2017 was our 20th year online!

Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 3 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments.
Over 100,000 members from around the world.
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Shop our online store for music lovers
SEARCH
Piano Forums & Piano World
(ad) Piano Sight Reading
train piano sight reading with your iPhone or iPad
(ad)
Best of Piano Buyer
 Best of Piano Buyer
(ad)
Pianoteq
Steinway Spiro Layering
(ad)
Wessell Nickel & Gross
PianoForAll
Who's Online Now
25 members (Dore, clothearednincompo, Chapitrilfo, David B, Bruce Sato, Beansparrow, ColonelBogey, 7 invisible), 442 guests, and 562 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad)
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Hop To
Page 2 of 4 1 2 3 4
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
I don't know what's going on, really. Is it the method books? Has teaching declined (though I know there are many, many great teachers, including most of the regulars on this form)? Are there just too many distractions for children these days? Are standards declining? Was my teacher back in the 1980s (not that long ago) just very exacting?

Well, my observations are that the good players keep getting better, but the mediocre players have no incentive to get anywhere past mediocre. And there are more and more bottom dwellers. And the gap between the best and the rest of the field is widening.

Originally Posted by Dr. Rogers
Your success teaching reading with the intervallic method (to the probably hyperbolic extent that you don't have to do much in lessons) reflects, I would think, more on your skill as a teacher rather than the particular techniques or method book.

Thanks for thinking that, but I owe much of the success to the pedagogical foundation these method books were built upon. I had kids who came in with hand-me-down John Thompson books (the pages were yellow!) and Suzuki books. I advised all these parents to buy new books if they want ANY chance of success. One of my all-time best success story was a boy whom I rescued from Suzuki, and he was reading splendidly by intervals. But other Suzuki transfers: The damage was so deep, and so fundamental, that there was very little I could do.

In other words, the music needs to be written so that all music starts with steps. Then gradually add skips. And so on. You can't have 4th and 5th by page 5. Students need a lot of practice with each interval, both up and down, before moving on to the next interval. The older methods simply weren't written with intervals in mind.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
(ad)
Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 7
L
Junior Member
Offline
Junior Member
L
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 7
Originally Posted by Mariner
Such varied responses so far!

My son loves his music class and that’s because it’s fun. He’s attended for a year and a half. It’s never boring because the actions and tasks change every few minutes.

Out of curiosity I’ve started teaching him my old John Thompson’s Easiest Piano Course Part One for 5-10 minutes daily (I’m not a teacher). Here’s what I’ve noticed after three lessons:

-He can’t sight read at all because in his music classes they look at their fingers because they’re taught what to press beforehand by singing the notes.
-Thompson requires saying number timing 1-2-3-4 out loud; my son’s class sings out either the note name in solfege or a word for the note length (tan=1, ta-an=2, ta-an-dot=3) instead. Solfege and words are much easier so we’re sticking to words for now.
-he’s enjoying doing the Thompson lessons even though by page 3 they’re already harder than group solfege classes. His progress will probably be faster than a kid with no musical background at all.
-some solfege lessons are surprisingly advanced and learnt effortlessly. He sings and plays various chords without knowing their names or even trying. When he encounters them in Thompson’s Book 2 as “G major” etc. it’ll stick easily.

I’ll teach him John Thompson every day. It’s completely opposite to his classes so maybe they’ll compliment each other somehow? My wife won’t even try a trial private lesson so this is the best I can do for now.



My son was in Yamaha Junior Course for 2 years. Our experience has been exactly the same. He stopped group lesson last year and has been working with me since then. I don't know what happened, but I strongly feel the group class did more harm than good. It has been a frustrating year! He reads notes now and he can sightread Piano Adventrue 2A book. He's definitely better now. But the progress is slow. I can compare him with my second son, who was never exposed to group lesson. He's been playing piano for one year. He sits and plays Piano Adventure 1 by himself. He reads notes and plays them. My first son is a different story. I have to sit with him, because he has a tendency to quickly memorize the music and plays them after. I give him a new piece everyday, so he doesn't reply on his memory. I know most of other kids who were in the same class have already quit piano.

My 2 cents. If you can pull her out, do it now. Go with private lesson.

Last edited by Luy-pie; 05/30/19 02:19 PM.
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
Originally Posted by Luy-pie
My son was in Yamaha Junior Course for 2 years. Our experience has been exactly the same. He stopped group lesson last year and has been working with me since then. I don't know what happened, but I strongly feel the group class did more harm than good. It has been a frustrating year!

I was forced to sit through one of the recital programs at such a kiddie program. The playing level was awful, but the kids seemed to enjoy making noise.

It's funny how most parents are blissfully unaware that they are flushing their money down the toilet.

About ten years ago, I got my absolute Transfer Wreck nightmare from this kiddie program. He had been playing for two years in the group lesson, plus one more year in the "private lesson" at the said establishment. The teacher allowed the kid to play Piano Adventures 2B, all done by rote. Absolutely ZERO rhythm. Fingering was dreadful. I had to start him over from scratch, and it was a painful process, because he kept on looking for me to demonstrate, and his hands are FOREVER stuck in middle C position, and MUST use 2 to play D. I somehow managed to get him to pass CM levels Prep, 1, 2, 3, and 4, where he finally maxxed out.

The very fact that the said establishment manages to stay in business really says something about the intelligence of the people who send kids there.


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
Oh yeah, I remember my first Yamaha recital. It was a group one, with all of us playing together on keyboards.

.. I literally just pushed whatever I wanted and prayed for the best haha..


~piano teacher in training~
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 57
M
Mariner Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 57
I wrote too soon. He can’t do any John Thompson now. I thought his previous attempts were good enough but by the fourth lesson all the errors compound (not counting properly, improper hand positioning, not reading independently) to make it impossible to continue.

Seems these ‘music fun’ classes really don’t set kids up for traditional (normal?) lesson books and methods at all. You either have to stay with the school with its unique methodology or start again from scratch somewhere else.

The school receives the most awards from its head franchise for “best school”, but I now suspect it’s not because of the talent they churn out (no mention of what any former graduates are doing now) but because they earn the most for the company. Some of the older kids in his class are clearly too mature and need a faster pace but the teacher doesn’t tell the parents. It makes me more suspicious it’s a McMusic School.

Problem is they’ve convinced my wife this is the best thing for him and she even consider trying a proper lesson. They even convinced her to put our 1 year old into group classes at $30 a lesson but fortunately she can’t reach there on time make the classes.

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,824
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,824
Originally Posted by Mariner
They even convinced her to put our 1 year old into group classes at $30 a lesson but fortunately she can’t reach there on time make the classes.

Wait. Did I just read that correctly? You said ONE year old in a group music class?

laugh laugh laugh


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,710
L
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,710
I know this thread is about kids, but, as an adult beginner, I just decided a few days ago to start weekly lessons. I felt every other week was too long between lessons. Hopefully, weekly lessons will allow me to make more progress.

Thoughts?

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 148
Full Member
Offline
Full Member
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 148
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Mariner
They even convinced her to put our 1 year old into group classes at $30 a lesson but fortunately she can’t reach there on time make the classes.

Wait. Did I just read that correctly? You said ONE year old in a group music class?

laugh laugh laugh


Music classes for babies and toddlers, like Kindermusik for example, are pretty common aren't they? It's just a fun enrichment activity, not like formal music lessons.


Private piano teacher
B. Mus., M.Mus. (piano performance & pedagogy).
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
8000 Post Club Member
Offline
8000 Post Club Member
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 8,949
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Mariner
They even convinced her to put our 1 year old into group classes at $30 a lesson but fortunately she can’t reach there on time make the classes.

Wait. Did I just read that correctly? You said ONE year old in a group music class?

laugh laugh laugh




There are actually parents who are willing to cough up money so their kids can play around with music toys?

Where can I find dupes like this???


Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 57
M
Mariner Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 57
Tell them what the teacher told us: older kids don’t have natural rhythm, which is why it’s best to start them immediately so they can learn music faster. She says 9 year olds who start her group classes can’t clap very well when they start out, but kids who started very young do it easily.

Kindermusik here is only a few dollars a class and I’m fine with that. When it becomes the same cost of a private adult class I think it’s questionable.

If my wife agrees to ever give up the group classes (some teens are still doing these) i’ll try keep him far away from these McMusic schools.

Last edited by Mariner; 05/30/19 08:53 PM.
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,539
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,539
There's nothing wrong with kiddie 'music appreciation' and games classes where singing, rhythmic clapping etc is introduced.

Just as long as note-reading and playing instruments aren't part of the deal, which obfuscates parents into thinking that their darling kiddies are actually getting a head start on learning a musical instrument. Ear training can be done at any age.

Someone once recommended that it should be started from when the child is conceived ('Mozart for brainy fetuses' - my forthcoming CD, out next month).


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,313
M
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
M
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 17,313
Originally Posted by LarryK
I know this thread is about kids, but, as an adult beginner, I just decided a few days ago to start weekly lessons. I felt every other week was too long between lessons. Hopefully, weekly lessons will allow me to make more progress.

Thoughts?

Larry, you might get more responses if you create your own thread. But weekly lessons is perfect for a beginner.


private piano/voice teacher FT

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 57
M
Mariner Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 57
The basis of these group fun lessons is that they’re marketed as a *better* alternative to normal private classes.

The school never said that after a year and a half of classes their students still won’t know how to do a thing when confronted with a sheet of music consisting of just one C note repeating itself. When I show him he still just sits there clueless despite even instruction, then out of frustration plays the same do-re-mi-fa-so tune he repeats each week in class. He can read words in books so he’s not too young to read.

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,824
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,824
Originally Posted by LarryK
Thoughts?

thumb thumb

<notes reminder to self to check with Larry in a year on the ratio between his practice on guitar vs piano>


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,710
L
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,710
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by LarryK
Thoughts?

thumb thumb

<notes reminder to self to check with Larry in a year on the ratio between his practice on guitar vs piano>


Haha, one guitar teacher told me that I’m only allowed an hour a day practicing the piano.

The thing that pushed me to weekly piano lessons was the realization that I’m much more self sufficient on the guitar than I am on the piano. I guess that happens after nine years. Taking guitar lessons every other week is fine now.

Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
500 Post Club Member
Offline
500 Post Club Member
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 730
Originally Posted by AZNpiano
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Mariner
They even convinced her to put our 1 year old into group classes at $30 a lesson but fortunately she can’t reach there on time make the classes.

Wait. Did I just read that correctly? You said ONE year old in a group music class?

laugh laugh laugh




There are actually parents who are willing to cough up money so their kids can play around with music toys?

Where can I find dupes like this???


Ever heard of mommy and me music classes? Yes, there are parents willing to pay money for this kind of thing.

Mariner, the students who have been there for years are a very good indicator of what you're in for if you stay. Clearly it's not producing top quality musicians.

We have a Music Teacher's Association here in the States. Quick google search I found something similar in Australia.
https://www.musicnsw.com.au/

I think you might have better luck starting there. Can't vouch personally but at least you know teachers who are part of that association have qualifications in order to become members based on what they say "Full Membership requires a degree or diploma in music teaching from a recognised tertiary institution. Consideration will also be given to teachers who can provide evidence of successful professional teaching including references, lists of students' achievements (eg. AMEB results), etc."


~piano teacher in training~
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,539
B
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
B
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 14,539
Originally Posted by hello my name is

https://www.musicnsw.com.au/

I think you might have better luck starting there. Can't vouch personally but at least you know teachers who are part of that association have qualifications in order to become members based on what they say "Full Membership requires a degree or diploma in music teaching from a recognised tertiary institution. Consideration will also be given to teachers who can provide evidence of successful professional teaching including references, lists of students' achievements (eg. AMEB results), etc."


Originally Posted by Mariner
The basis of these group fun lessons is that they’re marketed as a *better* alternative to normal private classes.

The school never said that after a year and a half of classes their students still won’t know how to do a thing when confronted with a sheet of music consisting of just one C note repeating itself.


Fun kiddie classes are definitely not an alternative to private lessons, unless you and your kid just want nothing but fun......until your kid gets bored of non-stop fun, which he will. As Plato once said: "All fun and no work makes Athena a dull girl".

In Australia, like in the UK and my tiny minuscule insignificant home country, there's no need to use unqualified piano teachers. Look for diplomas etc after their names. All my four teachers had diplomas (teaching and/or performance), and after ten years of lessons, I was finally able to play Chopsticks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJZnDn-M8JM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SdZINPY4ew


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 57
M
Mariner Offline OP
Full Member
OP Offline
Full Member
M
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 57
I looked online at a list of accredited private piano teachers in my city and am impressed by the quality choices available. I looked only at solo teachers because I’m completely over music schools now. The highly qualified teacher I have a feeling I’ll choose has the student learn on a Steinway grand piano. Compare that to the music school he currently attends that has him playing on keyboards with a teacher playing a budget Yamaha Lx-110 acoustic. I think this shows a lot about what a place thinks about the student.

This is why I refer to these kiddie music schools as the McDonalds of music education (‘McMusic’, the musical equivalent of the martial arts McDojo): having students play in arrays of cheap mass produced plastic instruments under instruction by teachers of unknown background in a slow one-size-fits-all curriculum.

Will he like private lessons? I don’t know. When a child’s been fed only Happy Meals with a cheap toy at the end (his school actually gives them a cheap toy every ten lessons, and a sticker and stamp each lesson- the children crave it!), it could be hard to tell him it’s time you grew strong and tall by switching to proper food.

Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,824
9000 Post Club Member
Offline
9000 Post Club Member
Joined: Apr 2018
Posts: 9,824
Originally Posted by Mariner
My wife won’t even try a trial private lesson so this is the best I can do for now.
Originally Posted by Mariner
Problem is they’ve convinced my wife this is the best thing for him and she even consider trying a proper lesson. They even convinced her to put our 1 year old into group classes at $30 a lesson but fortunately she can’t reach there on time make the classes.
Originally Posted by Mariner
If my wife agrees to ever give up the group classes (some teens are still doing these) i’ll try keep him far away from these McMusic schools.
Originally Posted by Mariner
I looked only at solo teachers because I’m completely over music schools now.

Congrats on getting "the boss" on-side! thumb I know first hand how tough that sometimes can be. grin (Still working on mine to be able to get another motorcycle again! cry )


[Linked Image]
across the stone, deathless piano performances

"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano
"Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person
"Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,710
L
2000 Post Club Member
Offline
2000 Post Club Member
L
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 2,710
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
Originally Posted by Mariner
My wife won’t even try a trial private lesson so this is the best I can do for now.
Originally Posted by Mariner
Problem is they’ve convinced my wife this is the best thing for him and she even consider trying a proper lesson. They even convinced her to put our 1 year old into group classes at $30 a lesson but fortunately she can’t reach there on time make the classes.
Originally Posted by Mariner
If my wife agrees to ever give up the group classes (some teens are still doing these) i’ll try keep him far away from these McMusic schools.
Originally Posted by Mariner
I looked only at solo teachers because I’m completely over music schools now.

Congrats on getting "the boss" on-side! thumb I know first hand how tough that sometimes can be. grin (Still working on mine to be able to get another motorcycle again! cry )


Sorry, TS, we all took a secret vote on the forum and decided that you can’t get another motorcycle. Pianos are much safer, unless you drop the fallboard on your hands.

Page 2 of 4 1 2 3 4

Moderated by  Ken Knapp 

Link Copied to Clipboard
(ad)
Faust Harrison Pianos
Faust Harrison 100+ Steinway pianos
(ad)
Couch to Concert Hall
Couch to Concert Hall
(ad)
PianoDisc

PianoDisc
(ad)
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad)
Mason & Hamlin Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
KORG SP170S PANEL REMOVAL?
by Prof. Piano - 05/11/21 11:59 PM
KORG SP170S PANEL REMOVAL?
by Prof. Piano - 05/11/21 11:50 PM
WTC C-maj fugue (bk 1) analysis question
by hawgdriver - 05/11/21 10:55 PM
DP model numbers and years sold?
by ObtuseMoose - 05/11/21 10:45 PM
Download Sheet Music
Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Forum Statistics
Forums42
Topics206,876
Posts3,092,491
Members101,481
Most Online15,252
Mar 21st, 2010
Please Support Our Advertisers

Faust Harrison 100+ Steinways

Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver

 Best of Piano Buyer

PianoTeq Bechstein
Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Virtual Sheet Music - Classical Sheet Music Downloads



 
Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
 
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
| Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | MapleStreetMusicShop.com - Our store in Cornish Maine


© copyright 1997 - 2021 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5