Is there such thing as 'musical maturity'?

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Is there such thing as 'musical maturity'?

Postby hardworking_mom » Wed Sep 29, 2010 5:16 pm

My son(7 years old) has been taking piano lessons on sat since Jan 2010 at Cxx music school. I transfer him to another branch since June and have it on weekday night as his sat swimming class timing clash. Now he is still on Beginning level B. Recently his songs need more accurately counting of beats and timing. When he plays a song, somtimes he pause at wrong place especially when he sees the 'musical bar' separating two sets of 'musical notes'. sorry, I am not 'musically' trained, trying to explain his scenario here. His current teacher is exasperated and explained she has shown him, played to him to listen and his inconsistent playing is unacceptable. I sat in the class recently, saw how she raised her voice and about to scold him. Somehow my boy still play wrongly at times, he will keep saying 'i've got it' and kept asking her ok or not. I asked how she handled such cases in the past. She said just repeat the same song 5x before moving on. She also hinted maybe I should withdraw him, wait till he is 'musically matured' before rejoining.

Actually I've just paid this term 4 which last to Dec. Actually ds has not been practising regularly all this while. I've threatened to withdraw many times but he said he is keen and enjoy playing piano. When the teacher asks him theoretically the beats counting, he can reply correctly. Yet unable to play correctly. I suspect maybe he is fearful of the teacher. Maybe no 'chemistry' between teacher and student? The teacher also says she doesn't like to 'babysit' kids, and girls are better students than boys. Ds has attention-span problem, I was hoping playing piano can help him focus better. What should I do now? Or what should I expect from the piano lesson? Is my son 'music-deaf'? I've enquired but couldn't find another teacher for that time slot :(

Please help..thank.

hardworking_mom
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Postby jce » Wed Sep 29, 2010 9:24 pm

I'd say try a different teacher that will hopefully approach teaching your son in a different manner. I think it's a communication problem. Your son may be weak in the rhythmic aspect and hence need to build up on that. If your son "enjoys playing that piano" then that's already a bonus point. At this young age, practising won't come naturally for most. You'll probably have to set out a routine practising time for him daily. As it goes, it really is practice makes perfect. Encourage him and show him how practice can make a difference.

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Postby fristrom » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:34 pm

I know a little bit of music myself. Didn't realise how difficult "music" is until I have to help my daughter. At such young age, many concepts are too abstract to understand, and there are just too many things to learn in one go.

If your son's problem is with rhythm, it might be a good idea if you can record the teacher when he/she plays. Before your son sit down at the bench for his practice, open the score, play the recording and ask him to clap. If he can't clap it correctly, it would only be more difficult for him to play on the piano.

Another thing you may like to consider is to stop the piano and try a drum class. I found drum class a lot of fun, and is simplier for kids as they only have to worry about the rhythm, not the note. Regardless of what instrument you son picks up later, if he wishes to, building a good foundation in rhythm is important.

BTW, metronome is useful, but I found that introducing it too early only makes it more confusing to the kid.

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Postby MMM » Wed Sep 29, 2010 10:46 pm

My son started individual piano learning at 4. He is P2 now.... So imagine the no. of years of investment we had on him. I've never really enforced grading as I wanted them to enjoy piano.

All along, he has not been practising regularly. We had fair share of challenges along the way. Eg. a young teacher who uses lots of exclamation marks in his communication book saying that if he don't practise, don't come to class!!! I was pissed off by that incident and asked to change to another teacher right away.

This year, he started band as his CCA. We also changed to home piano lesson. Around 2 months ago, he started to take piano seriously. He would practise everyday and we didn't even have to nag at him. He also came back telling me that one of his classmates is already a grade 3 while he hasn't gotten anything.... :cry: He asked how fast he can move up the grade and said he wants to do his grade 1 asap. Well.... FINALLY???? I spoke to his piano teacher and it's like finally it appears that he knows what he wants and he wants to do exam and continue piano because he enjoys it and NOT because we want him to. This was what we've been trying to drive from day 1 and have been "investing" all these years. Hopefully this is sustainable as his teacher also cautions me against changing desires.

MMM
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Postby hardworking_mom » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:31 pm

Thanks jce, fristrom, MMM for your replies. Think I will try harder to practice rhythm counts with him. I even ask the teacher if there is any CD available that will help children learning piano. Because the lesson is only half an hour, if you are not fully prepared(able to play lessons learnt), it will create undue stress on the child. I was told that for every lesson, she would try to introduce a new song. I wondered if this is the learning pace set for all music school. Or if there is more creative way in learning piano for children? :?

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Re: Is there such thing as 'musical maturity'?

Postby compvale » Wed Sep 29, 2010 11:35 pm

Hi

In my view it is time to change to another teacher. My DD1 also had an impatient teacher some years back. As she was lectured at every lesson, eventually she decided to stop learning. Suggested getting another teacher for her but she was too discourged to try again it just stopped there.

compvale
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Re: Is there such thing as 'musical maturity'?

Postby peanut_butter » Thu Sep 30, 2010 12:24 am

hardworking_mom wrote:I wondered if this is the learning pace set for all music school. Or if there is more creative way in learning piano for children?

C** school does have an guideline telling their teachers to promote students up at least a grade/year. There are always creative way to learn and teach piano. It's the practicing part that's the issue.

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Postby fristrom » Thu Sep 30, 2010 9:55 pm

hardworking_mom wrote:I was told that for every lesson, she would try to introduce a new song. I wondered if this is the learning pace set for all music school. Or if there is more creative way in learning piano for children? :?


I don't know what pace is expected by the school/teacher. What I think is more important is your expectation: what do you expect your son to learn when you send him to the piano class?

Learning music (or anything) is like building a house. If the foundation is shaky, there is no point adding more. If one new song a week is too much for your son, why don't you ask the teacher to do half a song per week? If half a song is still much, why not one line?

fristrom
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Postby jce » Fri Oct 01, 2010 12:08 am

As a teacher myself, I don't apply this "rule", if the child is not ready for a new piece then I won't add a new piece. As Fristrom mentioned, if the foundation is shaky why pile on more

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Postby Faun » Fri Oct 01, 2010 2:31 am

fristrom wrote:
Another thing you may like to consider is to stop the piano and try a drum class. I found drum class a lot of fun, and is simplier for kids as they only have to worry about the rhythm, not the note. Regardless of what instrument you son picks up later, if he wishes to, building a good foundation in rhythm is important.

BTW, metronome is useful, but I found that introducing it too early only makes it more confusing to the kid.


I fully agree with fristrom. It's good for small children to start music with percussion instrument first. Then, if they want to play notes, they can start on a xylophone. They can learn a lot on rhythm and counting the beats as they play individually and with others.

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