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#3187447 01/21/22 08:43 PM
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It's just dawned on me that my 6 year old son whos been playing/learning piano for about 2 years learns a song of his choice with his teacher then virtually moves on to another song of his choice once that's completed. The songs aren't kiddy songs anything from the Beatles, Let it be, The Weekend's Blinded by the light, Fur Elise just a wide range of music but the problem is he has virtually forgotten so many of the songs that he had learnt over time especially as he hardly practices anymore. My son has a natural instinct when it comes to articulating so learning something fast is very easy for him as he also has a good ear but to learn something then forget it, is this whole process worth it, or just a waste of time?

s42 #3187448 01/21/22 08:50 PM
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You might want to ask in the Piano Teachers' Subforum:

http://forums.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/forums/26/1/piano-teachers-forum.html


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s42 #3187456 01/21/22 09:47 PM
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Never a waste of time employing talent in a non-destructive way. But the right teacher may be able to re-channel some of that energy to memorize and/or improve music once learned.

s42 #3187462 01/21/22 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by s42
It's just dawned on me that my 6 year old son whos been playing/learning piano for about 2 years learns a song of his choice with his teacher then virtually moves on to another song of his choice once that's completed. The songs aren't kiddy songs anything from the Beatles, Let it be, The Weekend's Blinded by the light, Fur Elise just a wide range of music but the problem is he has virtually forgotten so many of the songs that he had learnt over time especially as he hardly practices anymore. My son has a natural instinct when it comes to articulating so learning something fast is very easy for him as he also has a good ear but to learn something then forget it, is this whole process worth it, or just a waste of time?


Isn't that how it is for everyone? I just make sure I practice songs that I know here and there and I don't forget them. There are songs that I only play once a month and that helps me not forget them. I feels that's how it is with other subjects too. For example, in econ I studied all the core topics macro, micro, econometrics, international econ, etc. I don't remember most of the stuff I learned in these fields unless I use them regularly. I do brush up more often on econometrics since I use that a lot. But the stuff I forget is sitting somewhere in my head and if I need it I just brush up on it and it's easier to relearn.

To each his own but honestly I'd keep my child studying music even if they don't like it much. Try to get a teacher they find fun and have them practice. I hated math but I'm so glad they force one to study it in school. That made it easier for me to major in econ and math. I feel music is kind of the same.

Back to your situation, you can always employ learning strategies like spaced repetition and active retrieval, but within the context of music. I'm sure teachers here probably employ something like that or other active learning strategies.


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s42 #3187491 01/22/22 04:43 AM
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I don't think that is a problem at all. Boring old farts like me like to mostly try and play the same stuff I remember from my teen days... whereas my 7 yr old daughter will try and play anything... I think that's children if it's new it's interesting if it's old... it's not.

Bit like their computer games... once they've done it... no challenge - where's the next game?

s42 #3187511 01/22/22 08:14 AM
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Learning new songs is OK up to a point. It might not be developing or improving knowledge of music and piano in the way a progressive pedagogical approach would. But for a 6 year old the current lessons might be enough, although I would wish to include some theory, based on the songs being learnt, or select pieces that add new skills.

s42 #3188416 01/25/22 10:49 AM
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s42,

It is really not possible to make a judgement of the teacher or their intents from your post. it could very well be that he/she is working on technical issues that happen to be contained in the pieces chosen for your son. It may well be that the pieces are good technical preparation for another larger piece yet to be given to your son. It is also possible that this teacher is trying to inspire a love of music in your son and is simply choosing pieces that he will like to practice.

See? There are many more possible explanations. I suggest you make it a regular thing to speak in person (or by email) with the teacher, see what their intent is, and help reinforce that with your child during practice time. Education of any kind is really a partnership between teacher and parent. Moms and Dads are a part of the team!

(Let us know what comes of your conversations).

Good Luck to you and your son,


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s42 #3188507 01/25/22 04:53 PM
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S42,

Does your son learn the song by reading the music?

If so, can he replay it any time by reading the music again?

Or, does he "memorize" it just long enough to be able to move on?

Some people are very good at reading and they are tied to reading music. This is not a bad thing in and of itself, but rather an indicator of how his brain works. Those of us who play largely by ear often wish we could read music (sight read specifically) better.

The ability to sight read is a very good ability. If I were you I'd try to get more information.

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Originally Posted by drvenom
[...] I'd keep my child studying music even if they don't like it much. [...]

Given that the road to technical and musical proficiency at the piano is a long one, this does not sound like good pedagogical advice. Unlike learning facts, figures, and basic memorization skills, one of the primary aspects of piano playing is to enjoy the journey, knowing that positive outcomes may be far into the future.

The journey should be an enjoyable experience, otherwise progress may be impeded and what would be the point?

Regards,


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BruceD #3188532 01/25/22 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by drvenom
[...] I'd keep my child studying music even if they don't like it much. [...]

Given that the road to technical and musical proficiency at the piano is a long one, this does not sound like good pedagogical advice. Unlike learning facts, figures, and basic memorization skills, one of the primary aspects of piano playing is to enjoy the journey, knowing that positive outcomes may be far into the future.

The journey should be an enjoyable experience, otherwise progress may be impeded and what would be the point?

Regards,


My parents forced my sister to take five years of lessons. The outcome? She hates the piano and has never played again. Don’t force it


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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s42 #3188543 01/25/22 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by s42
It's just dawned on me that my 6 year old son whos been playing/learning piano for about 2 years learns a song of his choice with his teacher then virtually moves on to another song of his choice once that's completed. The songs aren't kiddy songs anything from the Beatles, Let it be, The Weekend's Blinded by the light, Fur Elise just a wide range of music but the problem is he has virtually forgotten so many of the songs that he had learnt over time especially as he hardly practices anymore. My son has a natural instinct when it comes to articulating so learning something fast is very easy for him as he also has a good ear but to learn something then forget it, is this whole process worth it, or just a waste of time?

6 years old is still very young. I would have thought the main thing at that age is to be encouraging a love of music and of the piano.

The phrase that stood out for me is "... he hardly practices anymore". I don't know anything about teaching the piano to children, but if he never practises he will never progress. Maybe "practice" is the wrong concept at that age, but some regular daily encounter with the piano is surely important.


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