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Daily practice for kids - how much? (Read 8028 times)

Offline fouraker

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Daily practice for kids - how much?
« on: August 03, 2015, 01:37:29 PM »
Hi everyone,

As a non piano player, I really just want a bit of feedback on how much my nine year old grade three son should be practicing each day without that ' I don't want to push him ' feeling that I often have. He is clearly talented and has already won two first prizes in a recent music festival, but he is lazy when it comes down to practising more than the bare minimum, even though he claims to enjoy it. During the school holidays and at weekends, he'll practice a maximum 1 hour per day, and on school days around 30 mins, and he has 45 mins of tuition once per week. Does this sound about right for someone of his age, and am I right not to be too pushy at this early stage. I don't necessarily want him to become a concert pianist, but I would like him to at least achieve his full potential. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #1 on: August 03, 2015, 10:59:25 PM »
Hi everyone,

As a non piano player, I really just want a bit of feedback on how much my nine year old grade three son should be practicing each day without that ' I don't want to push him ' feeling that I often have. He is clearly talented and has already won two first prizes in a recent music festival, but he is lazy when it comes down to practising more than the bare minimum, even though he claims to enjoy it. During the school holidays and at weekends, he'll practice a maximum 1 hour per day, and on school days around 30 mins, and he has 45 mins of tuition once per week. Does this sound about right for someone of his age, and am I right not to be too pushy at this early stage. I don't necessarily want him to become a concert pianist, but I would like him to at least achieve his full potential. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
And, I know this is highly unusual, but I am going to ask for permission from the Moderator to weigh in on this post.  I have waited a very long time to say so, in regards the Op's request.

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #2 on: August 03, 2015, 11:08:03 PM »
And, I know this is highly unusual, but I am going to ask for permission from the Moderator to weigh in on this post.  I have waited a very long time to say so, in regards the Op's request.
Not sure what this even means, but here's my .02
A half hour each day for a 9 year old is plenty, 45 minutes is wonderful, and an hour is probably the most you should ever have him do in one session.
With the younger ones, frequent 15 minutes breaks work wonders. When they get older, that's when you have the mental capacity to practice for hours at a time.
Jazz Ambassador 8)

Offline fouraker

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #3 on: August 04, 2015, 06:48:18 AM »
That's great. Thank you very much for your feedback!

Offline fouraker

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #4 on: August 04, 2015, 01:29:21 PM »
What on earth are you talking about?

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #5 on: August 06, 2015, 11:13:02 PM »
And, I know this is highly unusual, but I am going to ask for permission from the Moderator to weigh in on this post.  I have waited a very long time to say so, in regards the Op's request.
I asked for permission, and I received no response.  Therefore, I proffer the following well thought out empirically based opinion":

Nine year-olds should not be taking piano lessons at all!  They have not developed the neurobiological level of abstract reasoning, which occurs at puberty.   And, they do not, (in any way shape, manor or form), have and adult hand for which
"any" particular piece they are assigned, was written.

So, in terms of practice time, I have to ask (as a philosopher) what will be described as a Xenophobic question.  Are you of Aisian/Mongol anthropology?

Remember, I asked for permission!  In my opinion, it has everything to do with the original OP's post

To paraphrase a common vernacular, mindsets are mindsets.

Offline josh93248

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #6 on: August 06, 2015, 11:16:21 PM »
Hoh.... Boy....


Louis....

Geeezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz................

I think I know what you may be getting at but BOY! You should know there's no way to phrase this question well.......
Care to see my playing?

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBqAtDI8LYOZ2ZzvEwRln7A/videos

I Also offer FREE PIANO LESSONS over Skype. Those who want to know more, feel free to PM me.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #7 on: August 07, 2015, 01:59:37 AM »
Good Lord...what's that got to do with the price of tea in China....LOL.  hee hee

  no nine year olds? wow.. just take money right out of every piano teacher's pocket here--yeah that's gonna go over just great...lol...   :-X Good luck selling that one..

so what's your solution--just cut our student roster in half and turn them away? LOL geez we gotta make a living...  if we don't teach them someone else will.

I started at four...

I have always said that it was those lessons in improv I had from a jazz pianist at 4 that really made it possible for me to "get it" later on.   seriously... I learned to chord at four from this guy...I learned to read a chart too.   He would come over with this green staff paper and write out our lesson--then he would write out a well - known standard with the chords and stick in the binder for me to work on with my dad.  He taught me Brubeck's take five but he wrote it out in d minor because I didn't like the black keys.

so maybe not classical lessons where they are pushed to play Liszt at 9 or drilled for hours-- but... that doesn't mean they shouldn't take lessons or play--- and how can you generalize it that way--No nine year old kids are ready for piano lessons...?  developmental stages don't arrive on a time clock--they generally occur around certain ages but they are by no means cut and dry

It's been my experience that young children enjoy playing quite a bit..some even ask their parents if they can take lessons....  and the earlier they start the better they get later on...


sounds like someone around here got a "late start"














Offline louispodesta

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #8 on: August 07, 2015, 03:59:05 PM »
Thank you all for a basic level of respect.  And, for record, I finally got serious about learning my fine art craft when I was 20 and went to NTSU.  The reason it took so long is that along with millions of other kids, I was forced to take lessons as a child.

I cannot even remember the number of times I quit.  The most horrific occurrence was after finishing a group recital as a blue ribbon winner in a contest, I had my appendix out three days later.

But, the best thing that happened was when my late father, who practiced three to four hours every evening after supper, had the big argument with my mother.  She said:  "well, I want him to take piano lessons," and then he said:  " well, what does he want to do?"  She said:  "well, he wants to play baseball with his friends," whereupon my father said:  "well, that is what he is going to do."

So, instead of spending my childhood tied to some piano bench, doing something that I absolutely hated, I got to live a normal life.  And, can I tell the difference in the way I play as opposed to the geeks who barely have the social skills to say good morning or hello to someone?  Yes, I can!

Furthermore, what is not being talked about here is the new data related to the 66% drop in sales of grand pianos in the U.S. since 2005 (30,000 vs. the current 10,000).  This comes from the PMAI in Dallas.

High school Band Directors are no longer strongly recommending that their students take piano lessons, and there are several guitar schools that bypass the tradition of taking piano lessons at the same time.  And, the biggest statistic is that those $130 programmable keyboards that they have at Wal-Mart sell around a "million" units a year!

So, what would you have us do, Mr. Podesta?

Have them join their school choir, learn how sing a melody, and partake in a true musical experience.  The cost is practically nil, and they can do it for the rest of their lives.  If it is in them to play the piano, they will come to you and practically beg you to take lessons.

And, my comment about ethnicity came from a piano teacher I was sitting next to about ten years ago in a small lecture/seminar given by Maurice Hinson.  She, just as a matter of fact, said:  that if it wasn't for her Asian students, she would not have any students at all.

This, coupled with the fact that upwards of 90% of young students quit after two or three years, is why I have said what I have said.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #9 on: August 07, 2015, 05:31:44 PM »


 I was forced to take lessons as a child.


So, instead of spending my childhood tied to some piano bench, doing something that I absolutely hated,

Furthermore, what is not being talked about here is the new data related to the 66% drop in sales of grand pianos in the U.S. since 2005 (30,000 vs. the current 10,000).  This comes from the PMAI in Dallas.

High school Band Directors are no longer strongly recommending that their students take piano lessons, and there are several guitar schools that bypass the tradition of taking piano lessons at the same time

.  And, the biggest statistic is that those $130 programmable keyboards that they have at Wal-Mart sell around a "million" units a year!

So, what would you have us do, Mr. Podesta?

Have them join their school choir, learn how sing a melody, and partake in a true musical experience.  


The cost is practically nil, and they can do it for the rest of their lives.  If it is in them to play the piano, they will come to you and practically beg you to take lessons.

And, my comment about ethnicity came from a piano teacher I was sitting next to about ten years ago in a small lecture/seminar given by Maurice Hinson.  

This, coupled with the fact that upwards of 90% of young students quit after two or three years, is why I have said what I have said.

are you a piano teacher?  have you ever taught children on a daily basis for an extended period of time..

goodness but you are making some sweeping generalizations and stating facts that do not support your statements.  

and asking about her Mongul anthropology....  good God was that supposed to be your PC way of asking that....and you have the audacity to suggest that  YOU have been the one disrespected

how is a drop in piano sales and 1 million dollars in keyboard sales evidence that children shouldn't take piano lessons...   and why is this issue important to you?


what I hear you saying is you were forced so you hated it --so you quit...not  your fault?  if you had not been forced you would have stayed with it? then you just enrolled at UNT music school at 20...and it didn't end well...   I understand you have done independent study  but what experience to you have teaching this age group?   why would you even look for evidence to support your point of view on this, since you are not a piano teacher, unless it had some personal relevance.

those years you didn't take lessons -- held you back I would imagine...but there are always a long list of reasons why we quit lessons...

now, because you "would have done better" had you been "taught correctly"---wow we get that a lot around here... you want to justify that by saying no one that age should take lessons....  that your way was the right way after all..  ...please.   you also like to say "your teacher taught you wrong"      

if you really felt that way you would not be trying so hard to prove it;  



so this came from sitting next to a piano teacher>  guess that makes you an expert?

with all due respect...   you have no evidence to support your statements nor do you have the experience to even make such a claim;

so you have never taught a lesson and you want to tell me that half of the students I taught over a 20year period I shouldn't have because....90% percent quit--of course they do... this isn't easy.  Or because band directors don't require piano lessons--they do where I live...  There are also other mitigating factors why they quit -- they move, financial troubles ... a whole host of reasons ...that you would know all about if you had any experience whatsoever..

are you serious?   ;D   you hated it...that's why you quit...it says so right up there


wow....LMAO...








Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #10 on: August 07, 2015, 06:19:56 PM »

Thank you all for a basic level of respect


And, my comment about ethnicity came from a piano teacher I was sitting next to about ten years ago in a small lecture/seminar given by Maurice Hinson.  She, just as a matter of fact, said:  that if it wasn't for her Asian students, she would not have any students at all.

This, coupled with the fact that upwards of 90% of young students quit after two or three years, is why I have said what I have said.

is this supposed to make your statement less offensive?---it's ok because 10 years ago a piano teacher made this off handed remark?

Mongul anthropology??? who are you asking about Kublai Kahn ??  that was very disrespectful of you Louis.   and at a very base level...   what --you are going to tell this woman to take her kids out of lessons and stop being an Asian mother?

and here you are claiming to be the victim...  

wow.  I am married to a Korean man...   you just missed the boat with me...bigtime

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #11 on: August 07, 2015, 08:21:51 PM »
"90% percent quit--of course they do... this isn't easy."  That pretty much says itl.  And, the only teacher, I have had dispute this figure stated that after five years "all" of her students had quit.

Go ahead and name me one academic discipline taught anywhere in the world where a teacher could keep their job, take on new students and get paid with a failure rate of even 50%.

Hey, they quit because they figure out, (and their parents figure out) that they are learning pieces, and they are not learning how to become musicians.  And, at $30 to $45 a pop, with music purchases, and buying the piano, it becomes abundantly clear that it is a waste of time, money, and effort.

This is true especially if the youngster would much be happier kicking a soccer ball around with their friends instead of memorizing some stupid piece they will most likely never play again the rest of their lives.  Musically, they can also easily learn guitar in three years, at a fraction of the cost of piano lessons, and be able to play the instrument for the rest of their lives.

And, as a classical pianist/philosopher, the last thing I am going to sit here and take is a lecture on the difference between an occidental mindset, as opposed to an Asian.  Neither is right or wrong, however, I do live in the U.S. where individualism is a very big deal.   Forcing some child to get some "culture" by making them take piano lessons is not individualism.

So, there are stats out there on the percentages of Asian students taking lessons, so you can mis-characterize me all you want.  The fact remains that there are millions of kids (not taking formal lessons) playing on their electronic keyboards, writing songs, and enjoying their music.

And, for the record, I have always been called a "Heinz 57," due to all the different blood lines in my body, which ain't white (for the record).  Have you ever been asked:  "what race are you?"  I have. 

When my Italian/Scott-Irish father was a kid in Ohio, he was not considered white.  And, on  the first day my family moved into our new house in 1967, a kid from the neighborhood rode by on his bicycle and said:  hi, Taco."

90%?  I will give you one better.  Practically all of those who graduate as piano majors end up teaching other people, who when then rarely finish their degrees, end up teaching other people to do the same.

My former Dean, Robert Freeman (Eastman, MIT, UT Austin) has made it his life work to chronicle how most music majors, if not teaching piano, are not even remotely employed as musicians.  Go ahead and challenge his research.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #12 on: August 07, 2015, 08:50:09 PM »
 
really you have no experience in this field... none whatsoever and I do apologize but I find it difficult to respect the opinion of a man who expects people to take him seriously and yet has no practical experience as a teacher...  I mean come on...LOL  

they can learn guitar in 3 years at a fraction of the cost?   ---says who?  geez..   are you hearing yourself.  


I'm sorry but Mongul Anthropology is offensive...mindsets are mindsets...?   what exactly are you trying to say...  my daughter is of Mongul anthropology...  you aren't answering my questions and you have absolutely no evidence to back this up...  please..mis-characterize?  they are your words..you could have asked that question a 100 ways...  you knew it was offensive which is why you asked permission... you couldn't wait..   wow..

you just keep saying most people quit...

I am sorry to break this to you but not everyone can do this... in fact that vast majority of people can't....  no matter how badly they want to.

these are just your opinions....  and what qualifies you to make these ridiculous claims??  can we hear you play? that might help me to take you a bit more seriously.  Do you have performance experience...?  have you ever been paid to play the piano...

I do apologize..  but you are not the first professionally inexperienced musician I have come across who thought they knew it all.

show me a study of young adults who didn't take lessons as kids who did better, or stayed with it longer than the ones who did take piano lessons as kids

 one with controlled perimeters and with reputable data--then we will discuss it


with all due respect until you go out there and make a living at it teaching playing whatever...  you have no absolutely no clue what it's like...and that is a FACT.  ;D



Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #13 on: August 07, 2015, 09:37:38 PM »




And, as a classical pianist/philosopher, the last thing I am going to sit here and take is a lecture on the difference between an occidental mindset, as opposed to an Asian. 

 
 Go ahead and challenge his research.

I don't challenge that research I challenge your assumptions...which that research doesn't support -- 

where is your research, your data, your proof,

and most importantly your experience?

like I said  there are a lot of wanna be's 

at least show us you can play.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #14 on: August 07, 2015, 09:43:08 PM »
"90% percent quit--of course they do... this isn't easy."  That pretty much says itl.  And, the only teacher, I have had dispute this figure stated that after five years "all" of her students had quit.

Go ahead and name me one academic discipline taught anywhere in the world where a teacher could keep their job, take on new students and get paid with a failure rate of even 50%.

Hey, they quit because they figure out, (and their parents figure out) that they are learning pieces, and they are not learning how to become musicians.  And, at $30 to $45 a pop, with music purchases, and buying the piano, it becomes abundantly clear that it is a waste of time, money, and effort.

This is true especially if the youngster would much be happier kicking a soccer ball around with their friends instead of memorizing some stupid piece they will most likely never play again the rest of their lives.  Musically, they can also easily learn guitar in three years, at a fraction of the cost of piano lessons, and be able to play the instrument for the rest of their lives.

And, as a classical pianist/philosopher, the last thing I am going to sit here and take is a lecture on the difference between an occidental mindset, as opposed to an Asian.  Neither is right or wrong, however, I do live in the U.S. where individualism is a very big deal.   Forcing some child to get some "culture" by making them take piano lessons is not individualism.

So, there are stats out there on the percentages of Asian students taking lessons, so you can mis-characterize me all you want.  The fact remains that there are millions of kids (not taking formal lessons) playing on their electronic keyboards, writing songs, and enjoying their music.

And, for the record, I have always been called a "Heinz 57," due to all the different blood lines in my body, which ain't white (for the record).  Have you ever been asked:  "what race are you?"  I have.

When my Italian/Scott-Irish father was a kid in Ohio, he was not considered white.  And, on  the first day my family moved into our new house in 1967, a kid from the neighborhood rode by on his bicycle and said:  hi, Taco."

90%?  I will give you one better.  Practically all of those who graduate as piano majors end up teaching other people, who when then rarely finish their degrees, end up teaching other people to do the same.

My former Dean, Robert Freeman (Eastman, MIT, UT Austin) has made it his life work to chronicle how most music majors, if not teaching piano, are not even remotely employed as musicians.  Go ahead and challenge his research.

You are making assumptions about many things.  In addition to DC comments:

You have ignored the original post where the OP stated he/she did not want to be pushy with practice.
You have dismissed those that complete a degree without a career except teaching as having limited value... you shouldn't assume the degree has no intrinsic value to them.
You have dismissed those who start piano early, quit and return that the early training had little benefit
You have assumed that children who start lessons early do so because of cultural or parental pressure.. I am as WASPie as they come, from a non-musical, non-pushy family.  I started piano pre-school because I begged to take them.  My parents and teacher relunctly agreed to give it a try.
If your stats are correct regarding how many quit... so what?  They may return to lessons later.. or more importantly, develop a love of music  even if the don't return



Offline keypeg

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #15 on: August 07, 2015, 10:19:54 PM »
TO FOURAKER - the OP:

How much someone practices is not as important as how he practices.  If he enjoys what he is doing, is motivated, and if his teacher has no concerns about what he hears and sees when teaching your child, then all is well.

Sometimes we have the idea that one must work long and hard, and if that isn't happening, then it is a defect of character - "laziness".  But in fact, the intelligent way to go through life is efficiently.  Another attribute you want as an adult is balance in life, and knowing how to find it.

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #16 on: August 07, 2015, 11:37:17 PM »
TO FOURAKER - the OP:

How much someone practices is not as important as how he practices.  If he enjoys what he is doing, is motivated, and if his teacher has no concerns about what he hears and sees when teaching your child, then all is well.

Sometimes we have the idea that one must work long and hard, and if that isn't happening, then it is a defect of character - "laziness".  But in fact, the intelligent way to go through life is efficiently.  Another attribute you want as an adult is balance in life, and knowing how to find it.
Thank you for your sincere comments.  However, at the outset you state:  "If he enjoys."

Personally, from a very young age, when this is what everybody in the 1950's and 1960's did, I played Hanon exercises every day, like my father (and so did tens of millions of other children).  The only thing I really "enjoyed" was my mother's great cooking, and baseball!

Very may years later (1971), at NTSU, I was taught the very BS regimen of (fomented by Dr. Jack Roberts) to play all of the scales, broken chords, and arpeggios before I started practicing my particular assigned repertoire.

So, in terms of the OP's original post, life, in terms of learning any of the Fine Arts, is a journey.  And, we all know that.

But, to suggest a time frame of a practice schedule (associated with scales, exercises, et al), is, in my opinion, less than genuine.  We all know the routine.

This, in terms of deductive logic, assumes a Predicate that it is okay to do this from the start.

My statement is that : No, it is not okay to request an amount of daily practice time, and then leave out what the rest of the classical piano world also does during this time period.

It, in the opinion of Earl Wild, and many others (including Dorothy Taubman, Edna Golandasky, and Thomas Mark) is a complete waste of time.

So, as a philosopher, I state the following:  in terms of practice time, or any other time, how much is a waste of time?


Offline josh93248

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #17 on: August 07, 2015, 11:46:57 PM »
Uh... Your post is kind of confusing Louis... Are you saying that practicing technical work is a waste of time? I happen to think it is a waste actually... But I just can't tell what you're saying.
Care to see my playing?

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBqAtDI8LYOZ2ZzvEwRln7A/videos

I Also offer FREE PIANO LESSONS over Skype. Those who want to know more, feel free to PM me.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #18 on: August 08, 2015, 12:05:54 AM »
 ;D  bout time you got here guys...  I thought I was gonna have to go it alone.





Very may years later (1971), at NTSU, I was taught the very BS regimen of (fomented by Dr. Jack Roberts) to play all of the scales, broken chords, and arpeggios before I started practicing my particular assigned repertoire.


So, as a philosopher, I state the following:  in terms of practice time, or any other time, how much is a waste of time?




ahhh dr Roberts... I knew we would hear his name sooner or later...  but you insist this has nothing to do with him?  I don't believe you.


...I was an awful player when I was at UNT--although watering his plants during my juries was painful--so was my pathetique sonata...  and it's not the best move to play that particular piece for the chair of the dept...and I knew it...lol...but I did it anyway.    I saw a different side of him a couple of times.but really.it doesn't matter because .   you have now made me feel sorry for Dr.  Roberts...lol if he were here --he and I would be in total agreement right now...lol. man I never thought that would happen.  he was never there to baby us or make it easy,   geez I can't believe I am defending Jack Roberts....   never again was I ever crushed like that.... and that's a good thing...   freakin tough world out there...   hard out there for a pianist...lol   my skin got pretty thick..  

so thanks Dr Roberts-- ;D   wow...  lol...  


I thought philosophers had open minds?

please let us hear you play. ;D




Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #19 on: August 08, 2015, 02:56:16 AM »


90%?  I will give you one better.  Practically all of those who graduate as piano majors end up teaching other people, who when then rarely finish their degrees, end up teaching other people to do the same.


there are too many generalizations in your statement for it to possibly have any merit in fact... please show the data you compiled that allowed you to formulate this...
 

are you saying these people have no value?  teaching can be very rewarding...    you know? no I guess you don't ...


eventually you take responsibility for your own music education and you fill in the gaps your teachers left....  and you move on.  It's great, too...you don't have to complain anymore.   8)



Offline outin

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #20 on: August 08, 2015, 05:53:57 AM »
;D  bout time you got here guys...  I thought I was gonna have to go it alone.



I'm gonna pass...had some encounters with this person's logic and perception of scientific study before...wasted my time, he has no interest in getting rid of some of the mumbo jumbo that he likes to spread around (among some of the more reasonable stuff).

Offline dogperson

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #21 on: August 08, 2015, 06:17:28 AM »
Thank you for your sincere comments.  However, at the outset you state:  "If he enjoys."

Personally, from a very young age, when this is what everybody in the 1950's and 1960's did, I played Hanon exercises every day, like my father (and so did tens of millions of other children).  The only thing I really "enjoyed" was my mother's great cooking, and baseball!

Very may years later (1971), at NTSU, I was taught the very BS regimen of (fomented by Dr. Jack Roberts) to play all of the scales, broken chords, and arpeggios before I started practicing my particular assigned repertoire.

So, in terms of the OP's original post, life, in terms of learning any of the Fine Arts, is a journey.  And, we all know that.

But, to suggest a time frame of a practice schedule (associated with scales, exercises, et al), is, in my opinion, less than genuine.  We all know the routine.

This, in terms of deductive logic, assumes a Predicate that it is okay to do this from the start.

My statement is that : No, it is not okay to request an amount of daily practice time, and then leave out what the rest of the classical piano world also does during this time period.

It, in the opinion of Earl Wild, and many others (including Dorothy Taubman, Edna Golandasky, and Thomas Mark) is a complete waste of time.

So, as a philosopher, I state the following:  in terms of practice time, or any other time, how much is a waste of time?



Offline dogperson

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #22 on: August 08, 2015, 06:47:26 AM »
I'm gonna pass...had some encounters with this person's logic and perception of scientific study before...wasted my time, he has no interest in getting rid of some of the mumbo jumbo that he likes to spread around (among some of the more reasonable stuff).

He tends to make these generalizations which he will not defend... and replies with more generalizations.   He assumes  that everyone was taught just like him, and hated it like he did.    It really gets old.

Go back and look at some earlier threads to new posters.  Amazing, they will often disappear after these critical replies. A simple question by a poster should not result in assumptions of intent, and a reply that is based on generalities and hyper-criticism.  This OP clearly stated he didn't want to be pushy, and asked a simple question.  All of that was ignored in the reply.

  The latest generalization of  assuming all kids are forced Hanon for hours on end because he was:  I took lessons during the same era, and I was never forced Hanon for hours on end.  I can't speak for all students of this era, but neither can Louis. I don't pretend that everyone else had the same experiences, and no one else should either.

My lessons, and playing, were one of the happiest parts of my childhood, and now as a returning adult.  My regret?  Too many lost years in between but we move on to try to get where we want to end.

Really, there should be efforts to stop the generalities, criticism and provide support.  If that can't happen,  don't reply.  I have suggested this before in replies to adult beginners and will now ask again. If you think you need to ask the moderator if your reply will be appropriate, you already know it win't be.


Offline josh93248

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #23 on: August 08, 2015, 07:27:40 AM »
I am relatively new to these forums but from what I've watched I can at least tell that louispodesta MAY have some points but they're buried under some flawed arguing, skewed perspective and possible racism... possibly....

I agree with DC mostly though, teaching kids is worthwhile, it seems so many great pianists were taught as kids and they have, more or less, the time to practice (I have lots of time to practice but that's more because of my advantageous life situation, sort of, but I recognise that for adult learners that isn't the norm) and in some cases the enthusiasm. However I will say that plenty are indeed forced more or less, we have to acknowledge that. Also, DC makes good points that even with the seeming drop out rate, there is value to what we do. There may seem to be so much failure in the musical developmental process but clearly it works sometimes. Just imagine if we stopped trying, there would be NO MUSIC, a terrible thought.

On technical matters, I'm of the rather odd school, perhaps my own school actually, that absolutely no technical exercise is needed for the piano. I do none. Haven't for years. I may explain this position when the time comes, when I can show how far I can get with my approach. But let us leave that for now because I'm not even sure that louispodesta even remotely shares my views because sometimes his posts are so damn confusing.

But what the bloody hell is the topic of this conversation? PRACTICE TIMES! Rather like certain threads I will not mention this thread has turned into a battleground, which while somewhat interesting is also unfortunate.

To address the topic of the OP though. I'd say your child should spend their time doing things they both enjoy and that are developmentally productive but are also challenging and perhaps difficult to face doing like any other such activity. Gentle pressure but not harsh pressure to get them to do it. Whatever results is probably the right amount, if they want to take it further, they will, if not, they won't. Don't judge either way, merely support.
Care to see my playing?

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBqAtDI8LYOZ2ZzvEwRln7A/videos

I Also offer FREE PIANO LESSONS over Skype. Those who want to know more, feel free to PM me.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #24 on: August 08, 2015, 10:16:30 AM »
Thank you for your sincere comments. ......
But, to suggest a time frame of a practice schedule (associated with scales, exercises, et al), is, in my opinion, less than genuine. 
Yes, I agree.  That is why, you'll notice, I did not suggest one.

When someone who is new to a field asks a question, it is because they have to start somewhere.  So you give more information, and perhaps put them on a slightly different track.  That is what I did.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #25 on: August 08, 2015, 03:05:29 PM »
I apologize to the OP who certainly gave up watching this thread by now.   that is an adequate amount of time...  If you want him to practice more... a very simple way to do that is to let him know how impressed you are by his playing the piano (don't over do it--kids catch on to that).   Take a sincere interest in hearing what he's working on even when it's driving you out of your mind-- but be just a little sparing--but not stingy-- with the praise...make him earn it. Listen and tell him what you hear that's different or the same--steer clear of "better" or "worse"--just word your comment so that he has no doubt you listened carefully.  If at all possible --don't hover behind him or around him when he's playing,--try not to speak to him either--wait till he's finished. This is the best motivator for kids...IMHO, of course.  Be sincere....

in a couple of years... a girl will wander up to him and be impressed with what he's doing at the piano...lol   then you won't be able to stop him from practicing..

that is the most amazing motivator of young boys to practice the piano that I have ever seen...lol...girls

Offline fouraker

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #26 on: August 09, 2015, 11:38:20 AM »
Thank you very much, and I haven't given up, though louispodesta's post baffle me. I agree with you entirely here - we know that 9 is young and we, my wife and I, just want to steer him gently with something he clearly has a talent for. The lessons each week are obviously with a highly qualified teacher and he really enjoys them! He enjoys practicing less so, but that's okay, we just let him play his own stuff ( he has already composed something which is quite incredible for his age!) followed by half an hour or so of material for his next exam which is in November, plus theory of course. He has already tasted the fruits of his labour with two first prizes in a music festival competition earlier this year, and has a trophy proudly sitting on the piano. This made him feel very proud and really spurred him on. When girls begin to occupy his mind in a few years time, I couldn't agree with you more, this will be the greatest incentive a young man can possibly have.

A huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to this post, even to you Louispodesta - every opinion is valid.

Tim Fouraker :)

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #27 on: August 09, 2015, 04:05:46 PM »
Thank you very much, and I haven't given up, though louispodesta's post baffle me. I agree with you entirely here - we know that 9 is young and we, my wife and I, just want to steer him gently with something he clearly has a talent for. The lessons each week are obviously with a highly qualified teacher and he really enjoys them! He enjoys practicing less so, but that's okay, we just let him play his own stuff ( he has already composed something which is quite incredible for his age!) followed by half an hour or so of material for his next exam which is in November, plus theory of course. He has already tasted the fruits of his labour with two first prizes in a music festival competition earlier this year, and has a trophy proudly sitting on the piano. This made him feel very proud and really spurred him on. When girls begin to occupy his mind in a few years time, I couldn't agree with you more, this will be the greatest incentive a young man can possibly have.

A huge thanks to everyone who has contributed to this post, even to you Louispodesta - every opinion is valid.

Tim Fouraker :)

Tim you are a very supportive parent... ;D  your enthusiasm is great...   really--don't stress it...you are doing a bang up job... and the sincerity shows.   

your son is a lucky boy  :D

Offline chopinlover01

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #28 on: August 09, 2015, 05:59:05 PM »
that is the most amazing motivator of young boys to practice the piano that I have ever seen...lol...girls
Quite true, sadly  ;D
Jazz Ambassador 8)

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #29 on: August 09, 2015, 07:50:45 PM »
"The lessons each week are obviously with a highly qualified teacher and he really enjoys them! He enjoys practicing less so, but that's okay, we just let him play his own stuff ( he has already composed something which is quite incredible for his age!) followed by half an hour or so of material for his next exam which is in November, plus theory of course. He has already tasted the fruits of his labour with two first prizes in a music festival competition earlier this year, and has a trophy proudly sitting on the piano."

Pardon me, with all due respect to the parents of this obviously gifted "child," I thought this website and its various forums concerned ones development as a musician.  Didn't someone ("dcstudio") recently post a thread wherein she stated that one of the reasons she quit teaching had to do with the over-emphasis on competitions?

When I was young, it was the Piano Guild of America that ruled.  And, one had to attain this level, and then another exam to get to another level.  William Race out of my school (UT Austin) practically ran the whole thing, and only one of his students, Santiago Rodriguez, ever reached the concert stage.  Hey, that ain't a 90% failure rate, it is statistically zero percent!

Are the rest of you going to go along with the rationale that 30 minutes a day of repertoire practice will result in this gifted person becoming any kind of a musician/pianist?  If drudgery sets in in that short of a time frame, then his "highly qualified teacher" has obviously not taught him how to practice.

More importantly, what is he doing to develop his overall rhythmic skill and also his vocal skills?  If you can't count, and you can't sing, then a guy by the name of Busoni said that you can't play.

I highly recommend Dalcroze Eurhytmics for this development which has been around in Europe forever, and is now taught throughout the U.S.  That way, he gets to physically experience music in a much larger sense.  This is as opposed to sitting at the piano playing the same thing over and over again, which is what he is doing now.

30 minutes?  Geez!!

Before, I found Thomas Mark, I used to take up to two hours just to warm-up and play all of my scales and exercises.   Now, I don't have to warm-up at all, and for the record, neither do any other pianists who have studied Taubman or Alexander Technique.

Offline josh93248

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #30 on: August 09, 2015, 08:04:05 PM »
"The lessons each week are obviously with a highly qualified teacher and he really enjoys them! He enjoys practicing less so, but that's okay, we just let him play his own stuff ( he has already composed something which is quite incredible for his age!) followed by half an hour or so of material for his next exam which is in November, plus theory of course. He has already tasted the fruits of his labour with two first prizes in a music festival competition earlier this year, and has a trophy proudly sitting on the piano."

Pardon me, with all due respect to the parents of this obviously gifted "child," I thought this website and its various forums concerned ones development as a musician.  Didn't someone ("dcstudio") recently post a thread wherein she stated that one of the reasons she quit teaching had to do with the over-emphasis on competitions?

When I was young, it was the Piano Guild of America that ruled.  And, one had to attain this level, and then another exam to get to another level.  William Race out of my school (UT Austin) practically ran the whole thing, and only one of his students, Santiago Rodriguez, ever reached the concert stage.  Hey, that ain't a 90% failure rate, it is statistically zero percent!

Are the rest of you going to go along with the rationale that 30 minutes a day of repertoire practice will result in this gifted person becoming any kind of a musician/pianist?  If drudgery sets in in that short of a time frame, then his "highly qualified teacher" has obviously not taught him how to practice.

More importantly, what is he doing to develop his overall rhythmic skill and also his vocal skills?  If you can't count, and you can't sing, then a guy by the name of Busoni said that you can't play.

I highly recommend Dalcroze Eurhytmics for this development which has been around in Europe forever, and is now taught throughout the U.S.  That way, he gets to physically experience music in a much larger sense.  This is as opposed to sitting at the piano playing the same thing over and over again, which is what he is doing now.

30 minutes?  Geez!!

Before, I found Thomas Mark, I used to take up to two hours just to warm-up and play all of my scales and exercises.   Now, I don't have to warm-up at all, and for the record, neither do any other pianists who have studied Taubman or Alexander Technique.

Perhaps start your own thread on all your theories rather than cluttering this one. I'd actually be curious to hear them phrased in a less argumentative style... Maybe...
Care to see my playing?

http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBqAtDI8LYOZ2ZzvEwRln7A/videos

I Also offer FREE PIANO LESSONS over Skype. Those who want to know more, feel free to PM me.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #31 on: August 09, 2015, 09:57:03 PM »
what's that I hear?  


ahhh  the plight of the obsessively misinformed.


let me set the record straight.

why do people who have never taught a lesson or tried to anything as a professional feel they have enough experience to slice up the man who was chair of the piano department at the 2nd largest music school in the USA.    A man whose experience and sheer ability was second only to his amazing memory and intelligence.   Who taught countless students who went on to have careers as performers.  A man who developed a finger exercise routine that took place over a three year period and resulted in amazing agility--and added a level of velocity and control to my hands that I never thought possible.   A man who never compromised the integrity of his department by keeping students around who failed to make the grade.   Who could be quite cruel...but who also had more knowledge of piano literature and pedagogy and could sight read better than anyone else I have ever known.  A man who I am so honored to have even been casually acquainted with...so honored to be able to say that he actually heard me play a few times...   a man I unjustly blamed for my failure at music school.... who kept me on the roster when I thought I didn't belong there.

Dr. Jack Roberts..   seriously one of the most amazing musicians ever.

RIP Dr. R...   I take back every bad thing I ever said about you...  thanks for being so tough on me!


it's just hilarious.  8)




Offline louispodesta

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #32 on: August 09, 2015, 11:28:25 PM »
what's that I hear?  


ahhh  the plight of the obsessively misinformed.


let me set the record straight.

why do people who have never taught a lesson or tried to anything as a professional feel they have enough experience to slice up the man who was chair of the piano department at the 2nd largest music school in the USA.    A man whose experience and sheer ability was second only to his amazing memory and intelligence.   Who taught countless students who went on to have careers as performers.  A man who developed a finger exercise routine that took place over a three year period and resulted in amazing agility--and added a level of velocity and control to my hands that I never thought possible.   A man who never compromised the integrity of his department by keeping students around who failed to make the grade.   Who could be quite cruel...but who also had more knowledge of piano literature and pedagogy and could sight read better than anyone else I have ever known.  A man who I am so honored to have even been casually acquainted with...so honored to be able to say that he actually heard me play a few times...   a man I unjustly blamed for my failure at music school.... who kept me on the roster when I thought I didn't belong there.

Dr. Jack Roberts..   seriously one of the most amazing musicians ever.

RIP Dr. R...   I take back every bad thing I ever said about you...  thanks for being so tough on me!


it's just hilarious.  8)




Are you guys reading this?  Just ask her what Jack Roberts did in the middle of her jury.  Go ahead, because if I told you, you would not believe me.

Further, this so-called great intellect only got the Chair of the Department because Richard Cass quit and moved to the Kansas City Conservatory.  Prior to that, Roberts moved his buddy, Joseph Banowetz into a tenured position, and Mr. Cass saw the writing on the wall.

Further, years later in a private conversation, Roberts admitted to me that he was a "seat of your pants" pianist" who was not qualified to teach me harmonic analysis based classical improvisation.  You "ear" pianists (absolutely no offense) know exactly what he was saying.

Finally, once again, I now have the best technique coach on this planet (Thomas Mark), having spent 50 years doing it your way.

Accordingly, I don't have to warm up, play stupid scales, exercises, et al, and most importantly, he taught me the following:  if after two days the performance of the piece, as a whole or in particular, has not improved, then you need to strip it back down and start from scratch.   Playing it over and over again will NEVER do the trick.

So, when someone says that he "steers" his young one (who I am sure he loves very much, which is a great thing) to practice towards their "next exam," that ladies and gentlemen is not fine art pedagogy, it is control (vicarious at worst, and helicopter parenting at best).

And, the great news is I am finished commenting on this thread, with one exception, and these are genuine views:

Offline keypeg

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #33 on: August 10, 2015, 12:01:16 AM »
Finally, once again, I now have the best technique coach on this planet (Thomas Mark), having spent 50 years doing it your way.

Accordingly, I don't have to warm up, play stupid scales, exercises, et al, and most importantly, he taught me the following:  if after two days the performance of the piece, as a whole or in particular, has not improved, then you need to strip it back down and start from scratch.   Playing it over and over again will NEVER do the trick.
This is absolutely correct.  But if you ever thought that playing it over and over again was the way to do it, then you must have had some horrendous teachers originally.  But then you seem to also be saying that that was the case, and hence your reactions are totally understandable.  There is a lot wrong in the teaching world, but there are also (a few) good teachers who have thought through their teaching goals, and refuse to compromise.  Often they're not the ones we hear about, however.

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #34 on: August 10, 2015, 12:25:59 AM »

Dr. Roberts got up in the middle of my pathetique sonata and watered his plants....  which I was mad about for the last oh...23 years I guess.  

it doesn't in any way change anything I just said about him.   He did because I chose that sonata after being told countless times not to play it for my jury...I had been told that he never wanted to hear it again.   Not only did I choose that sonata I really butchered it, too.  

had he really thought I didn't have it he would have dropped me back to secondary...but he didn't--he watered his plants---which, though I have never been sure, I really think he tried to make it sound like he was.. using the urinal... and then he gave me a C...  which I really deserved.


thank you Luis, really...   for making me see how childish I have been for blaming this guy...


lol...  I can't resist  as childish as this is.   Will Youtube views settle this?

these are actual views...  I win.  ;D  



here's another

 I win again...  and I can do this all day.  I got a bunch of them.

Offline dogperson

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #35 on: August 10, 2015, 12:40:43 AM »
Dr. Roberts got up in the middle of my pathetique sonata and watered his plants....  which I was mad about for the last oh...23 years I guess.  


lol...  I can't resist  as childish as this is.   Will Youtube views settle this?

these are actual views...  I win.  ;D  



here's another

 I win again...  and I can do this all day.  I got a bunch of them.

Love the jazz, DC!  Impressive, delicate touch and rhythm.  I can see why you are a hit at your gig.  Thanks for sharing.  :)

Offline keypeg

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #36 on: August 10, 2015, 01:10:37 AM »
Aiming for perspective all round.
Dr. Roberts got up in the middle of my pathetique sonata and watered his plants....  which I was mad about for the last oh...23 years I guess.  

it doesn't in any way change anything I just said about him.   He did because I chose that sonata after being told countless times not to play it for my jury...I had been told that he never wanted to hear it again.   Not only did I choose that sonata I really butchered it, too.  
If this was in your juries - then I'm sorry, that behaviour was disrespectful and improper.  If the reasoning is that you didn't chose the piece that he wanted you to choose, so he watered his plants, I have the picture of a child scribbling on the wall because his favorite meal wasn't served.  Adults should have greater self-control.  This to me does not seem like professional comportment.  And since you were affected for 23 years, I think there was a reason.  I'm sure you didn't just dash off that sonata - you probably did some heavy work on it.  Now as I understand it there are also some hidden rules in the teacher-student and professor-student relationship: for example, that a student does not disregard the professor's advice (which can also be seen as disrespectful) and by choosing that sonata, you violated that rule.  So maybe the plant watering was a tit-for-tat. Or at least - if you do disregard the esteemed professor's advice, you'd better produce one kick-*ss awesome sonata!   ;D  Which you didn't manage to pull off.

Meanwhile, our relationship with teachers and other authority figures in a guiding role is not that simple.  It is possible for a teacher to have done awful things, or to have mistaught, or neglected, or various things which create actual harm or difficulties for the student.  In fact, teaching well is not an easy thing, so there will be degrees of mistakes anywhere.  But those same teachers may do some things very well.  They may have areas where they shine.  It's not black and white.  I think the trick is to acknowledge all sides.

Personally I am not much interested in a person's fame or even "lineage".  I want to know whether that person can teach well, whether any of his students have improved through his teaching, and whether *I* am improving through that teaching.  Not whether theoretically I ought to be improving because he is famous and has a reputation - but does this work for me?  Assuming that I am also working with him and what he is teaching in an effective manner, which is the other side of the coin.
Quote
That is nice, sensitive, expressive playing.

Now a question.  Did you arrive there solely because of Dr. Roberts?  How about any other teachers before, during, or after?  How about things that you explored on your own afterward, and other influences?  What the video proves is that you play well, and you got there somehow.
Quote
 I win again...  and I can do this all day.  I got a bunch of them.
I think you're getting pulled into something, and it's the wrong direction.  There should be no competition about who "wins" about whether Dr. R was a good or bad teacher, which is not a black and white question anyway.  What we know is that following what he taught did not seem to work for LouiPodesta for whatever reason.  If anything should be discussed it would be the actual things that he taught, and this should be done in a separate thread.  If this involves doing certain exercises in a certain way and order, then that can be discussed.  But who "wins" by how well or badly s/he plays isn't really much of anything, imho.

Except we got to hear some nice music on a Sunday evening.   :)

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #37 on: August 10, 2015, 02:12:57 AM »
Well thanks guys...that was nice of you... ;D

you are right...  man I wish they had not put a time limit on that modify button...

lol...my daughter starts 10th grade in the morning... it's been a rough day...


as for Dr. Roberts...great as he was to me...I only knew him for 3 years..  I have been playing for 46--and I have had many teachers---by far my biggest influence...and the one who stood over me and wouldn't give up...was my husband, david...   that jazz you hear... I learned that from him..

maybe you would like to hear some more music....

this a vintage vid of Dave and I about 9 years ago...playing the Dave Brubeck classic Take Five

it's one of my favorites--it features his guitar -- I am a lucky lady  8)

I do so hope you enjoy it.


Offline keypeg

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #38 on: August 10, 2015, 02:45:39 AM »
Nothing to edit.  It was a good and honest post.  It may also be good for people to read, because there are probably a number of people who have been both hurt and helped by various teachers, professors and so on, and are trying to deal with/ come to terms with these things.  Mixed feelings - the pros and cons - is part of the package.  Mixed in with it as well is that when you're a student, you don't know everything yet (do we ever?) so there is self-doubt mixed in with the belief that the "superior" knows more and must be right, even if some things feel wrong.  I think it was good to read just as you wrote it.

And hey, now we get to listen to a bit more.  Fantastic. :)

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #39 on: August 10, 2015, 03:07:14 AM »

thanks keypeg  ;D

if any of you reading this are wondering about Dr. Roberts here is an article.

http://news.unt.edu/news-releases/longtime-piano-professor-jack-roberts-dies-72

he died before YT hit -- no vids.  

Offline fouraker

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #40 on: August 10, 2015, 01:46:28 PM »
Tim you are a very supportive parent... ;D  your enthusiasm is great...   really--don't stress it...you are doing a bang up job... and the sincerity shows.   

your son is a lucky boy  :D

Thank you :)

Offline keypeg

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #41 on: August 10, 2015, 04:51:53 PM »
I want to go back to what Louispodesta wrote, because there are some important things behind what he wrote.

We have to look at what happens in teaching itself.  Now, Louis gives a specific portrait, which is how his lessons went.  A lot of lessons do go that way - I think this is the "traditional" pattern that is still quite prevalent, and personally I am not that enamoured by that model.  There are also other ways that music is taught - other routines and systems.  My impression is that really good teaching is rare.  You also have the complicated question of students working with the teacher, the parents' (parent's) role, and how one thing can affect the other.  For example, a student "not practising" may hamper the teacher's effectiveness - but what the teacher does may affect the student's practising, or whether an erstwhile compliant young student will ever play the piano again once he is set free.

Where there is smoke there is fire.

I was forced to look into this myself some years ago, after having had 5 years of music lessons as an adult on a different instrument, with a child having entered college for a music degree and what happened there.  I'd been thrown into the music lesson scene unprepared, having never experienced lessons and came out some years later reeling.  I had had a simple assumption:  Playing a musical instrument is a skill involving physical actions, training of the ear, and certain intellectual and aesthetic understanding of music.  The teacher's aim is to develop those skills, and there is probably some sequential way of getting there.  Follow the teacher's lead, and you'll obtain all of that.  That's what I thought.  In many cases that is not what it is!

There are lots of variants:
- In the "traditional, old fashioned" model, the student gets a series of things that the teacher's teacher, and teacher's teacher's teacher did.  You "do" Czerny, and Hanon, and Inventions, and Sonatas, and scales and chords and arpeggios.  By "doing" them you will get the skills somehow.  The teacher may say this is wrong (that F# should be F), "bring out the voice" without teaching how to do it (doesn't know how), browbeat the student who fearfully tries to make it sound right at home, and may get some kind of a semblance of "better" through sheer willpower and fear.  I've known people who went through that scenario.  I don't know if this was Louis'.

- You have the scenario of outside events, like DC described in the thread of why she quit teaching.  The teacher prepares the student to compete in competitions (an outside event), to ace exams, or shine at recitals.  Yes, skills are part of this to some extent.  But you can choreograph the student, have him imitate you, and have him play the same piece for a long time, polishing beyond polishing.  Does the student learn to understand what is within the music, to interpret it?  Can he read and examine the music in order to interpret and work on music on his own eventually?  Can he solve problems?  Or is he just left with a few polished pieces to make his parents proud?

- You have "going through the method books", maybe shallowly, and maybe as fast as possible so that Suzie reaches grade 8 faster than neighbour Mary.  A variant for adults is to give shortcuts, and/or favourite pieces, so that not much time needs to be taken in practising - both in terms of minutes per day, or number of years of lessons.

- You have people who can sort of play the piano, and hang out their shingle as piano teachers.  Or people who play piano extremely well, but have no idea how to teach it. Especially at the very important beginner level.  What use is it to guide in advanced interpretation, bringing out this or that note, when the student hasn't figured out how to produce forte vs. pianissimo?  That kind of thing.

These are some of the goings on.  I am not convinced that there is any single formula, and I definitely would not want to impose one.  There are some excellent teachers out there, but I couldn't tell anyone how to find one in their own location.  The excellent teachers are probably often the least visible, because they don't play the game, and they may not select excellent well-trained students whose playing will help cement their own reputations.  In addition to which, the hardest and most important job, often not acknowledged, belongs to the teacher of the beginner who sets everything up.

Phew.  Too long.

Offline bronnestam

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #42 on: August 21, 2015, 09:52:31 AM »
I do not think piano lessons are bad for a 9-year old ...  :) ... provided they like it. I also think that you sometimes need to gently push your children a little, because otherwise they would probably drop out of everything and become "quitters" - that is, people who learn to quit as soon as they feel any kind of resistance. Which may be a dangerous habit not only in professional life but also in your personal life.

But it is a big difference in gently keeping your child on track, and pushing it far too hard. That will teach it to hate the whole thing (and probably hate you as well). So you have to be very supportive and very sensitive to the signals your child is sending out. This may sound so obvious, but most parents have big dreams and hope for their children, and we so very often mix OUR dreams and ambitions with THEIRS. When you are young, you need to experiment in order to find your way. You need to develop physically, socially, spiritually ... I think it is bad thing for a child to concentrate so much on one task that the others are neglected.

With this, I wanted to say that a child of 9 should be rather occupied with school, peers and outdoor activities, and therefore 1 hour a day may be a bit too much! Personally I would say 20 minutes ... or even less as a MINIMUM. Perhaps five minutes. Then, if the child likes, he can do more. Much more ... But then it would be his own choice. If he some days say "nah, I'll skip this, I want to do this or that instead", then go easy on him. Say "all right, you just do your five minutes and then you're finished for today" and don't ask for more.

When I was a teen and a pre-teen, I also took piano lessons once a week, 20 minutes every time. This was a terribly stupid idea alltogether, but noone knew better in those days. These were the rules in my municipal music school, the "fair" arrangement. Later on they even tried to cut down lesson time to 15 minutes, in order to get more students into school ... imagine the situation for the teachers as well, having to see 50 students for individual lessons every week!  If it were today, I would ask for an arrangement that gave me 1 hour every third week instead. Because there is travelling time back and forth to the lesson, and some weeks you have to concentrate on important school assignments, and then what is the point in showing up in a lesson when you have got no time to practice since last time? Or, you do as I did - you show up, confess that you have not worked very well, you get ashamed, your teacher gets disappointed, you leave with the terribel feeling of being a bad student, and you are definitely on a dead-end road in your piano career ... And then you do as I did, concentrate on other things in your life and forget about piano for decades. Or forever.

A pity, isn't it?

So, maybe practicing one hour a day is too much at the moment. Taking one lesson every week may also be too much! It depends on how your child feels, but if he starts to signal that he is getting bored or tired of it, take these signals seriously. It may be just one little dip that he can overcome with some gentle support, but also a healthy signal that he is on the wrong track. A child is born with instincts that help them - when to sit, when to start crawling, when to walk, when to talk, when to learn this and that, when to do absolutely nothing. And when to PLAY, alone or with friends - that is just as important as "studies".
Actually it is important all your life.  ;)

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #43 on: August 21, 2015, 11:03:07 PM »
I do not think piano lessons are bad for a 9-year old ...  :) ... provided they like it. I also think that you sometimes need to gently push your children a little, because otherwise they would probably drop out of everything and become "quitters" - that is, people who learn to quit as soon as they feel any kind of resistance. Which may be a dangerous habit not only in professional life but also in your personal life.

But it is a big difference in gently keeping your child on track, and pushing it far too hard. That will teach it to hate the whole thing (and probably hate you as well). So you have to be very supportive and very sensitive to the signals your child is sending out. This may sound so obvious, but most parents have big dreams and hope for their children, and we so very often mix OUR dreams and ambitions with THEIRS. When you are young, you need to experiment in order to find your way. You need to develop physically, socially, spiritually ... I think it is bad thing for a child to concentrate so much on one task that the others are neglected.

With this, I wanted to say that a child of 9 should be rather occupied with school, peers and outdoor activities, and therefore 1 hour a day may be a bit too much! Personally I would say 20 minutes ... or even less as a MINIMUM. Perhaps five minutes. Then, if the child likes, he can do more. Much more ... But then it would be his own choice. If he some days say "nah, I'll skip this, I want to do this or that instead", then go easy on him. Say "all right, you just do your five minutes and then you're finished for today" and don't ask for more.

When I was a teen and a pre-teen, I also took piano lessons once a week, 20 minutes every time. This was a terribly stupid idea alltogether, but noone knew better in those days. These were the rules in my municipal music school, the "fair" arrangement. Later on they even tried to cut down lesson time to 15 minutes, in order to get more students into school ... imagine the situation for the teachers as well, having to see 50 students for individual lessons every week!  If it were today, I would ask for an arrangement that gave me 1 hour every third week instead. Because there is travelling time back and forth to the lesson, and some weeks you have to concentrate on important school assignments, and then what is the point in showing up in a lesson when you have got no time to practice since last time? Or, you do as I did - you show up, confess that you have not worked very well, you get ashamed, your teacher gets disappointed, you leave with the terribel feeling of being a bad student, and you are definitely on a dead-end road in your piano career ... And then you do as I did, concentrate on other things in your life and forget about piano for decades. Or forever.

A pity, isn't it?

So, maybe practicing one hour a day is too much at the moment. Taking one lesson every week may also be too much! It depends on how your child feels, but if he starts to signal that he is getting bored or tired of it, take these signals seriously. It may be just one little dip that he can overcome with some gentle support, but also a healthy signal that he is on the wrong track. A child is born with instincts that help them - when to sit, when to start crawling, when to walk, when to talk, when to learn this and that, when to do absolutely nothing. And when to PLAY, alone or with friends - that is just as important as "studies".
Actually it is important all your life.  ;)

Thank you so very much for your honest and life experience analysis.  You have delineated the average nine year old normal piano lesson, in terms of two to three million people, which absent my comments, no one else has done before

Once again, thank you so much for the courage of sharing your personal experience, and hopefully one day there will exist a (I hate this word) a "standardized" Epistemology with its associated bio-mechanics of how to play the piano.
 

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #44 on: August 22, 2015, 01:42:07 AM »

The problem with having no experience as a teacher is that you have never tried everything but stand on your head to get a child interested in their piano lessons.

You have never sat next to a child and tried to correct the simplest of fingering issues, or rhythm errors, or pitch errors, and heard:

this is the way I play it...  I can't do it your way...  why can't I do it this way... this way sounds right to me... I played it for my mom and SHE said it was right...   that is a D!   I like it better like this...  I have to do it like this... my hand hurts when I touch the keys lightly... this song is too hard... I don't like this song..  I don't know what this note is... I hate the piano..  my mom says I have to do it like this..  you said this was right...   I did what you said...  I practiced every day.. my piano is broken...    you know my cat had kittens...   I don't like my brother../


you have no idea.  lol...seriously--there are two sides here.   These are by no means absolutes but... the ones that are being forced to take lessons just suck the life right out of you and sometimes leave you feeling a little deflated when the good ones come in ...

and those are just the kids... the parents...OMG

we are only going to pay for 3 lessons this month...  you only gave my daughter one song...  why didn't my kid win... I will pay you next time... can I have another freebee make up lesson even though I have stood you up twice.   Johnny say you are being mean by making him play this song...  we don't use air conditioning in our home...


come on out in the trenches and fight some battles with the vets and see how easy it is.   Then blame your teacher.

Offline keypeg

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #45 on: August 22, 2015, 05:55:51 AM »
We're in danger of having a series of individual posts that each get ignored as the next person goes off on his or her own tangent.  I wrote about the big picture of the various things going on in music teaching which took me a few years to patch together - I had a reason - and Bronnestam wrote on the issue of young children and the big picture there.  This is followed by two snapshots by dcstudio of a typical day vis-a-vis a child who doesn't want to be there, and vis-a-vis a parent, and ends "don't blame your teacher".  Neither Bronnestam nor I did anything remotely related to teacher blaming, so what we have are three separate unrelated posts.

I will address the "Don't blame your teacher" statement, however.  Ok - blame for what?  I'd say, for difficulties, obviously.  So let's look at that - difficulties.

The first is prevention.  Get a decent teacher who is aiming to give you the skills you need, who knows how to give those skills, and then follow instructions consistently and intelligently.  Then you prevent the difficulties.  Dcstudio, your vignettes are about that.  The child who won't do those things, the parent who is more obstructive than cooperative.  BUT you also mention the child who doesn't want to be there.  That goes to part of Bronnestam's post.  Maybe that child should not be forced to take lessons.  That would solve the teacher's aggravation - and the child's.  ;)  Yes, don't blame the teacher for that one - the kid doesn't want to be there, and the teacher probably agrees with the child.

What about Bronnestam's tale of the 15 minute lessons imposed by the school?  I doubt anybody learned much there.  Not the fault of the child, or the parent, or the teacher.  But then what about the various scenarios that I described - some of which I see as recipes for difficulties.  Or am I alone in thinking so?  Nobody has said anything about it.

That said, I have a problem with "Don't blame the teacher." as an absolute maxim.  To solve a difficulty or avoid problems, you have to look at everything.  There is an elephant in the room.  Not everyone teaches well.  Not everyone who teaches has the ability to do so properly.  The circumstances under which teaching is done can be wrong, which can lead to some unfortunate choices - for example the pressure to push kids through grade levels super fast.  What gets skipped?

We can veer too much on the side of being deferential simply because someone has the title of teacher.  A student can struggle for years under poor teaching because it is "disrespectful" or "could hurt the teacher's feelings" (see the thread in which both of us commented, in regards to this).  Some teachers are even abusive.  When there are problems you have to look everything in the face that might be the cause.  Are you as parent undermining the teacher's efforts?  Are you as student creating your own obstacles?  But also, is there a problem in what is being taught, and how it's taught, and what isn't?  In some cases you might have to blame the teacher.  That is a very uncomfortable thing, and almost taboo to write.  In fact, the first time I read it, it was proposed by a teacher in a forum, who warned that not all teachers are good teachers.

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #46 on: August 22, 2015, 11:13:37 PM »
In terms of "dcstudio," who has a great heart by the way, and unlike most piano teachers, is a REAL musician in terms of being able to perform most anything, I proffer the following, using her own words:

["you have no idea.  lol...seriously--there are two sides here.   These are by no means absolutes but... the ones that are being forced to take lessons just suck the life right out of you and sometimes leave you feeling a little deflated when the good ones come in ...

and those are just the kids... the parents...OMG
we are only going to pay for 3 lessons this month...  you only gave my daughter one song...  why didn't my kid win... I will pay you next time... can I have another freebee make up lesson even though I have stood you up twice.   Johnny say you are being mean by making him play this song...  we don't use air conditioning in our home... "]

I quit a drawing class a few years back (all adults) because the instructor kept saying:  "do it like I do."

And, that "dcstudio," is the way way 99% of the piano teachers I have run into over the last 50 or so years have taught their students (because that is how they learned it from their teacher!).  From a very young age, they did it with me, and there is no reason for me to believe that I was unique in that experience.

And so "dcstudio," you used to get paid money for teaching.  And that, under state and U.S. law, means you were rendering a service.  To dumb it down:  it means that when someone pays for a service or a product, they are supposed to get what they are paying for.

The first time (after a five hour plane ride across country and a thirty minute drive), that I sat down with Thomas Mark, I was thunderstruck at his level of pedagogical skill.

First, regarding a question about the technical problems associated with a section of a particular piece, he has the ability to determine:  what is the student is really asking?  That is a HUGE DEAL!

Second, he then plays through the particular section, learns it "on the fly," and then renders his advise, always with the caveat:  "in my opinion."  If I ever heard an actual piano teacher ever say those words, I would drop dead, and then you would not have to worry about old LHP again!

One mo time!

The whole process of piano teaching in the U.S. is un-licensed, un-regulated, and has the highest failure rate of any pedagogy of any Fine Art discipline.  Monetarily, it works out to approximately 2 million students (conservative estimate) nine year-olds at $30 dollars a pop.  That means 60 million dollars a week for nine months/36 weeks a year.

That is the true reality of teaching piano.

And, here it comes!:  shortly after returning from NTSU in 1972, a close friend of mine, who was a rock and roll guitarist at the time, telephoned me early one Saturday morning.

He was teaching a little on the side at a small local piano studio.  His original degree was in sociology, but since that time, he has very successfully matriculated at UNT at a Masters Degree level, in guitar.

Per the original phone call, he said:  hey, one of our piano teachers didn't show up.  Can you come down and substitute fore him for six students?

I said:  that I don't teach, and that I am not even remotely qualified to do this.  He then exploded.

Hey, man, these are six nine year olds, who don't know and don't care, and I will give you the entire fee.  My immediate response was: I don't do this, and for a reason, and then I hung up on him (something I had/have never done).

Get it:  dcstudio!

Offline dcstudio

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #47 on: August 23, 2015, 12:36:41 AM »


I get that you are unhappy with the way music is taught... and I agree with you on that Louis...

I don't think there is one absolute right way to teach... each student should be evaluated individually IMO.   

That doesn't mean I think that scales and arpeggios are useless though.  My brain "mapped" the feel and memory of each key into my hands while the relative pitch I rely on so heavily slipped into my ears-- as I practiced those scales and arpeggios.   Now I understand why those exercises were necessary to my development--and why I had to learn all the other stuff I thought was useless, too.  Now it makes perfect sense... 

but someone who has played for three years can come along now and claim to be a teacher and hand out advice and talk out his arse---they think because they are playing a chopin etude or because they are banging out a Beethoven Sonata that makes them a virtuoso and they should be afforded all the respect due them...

I thank you for your kind words concerning my musicianship...   :)   

I will be getting paid to teach again soon... so I have to say---I don't think you are going to get far advocating for govt regulation of private piano teachers...  I will take the good with the bad...and put up with every "Tom, Dick, and Harry" saying they can teach piano--so that I don't have to worry about Uncle Sam... :)

Offline keypeg

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #48 on: August 23, 2015, 02:49:14 AM »
Is this thread merely a series of monologues?

Offline keypeg

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Re: Daily practice for kids - how much?
«Reply #49 on: August 23, 2015, 03:13:58 AM »
Louis, I respect your integrity for not accepting that teaching stint that day, and understand your reasons.  You were very fortunate to meet the teacher that you finally met, and the insights he gave you.