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Old 11-30-2012, 11:49 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,323 times
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I am a mother of two: a 7 year old girl and a 5 year old

boy. They both go to private schools where they do music.

Since I don't have a musical background, I am not quite

sure if it is important to also start them on piano lessons. I

would really appreciate some experienced advice as to

what you consider beneficial in taking piano lessons for

children.

Thank you so much for your time and input.




Caroline
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Old 12-01-2012, 02:19 AM
 
Location: The Other California
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Piano is great for children, and 5-7 is a good time to start. Lots of research has been done on the beneficial effects of learning an instrument on overall intelligence. Piano will teach your children patience, discipline, and complex pattern recognition skills. It will give them the "self-esteem" that is derived from being competent at something people appreciate. They will have many opportunities to perform in public at an early age, which builds their confidence and courage in public situations. They will enjoy a natural camaraderie with people from all walks of life who are also musicians.

Let me just tell you what an incredible joy it is to be the parent of musicians - especially children who love playing music together. I'm not musical and neither is my wife, but we started them early and they took to it like ducks to water. Music is one of those things we try never to say "no" to.

A word of caution: it does take a lot of practice and focus to benefit. Many parents tell me that piano and violin lessons can't compete with the highly stimulating rock or hip-hop music their children are listening to all the time. It just seems unexciting by comparison. In my experience families whose children do well musically make the effort to expose their children to good classical music, and to limit exposure to the pop-culture "competition".

One of the things we did and still do is have periodic music appreciation nights. I'll put on a classical piece, talk about it a little, then we'll turn out the lights and listen quietly for maybe 20 or 30 minutes. Then we talk about the music - What did they think about while listening? What did they "see" in their mind's eye? How did it make them feel? etc.

Last edited by WesternPilgrim; 12-01-2012 at 03:05 AM..
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Old 12-01-2012, 04:49 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,535 posts, read 4,506,751 times
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I started piano lessons when I was four because I begged my mom for them. Many teachers won't take children under 7 (developmental readiness for piano usually comes around the time they start reading well). I started one of my sons at age six, but the teacher after a few lessons said he wasn't ready so he stopped.

In my opinion, if your kids want them that early, go for it. If they chafe at practicing when they are young, hold off a year and try again. There is a fine line between allowing the love of music to develop and forcing it so they hate it. I also think music appreciation is important to their desire to play. I'm not a stickler for classical music, though. We listen to all different genres in our house. Good music is good music. We all love folk, jazz, good choral music like Anuna, all kinds of dance music (as long as it's not vulgar), things like Walk off the Earth, Adele, etc.
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Old 12-01-2012, 06:25 PM
 
Location: A place that's too cold
4,104 posts, read 4,063,113 times
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If you live in an area where you have access to qualified, inspiring piano teachers, I believe piano lessons (or any music lessons, actually) are one of the best things you can do for your children. I had a music education business for many years, and I had many piano students start at age 4. I also had various parent-child music classes for birth to age 5, piano readiness classes for age 3 with a parent, and many other classes for a variety of ages. I am a strong believer in the benefits of music education. Many of my young students are adults now, and I still here from them occasionally. I am very proud of how I was able to contribute to their lives.
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:56 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,377,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carol572 View Post
I am not quite sure if it is important to also start them on piano lessons.
Important? No. Not unless they plan on making a living as a piano player.

There are many ways to teach children about music and to help them discover its joys. Music is loved by untold numbers of people who have never even seen a piano much less heard one. Because there are countless styles of music played on everything from pianos to all sorts of drums to anything that can be plucked or strummed or blown in to.

Don't limit them. With CD's so readily available (the library and used book stores are your friend) you can pop a CD into a player and expose them to the world. (If you need help look for the people pouring over used CD racks. Most will be happy to share with you and point you to something wonderful you would never have guessed existed.)

Rock. Show tunes. American Indian drum circles. New Zealand Maori choirs. Chamber music. American jazz. American Dixieland. Classical. Big Band. Mexican Mariachis. Music is made in every corner of the world. When they start telling you what they like you'll have a huge clue on what instrument they'd enjoy playing. (Personally, I think playing an instrument should be a joy. Not a task completed because Mom and Dad want to see their kid playing a specific instrument.)

And encourage them to sing. We played music constantly. My kids could sing along to Nessun Dorma and Bruce Springsteen when they were in grade school. If they like it, that's all that matters.
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Old 12-01-2012, 11:32 PM
 
Location: The Other California
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To the OP: Another thing to keep in mind ... assuming that you have a good relationship with your children and they respect your authority as a parent, you don't want their musical training to be their own personal "choice" at this young age. That's a recipe for a lifetime of floundering. You're the parent, you decide what's good for them. As they grow older, perhaps they will choose to go in different directions, but they will at least know what they are leaving behind. At ages 5 and 7 they don't have the knowledge, experience, or wisdom to choose for themselves what to study.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:38 AM
 
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You never know until you try but I think all kids should try an instrument. Playing piano is a good way to start and to learn to read music. Even if they don't become a professional, it's a good skill to have. There have also been countless studies done about the brain synapse connections made while learning an instrument that help children learn better in school, especially in math.

Give it a try. Keep in mind that most kids won't like to practice but if you can see through the kid stuff that they do like to play, keep them in the lessons. Then, when they are older, if they want, they can play a band or orchestra instrument and the years of piano will help with that as well.
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Old 12-02-2012, 12:11 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
You never know until you try but I think all kids should try an instrument. Playing piano is a good way to start and to learn to read music. Even if they don't become a professional, it's a good skill to have. There have also been countless studies done about the brain synapse connections made while learning an instrument that help children learn better in school, especially in math.

Give it a try. Keep in mind that most kids won't like to practice but if you can see through the kid stuff that they do like to play, keep them in the lessons. Then, when they are older, if they want, they can play a band or orchestra instrument and the years of piano will help with that as well.
Playing a musical instrument also helps to develop fine motor skills and overall coordination.

Plus, it keeps them off of the computer/video games, other electronics. I really enjoy listening to my own kids play, even if I can't really help them very much with their playing (I never learned how to play or read music). I simply act as an audience member.
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Old 12-02-2012, 03:45 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,377,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WesternPilgrim View Post
assuming that you have a good relationship with your children and they respect your authority as a parent, you don't want their musical training to be their own personal "choice" at this young age. That's a recipe for a lifetime of floundering.
O Noes! It's a lifetime of underachievement ahead for little Jonathon because his parents (who, no doubt, are also the irresponsible free-thinkers who let him run wild at Applebee's and spit in their soup when he's unhappy with the service) let him pick the accordion.
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Old 12-02-2012, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
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Starting kids on keyboard before the age of 5 has lifelong advantages when it comes to mathematical reasoning. Kids who start older also see a gain but it only lasts as long as they take lessons. Piano is also great for developing real self esteem. Working to get better and better at something that builds self esteem.

I would recommend class piano if you can find a school. Learning in a group is cheaper (not the reason to do this but a plus) and they have to learn timing and how to get back in if they lose their place. It helps with sight reading too because when you play with a group, you have to stay in time with the group and it's just more fun that way.
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