Any of your kids doing dual instrument?

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Any of your kids doing dual instrument?

Postby pokemon » Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:43 pm

My ds took up yamaha jmc when he was 4 and now 6, is with a private teacher doing well. Few months back he requested for violin lessn, i ignored him for few weeks, finally relented and send him for a pte 1 mth trial class. To me,i find mastering violin is more difficult than playing the piano. Nvertheless, my ds went through the 'hardship' and now 3mths has passed, luckily no sign of him giving up.

He is going P1 soon, wondering if he will have sufficient time to pract and ability to cope. Hope some parents whose kids is taking up dual instrument can share your experiences.

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Postby mrswongtuition » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:07 am

I personally did 2 instruments at one point of time. Guzheng & Cello. Stopped piano when I started Guzheng.

Guzheng & cello can complement each other. Although I did classical cello, my cello teacher allowed me to learn some fun pieces of chinese music which I play on my guzheng. It allowed me to express the same piece of music with different instrument & as a result, different feelings. It's a very special feeling & it makes you want to try more new stuff on the 2 instruments!

If budget permits, let your DS continue. Violin & piano can complement each other. But ask your DS what's his long term plan. Is he learning for fun or is he intending to take exams for both instruments? Ask him to draw up a simple timetable consisting of play, homework/revision and practising on both instruments. If he can come up with something decide & will stick to it, I think it's no harm letting him continue :) Come up with an agreement that if his results are not good, he must choice to drop 1 instrument.

Teach him the value of time management, setting goals & knowing his priorities. This is a truely teachable moment!

BTW, the violin is not as hard as you think if you have some music background (which your DS has with 2 years of music lessons). :)

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Postby watmekiasu » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:45 am

Mine is doing 2 instruments. It can be hard going but we've finally found a solution.

Dd started off with violin and then added on piano towards the end of K2. When she started primary schooling, it was really tough juggling all her enrichments (dance, violin, piano and chinese) plus music practices. Whereas previously, she would have 3-4 short practices before her violin lesson, now with 2 instruments, it became 1 to 2 practices before each music lesson. :oops:

Things came to a head at P2. SYF string ensemble practices in school, hence, lots of missed lessons meaning lots of homework. Gr5 music theory exam - major nightmare as words like neat and legible doesn't seem to be in dd's vocabulary. Gd3 on the piano was also starting to get tough. Likewise with her dance practices. My dd is a workhorse, she never complained and enjoyed all her enrichments. It pained me to see her rushed pace in life at such a young age. In the end, I put my foot down and shaved off some of her activites. Dropped dance and piano.

This year, after her Gr8 violin exam, she took up the cello. Her new schedule is working out like a dream - alternate weeks on different instruments. It fits in nicely with her P3 schedule as occasionally, she would have to stay back in school for extra CCAs or new enrichments. Can even manage 3 episodes of her fav dramas most day and a dip in the pool occasionally. :D

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Postby MMM » Wed Nov 11, 2009 9:17 am

My girl is learning piano and she joins the school band and she plays the trumpet. She will be in P3 next year and she is keen to stay on in the school band. We thought it might be good for DSA in the future???

She is less motivated in playing piano. But she refused to give up as she knows that learning piano helps her in her trumpet learning too with knowledge of the notes etc... She is able to pick up faster than her peers.

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Postby snowz » Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:48 am

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Last edited by snowz on Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:28 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby acforfamily » Wed Nov 11, 2009 1:46 pm

watmekiasu wrote:This year, after her Gr8 violin exam, she took up the cello. Her new schedule is working out like a dream - alternate weeks on different instruments.


Just curious, how do you do alternate weeks? Is it a private teacher that allows this?

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Postby sleepy » Wed Nov 11, 2009 2:11 pm

My dd is learning Guzheng as a CCA.
She requested to resume her piano lessons after a long break.

She finds Guzheng easier than piano though

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Postby watmekiasu » Wed Nov 11, 2009 3:44 pm

acforfamily wrote:
watmekiasu wrote:This year, after her Gr8 violin exam, she took up the cello. Her new schedule is working out like a dream - alternate weeks on different instruments.


Just curious, how do you do alternate weeks? Is it a private teacher that allows this?


Yes. It's the same teacher for both instruments.

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Postby pokemon » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:34 pm

Tks for all of your feedback. My ds will be doing his grd1 piano abrsm theory and practical exam next year, he is also keen to do exam for violin when he has reach the appropriate level.

Though my ds only 6yr old, he actually say he prefers cello but because of his size, violin will be more manageable for the time being, so when its appropriate time he would like to switch to cello-OMG :shock: ! I dunno what makes him think this way. Btw, i have checked with his violin tcher,he said it wil be any easy switch fm violin to cello. Initialy when he just started his violin lesson i was very negative abt his progress,keep asking him if he is ok. Luckily he is not put off by the teething problem.

He is very interested in classical music, his piano teacher let him play some suitable pces to motivate him, she is impressed over this perseverance to get the pces rite. I did have an agreement with him that he cant give up easily and may nd to sacrifice his play and tv time in order to pract the instrument. Right now, we have planned out a time schedule for his practices-6x a wk for each instrument, he is able to do it all by himself w/o me around, really thankful he is discipline enough.

I hoped he can juggle both school work and these 2 instruments, lack of time is the most crucial thingy. Im juz keeping my fingers cross that he will not take up sch band as cca since its very time consuming. :pray:
Last edited by pokemon on Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby pokemon » Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:38 pm

mrswongtuition wrote:I personally did 2 instruments at one point of time. Guzheng & Cello. Stopped piano when I started Guzheng.

Guzheng & cello can complement each other. Although I did classical cello, my cello teacher allowed me to learn some fun pieces of chinese music which I play on my guzheng. It allowed me to express the same piece of music with different instrument & as a result, different feelings. It's a very special feeling & it makes you want to try more new stuff on the 2 instruments!

If budget permits, let your DS continue. Violin & piano can complement each other. But ask your DS what's his long term plan. Is he learning for fun or is he intending to take exams for both instruments? Ask him to draw up a simple timetable consisting of play, homework/revision and practising on both instruments. If he can come up with something decide & will stick to it, I think it's no harm letting him continue :) Come up with an agreement that if his results are not good, he must choice to drop 1 instrument.

Teach him the value of time management, setting goals & knowing his priorities. This is a truely teachable moment!

BTW, the violin is not as hard as you think if you have some music background (which your DS has with 2 years of music lessons). :)


I understand that cello also come in diff sizes, is the smallest the 1/8 size? My boy only 125cm tall, would he be able to fit the smallest cello size? He very cute say cello better cos dun need to rest on the neck so would not feel the ache.

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