What age to start lessons??

Questions on learning to play the piano, and piano music.

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kitara
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What age to start lessons??

Post by kitara » 29 Mar 2009, 16:35

Hi there,

I hope this post is in the right section so here goes. I spent my whole childhood longing for piano lessons but unfortunately my Mom was a single parent and couldn't afford them, as a 25 year old I bought my own digital piano and had lessons for a few months and absolutely loved it however I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer and my brain couldn't work fast enough to allow me to read the music and tell my fingers what to do so I gave up. To cut a long story short I had to sell my beloved piano when I met my husband as we didn't have space for it. I now have 2 children age 7 and 6 and would dearly love them to have lessons but we don't have room for a piano yet. We are planning on moving to a bigger house in 2 years and we will definitely be buying a digital piano. We can afford lessons now but they would only be able practise on a keyboard. Would it be better to start now or just be patient and let them start on a proper piano rather than a keyboard? Will leaving it affect their chances of picking it up successfully?

Many thanks and sorry for waffling on. :oops:

Gill the Piano
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Re: What age to start lessons??

Post by Gill the Piano » 29 Mar 2009, 17:48

Sell the children and you'll have room for a proper piano....:)
If they're old enough to ask for lessons, they're old enough to have them. Don't press them to lessons if they don't want them - instant aversion therapy! Perhaps they could have half a lesson each so a teacher can assess any talent/ability/interest.
A proper piano (particularly one from the 1960s/70s) doesn't have a much bigger footprint than a digital and will give them a better idea of an instrument rather than yet another electronic toy. You can pick pianos up cheap at the moment (try your local Freecycle on the web - a few customers of mine have got seriously good pianos that way recently). Pianosa can live in kitchens, halls and bedrooms - you don't have to have them in the parlour! :D
Good luck!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

kitara
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Re: What age to start lessons??

Post by kitara » 31 Mar 2009, 12:54

I did think about selling the children but with the credit crunch I wasn't sure I'd get a decent price for them. :lol:

When I say we have a small house I mean we really don't have a spare inch and it's comparable to a rabbit hutch. The children haven't asked for lessons but when I asked if they would like them they both said they would, especially my daughter who is always tinkling around on her toy Casio keyboard. My idea with having a decent keyboard was that I could put it away in the warbrode whey they had finished practising.

Is it better to start lessons now but with only a keyboard or leave it for a couple of years and wait for a real piano? I don't want them to miss out on 2 years of lessons but on the other hand I don't want to make life difficult for them when its time for the real thing. :?

Your comments and experience would be appreciated.

Many thanks.


Jo. :)

ETP's Mum
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Re: What age to start lessons??

Post by ETP's Mum » 31 Mar 2009, 18:16

Hi

I am not a piano teacher but do know that the pressure that you apply to a keyboard is different to a piano so it could be a little confusing. That said I'm sure that the benefits of starting earlier with a keyboard would out weigh waiting a couple of years for a piano to play on.

As to what age is good to start I can only speak as a mum of 2 sons that both play. The eldest started at 6, is now 9 and passed his ABRSM Grade 4 last Nov (when he was 8). The youngest is just 6 and has just taken Grade 1 having started 6 months ago. At this age as long as they can sit still and concentrate then it all comes pretty quickly if they are keen.

My youngest learnt to read music as he was learning to read and just thinks that is something that everyone does. In a "what is important to me " lesson at school he put in order
1. Pokemon
2. Piano
3. Family
4. God

Not sure about that really....but the piano did well!

I'm sure an expert type person will reply with the science bit about keyboard V piano

Good luck :D

Gill the Piano
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Re: What age to start lessons??

Post by Gill the Piano » 31 Mar 2009, 18:53

I think it was Marky who came up with the excellent analogy that if you learn to drive in a manual car you can drive an automatic. But if you learn in an automatic, you effectively have to learn all over again. Ditto pianos. And how likely are they to practise if they have to drag the thing out of a cupboard and put it on its legs each time? My mate has enough trouble getting her brats to get a clarinet out to practise! The joy of a piano is that it's there ready; just lift the lid (unless you're like me and never close it) and away you go. Pianos go in bedrooms as well as downstairs - in fact, my piano being in my bedroom meant that I practised whenever I felt like it, rather than having screaming matches with my brother over the telly vs the piano!
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

Nutroast
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Re: What age to start lessons??

Post by Nutroast » 02 Apr 2009, 13:33

Gill the Piano wrote: (unless you're like me and never close it)
You obviously have much less fluff and dust in your house than I do in mine :P If I tried that, it would play like a marshmallow in no time.

xx

Gill the Piano
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Re: What age to start lessons??

Post by Gill the Piano » 02 Apr 2009, 17:51

My whole house is a shrine to dust and fluff. The doc once wondered aloud if I might be allergic to house dust. I said if that were the case I'd be dead by now... A closed piano is a gagged piano!!! :mrgreen:
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

Gill the Piano
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Re: What age to start lessons??

Post by Gill the Piano » 03 Apr 2009, 16:22

I HAVE got cats prowling around the house. You just record trhe result and sell it to Radio 3 as a groundbreaking atonal composer new talent outside the boundaries etc etc etc.
I play for my own amazement... :piano;

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