketching a tree, reading “Treasure Island”, slapping a bit of colour on the sketch of a banana, climbing trees, making cardboard house models.

Maybe grandparents were meant to feed in quality time. But why do parents always have to be so heck-fired “busy”?!!

#943334 - 10/02/06 03:39 AM Re: Teaching you own children  
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Posts: 499
buxtehude Offline
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buxtehude  Offline
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Copenhagen, Denmark
Glenn Gould's mother had a certain success with the method - and if I don't remember wrong, so did Angela Hewitt's.

What speaks for it, is that the child then won't have to be torn between two teachers - I don't think you can stop being a teacher to your child at home, complete with your own idiosyncrasies...

Against it: it's nice for the child to have something together with another adult it likes. My son (9, played for 3) enjoys the lessons alone together with his teacher: 'now go, dad, and come back when it's over!'

If I were a teacher, I would...

(edit: this post was written before I read btb's post)

#943335 - 10/02/06 10:33 AM Re: Teaching you own children  
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dumdumdiddle Offline
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dumdumdiddle  Offline
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California
I was the first piano teacher for both of my kids; daughter started at age 4, son at age 7. I had no problems until that 'Jr High' age when they were less likely to take constructive criticism and they challenged me several times during lesson. I then sent them to another teacher. Aside from that I loved teaching my kids. After spending the first 15+ years of my teaching career teaching other people's children, I decided early on that I would be my kids' piano teacher.


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Early Childhood Music Teacher/Group Piano Teacher/Private Piano Teacher
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#943336 - 10/02/06 10:20 PM Re: Teaching you own children  
Joined: Apr 2005
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Piano*Dad Online content
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Piano*Dad  Online Content
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Williamsburg, VA
Do some searches. We had a thread on this topic not too long ago.

I teach my son informally five to six times a week. I can get away with that because I'm not his formal teacher. There is someone else who is the authority figure. On the other hand, I have real credibility with my son because I can still play decently and he realizes how he has prospered under the joint tutelage. He's thirteen, so I don't know how long my power will last. wink

#943337 - 10/03/06 04:12 AM Re: Teaching you own children  
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buxtehude Offline
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buxtehude  Offline
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Copenhagen, Denmark
Right, P*D.
(My wife, who's a pro-cello-teacher can't sit with my son, even though she plays the piano better than I do. It always ends in slamming of doors and worse. I think it is because she likes to be the authority figur when practicing at home, where I'm more inclined to let him run the show - to remember and try to guess his teacher's intentions - and don't interfere as long as he practices seriously; even though I always sit on a separate chair next to the piano during his entire practice-hour).

#943338 - 10/03/06 11:11 AM Re: Teaching you own children  
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btb Offline
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btb  Offline
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Pretoria South Africa
It would be interesting to hear from the home teachers whether the domestic keyboard tuition of progeny proved successful ... have the children become exceptional sight-readers with a repertoire of hundreds of masterpieces ... do they delight in entertaining at the piano ... at the drop of a hat?

#943339 - 10/03/06 01:43 PM Re: Teaching you own children  
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 286
lalakeys Offline
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lalakeys  Offline
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Posts: 286
Chicago 'burbs
I taught my own kids piano from age 7 to about 13, and I had them perform on my twice-yearly piano recitals.

After that, I gave them the choice as to whether they wanted to continue, or use the time in a different musical activity.

Both kids chose to stop piano lessons in order to concentrate on their band instrument (for my son, trumpet; for my daughter, flute). And both continued to play in the band and orchestra throughout high school. I was satisfied with their decision, because I realized that they both wanted a more social musical experience than piano lessons usually are in high school. And after all, they can pick up piano again for a hobby in the future, if they want!

And when I have grandchildren, both of my kids have said that they want me to be their kids' piano teacher. They'll have to fight, though, over who will get Grandmas's grand piano! smile


Private piano & voice teacher for over 20 years; currently also working as a pipe organist for 3 area churches; sing in a Chicago-area acappella chamber choir
#943340 - 10/05/06 11:52 PM Re: Teaching you own children  
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Codetta Offline
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Codetta  Offline
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Chino Hills, CA
I have homeschooled all 3 of my children. I have also given them piano lessons. My oldest preferred the guitar and is now exceptionally good at it. My second was ok with piano but didn't possess the fire (he wants to be a NASCAR driver). My third has taken to the piano with gusto. I've taught him since the beginning and he is now in Level 7 in the Certificate of Merit program with the MTAC. He's won competitions in many venues here in SO CAL and he's thoroughly enjoying it.

I haven't experienced any horrible situations with any of them. They were all responsive to what I taught. One day it dawned on me that I should treat them as I would any of my other students, in other words, I was to be as patient with them as with any one else's child and for me, it worked beautifully - that was the key to it. That doesn't mean it's been all honey and roses, but for the most part it's been an enriching experience for all of us. And now we're into Chopin Nocturnes, Beethoven Sonatas and larger Bach works.


"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
Berthold Auerbach

Private Piano Teacher
Member: Music Teachers' Association of California
Evaluator: Certificate of Merit
Organist/Pianist: Christ Lutheran Church, West Covina
#943341 - 10/06/06 03:04 AM Re: Teaching you own children  
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Posts: 499
buxtehude Offline
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buxtehude  Offline
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Copenhagen, Denmark
Sounds fantastic, Codetta, three boys complete with everything! How on earth have you managed!?

How old is your piano-prodigy? Which particular Beethoven sonatas (hopefully not the 49/2 yawn !) and what larger Bach-works have you thought of? (My son is 9 and has enjoyed playing the C-sharp prelude from WTC I, Goldberg-variation 14 and Allemande and Gigue from French Suite 5 enormously.)

#943342 - 10/07/06 06:49 PM Re: Teaching you own children  
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Posts: 134
Codetta Offline
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Codetta  Offline
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Posts: 134
Chino Hills, CA
My 'piano prodigy' just turned 13. Quite an amazing kid. He's working on the first mvt. of the "Moonlight" Sonata (I couldn't bear him working on the Op.49). I thought he should have that Moonlight) in his repertoire because 1) it's a big hit with everyone, 2) teaches control, 3) is in C# Minor and 4) because he'll be able to use that piece in any given situation. He's also done a few Bach 2 part inventions, the C Minor Fantasy BWV 919 and is now working on the in A Minor Partita BWV 827. He's also learning Ginasteras "Tres Piezas". This year he'll do the 2nd one, next year the 1st and the following year the 3rd one. He learned the Debussy "Page d'album' last year so I'm having him learn the Ravel Prelude - that will make a nice grouping.

As far as the how-did-I-manage-it question: just one day at a time and lots of patience and plenty of experimenting with different ways to reach them - and happily it all came together in the end.

I haven't tackled the Goldberg Var yet. Congrats on your son for doing so. Those are not easy pieces. I think I remember you saying somewhere that he likes Bach. Does my memory serve me correctly. His playing of any Bach will help improve his technique and overall facility at the piano. Keep me informed, ok?


"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
Berthold Auerbach

Private Piano Teacher
Member: Music Teachers' Association of California
Evaluator: Certificate of Merit
Organist/Pianist: Christ Lutheran Church, West Covina

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