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Our son is beginning piano lessons, how do I make this a joy for all? (Read 1762 times)

Offline bernadette60614

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I play piano and our son has taken both recorder and guitar lessons.  He asked me repeatedly to teach him, and I gave him a couple of lessons using simple "finger numbers."  Finally, after several requests, I agreed to professional lessons.

At the first meeting, he played the one piece I taught him over 2 lessons perfectly from memory.  He also played 4 pieces he had learned on the recorder perfectly on the piano from memory.  So, he seems to have some aptitude.

His teacher uses the Pace method (which I understand from research is a long standing method.)  I'd like to make this a joyful experience for everyone.  So my questions:

.  How can I support his teacher in her teaching?

.  Should I be in the room when he has lessons?

.  Should I enforce practicing or let him practice as he choses?

.  Finally, though I offered, his teacher would not let me pay for the first meet and greet and test the waters.  How to teachers prefer to be paid?  Per lesson, monthly, quarterly?

Thanks everyone!

Offline j_menz

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How old is he?
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline bernadette60614

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12

Offline Mayla

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.

"The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we are, but in what direction we are moving"  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Offline j_menz

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12

.  How can I support his teacher in her teaching?

Offer assistance if he asks, but don't try and be a second teacher. You could also discuss this with his teacher to see if she has any opinions/ideas on this.

.  Should I be in the room when he has lessons?

Not unless he specifically asks, and probably not regularly even then.

.  Should I enforce practicing or let him practice as he choses?

This is probably going to be the most controversial point. My advice is to let him practice as he chooses.  It only becomes an issue if you're paying for lessons he's not actually doing anything with.

.  Finally, though I offered, his teacher would not let me pay for the first meet and greet and test the waters.  How to teachers prefer to be paid?  Per lesson, monthly, quarterly?

Period varies, and sometimes method - go with what is asked. That given, just being paid promptly seems to keep them happy.
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline bernadette60614

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Thank you.  My thinking is very much along the same lines.  He loves music.....and he has sampled different instruments for different reasons (recorder because it seems to be a requirement and guitar because his best friend was taking the same class.)

I've never urged him to try piano, he just continued to ask.

My philosophy:  I would like music to be a continued source of pleasure for him throughout his life.  I begged my parents for a piano when I was his age, began taking lessons and in very short order, my piano progress became a reflection of my mother's dreams. So, I was imprisoned with the piano 4 hours a day during summer holidays..and when I entered college I quit as quickly as I could.

With that level of pressure, it wasn't until decades afterwards that I touched a piano again.  This teacher's philosophy is that if a child likes the music he/she is practicing they will practice.  My feeling is that if a child "owns" something they will pursue it.

Thanks again for your advice!

Offline j_menz

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My philosophy:  I would like music to be a continued source of pleasure for him throughout his life. 

More power to you!!  :D
"What the world needs is more geniuses with humility. There are so few of us left" -- Oscar Levant

Offline lostinidlewonder

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.  How can I support his teacher in her teaching?
Hopefully the teacher writes easy to follow instructions in the lesson journal for you and your son to refer to while practicing. When practicing away from the teacher we unavoidably will have to practice with our method while hopefully keeping in mind points the teacher gave in lesson. Practicing on your own never is exactly the same as when you practice with the teacher in a lesson. It is also important to be mindful of the most important improvements that need to be achieved and where in the music you should get up to before the next lesson.


.  Should I be in the room when he has lessons?
As a pianist yourself I think it would be very useful if you want to support your son while he practices away from the teacher. You should also compile some questions of your own to ask the teacher at the end of the lesson to clarify what you and your son should focus on and the method prescribed to get there.

.  Should I enforce practicing or let him practice as he choses?
We all should practice on our own, trail and error and testing is all very important to our learning experience. I always tell my students not to worry about doing something wrong because when you are then shown the correct or better way you will appreciate it a lot more. If you feel he is going off track or practicing inefficiently then step in and give a helping hand.

.  Finally, though I offered, his teacher would not let me pay for the first meet and greet and test the waters.  How to teachers prefer to be paid?  Per lesson, monthly, quarterly?
Ask the teacher themselves what they would prefer. Most professional teachers will ask for a term fee, but it is certainly not uncommon for weekly, fortnightly payments. If you miss a scheduled lesson you should pay the teacher for their time, most clients if given the choice however will happily NOT pay. I think that those that do pay for missing lessons are being respectful to the teacher and their business and I think it would benefit your lessons with a teacher who feels appreciated rather than just someone who gets paid only when it suits yourself.
"The biggest risk in life is to take no risk at all."
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