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Advice on my child's piano performance and potential (Read 1672 times)

Offline slsyt

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Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
« on: April 04, 2016, 05:55:51 PM »
Hi there,

I am posting a link for my 10 years old son's recent performance on a piano recital and seeking your advice/comments. Although he has earned a lot of praise after the performance, I am still not sure his potential/future as a pianist (I am not a musician) since it is such a competitive field! I am still not fully convinced that we should invest so much time & $ on this if music is not going to be a good career for him. My son has already studied piano for 4 years.



-Thank you-

Offline themeandvariation

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 06:25:10 PM »
Of course there is always risk in this profession… What is your idea of a good career?
To impose such a grand idea for someone so young, is probably quite an unknown as far as 'outcome'..
Is the Only reason for your time and money in this 'investment' for the purpose of a career?
Are  there not other obvious reasons which have 'developmental' weight  that is valuable to a child's development?
I think he plays fine… The piece is not so challenging, but he does play well, and with musicality, and more importantly - with confidence , and i dare say, he seems to enjoy it.
4'33"

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 06:29:58 PM »
Hi there,

I am posting a link for my 10 years old son's recent performance on a piano recital and seeking your advice/comments. Although he has earned a lot of praise after the performance, I am still not sure his potential/future as a pianist (I am not a musician) since it is such a competitive field! I am still not fully convinced that we should invest so much time & $ on this if music is not going to be a good career for him. My son has already studied piano for 4 years.



-Thank you-

Well, for the kid's future, any parent will stress over risk , there's risk in my field too . Computers. There's risk in playing soccer he can break a knee.
Invest in him fully knowing all well that all of it can go down the drain but the effort and love he will remember from the parent and his enjoyment of whatever he is doing.
He enjoys music andp iano so encourage him and do the best for him while he has the interest.
Not based on future forecasts or investment returns.
Watch and particpate in his growth that goes this way or that way, you can straighten it out or correct it a bit, but in the end he makes the decision.
He plays ok and he likes it, with that kind of musicla interest or passion one can have a career in music, it is a broad career lot of options to choose from. But honestly not sure if he can be a concert pianist, but who knows maybe he can.
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Offline pjjslp

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 06:56:20 PM »
Hi there,

I am posting a link for my 10 years old son's recent performance on a piano recital and seeking your advice/comments. Although he has earned a lot of praise after the performance, I am still not sure his potential/future as a pianist (I am not a musician) since it is such a competitive field! I am still not fully convinced that we should invest so much time & $ on this if music is not going to be a good career for him. My son has already studied piano for 4 years.



-Thank you-


He played very nicely. As a parent myself, I personally don't believe he needs to definitely decide on his career at age 10. If he likes playing and you have the ability to provide lessons, I would continue to do so. The cognitive benefits of studying music are well proven, even if he chooses a different career. For what it's worth, at age 10 I thought I would be a professional pianist (and at 13 and 17). As I reached adulthood, my interests shifted toward a different type of future. Now I'm in my 40s with a non-music-related career I enjoy, a family, and the wonderful hobby of playing piano. I don't think my parents would look on my 12 years of lessons as a waste and I'm grateful they were able to provide that for me. Two of my children are taking lessons now, even though I'm fairly certain neither has a career in music ahead, either. Best wishes to you both!

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #4 on: April 04, 2016, 07:39:31 PM »
I really truly hope that you are not investing funds in your child's music lessons in hopes of a return on investment.  I sincerely hope that you are investing funds -- and time -- in the lessons because your child enjoys them and you can afford to do so and you also enjoy doing so.  Period.
Ian

Offline danielo

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #5 on: April 04, 2016, 08:05:21 PM »
I think you will get the same advice from everyone you ask on here. By all means invest time and effort and money, because your child will thank you for it when he gets older, and has the required skill to push himself further with the piano if he wants. As for a career - much too early to say.
Learning:

Rachmaninov Preludes Op10 1, 4 and 5
Chopin Ballade in G Minor
Chopin Etude Op10 No 2
Schubert Impromptu No 3

Offline slsyt

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #6 on: April 04, 2016, 08:28:35 PM »
Thanks a lot for your advice! I didn't mean that I wanted to get any return for investment of my child's education. He likes to play piano, but he also likes science, engineering. Learning/practicing piano takes so much time/effort and financial support. But, he did show some musical talent. He can play Bach Partita No. 1 prelude well less than two months. Next year, he is expected to play orchestra, solo recital by his teachter. It's going to need more time for learning piano daily (2h per day right now). That means the sacrifice of time for other interest. That's what I am worrying about. This is a big commitment. If his future career is not a musician, is it worthy for such a big commitment?

Offline huaidongxi

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #7 on: April 04, 2016, 08:36:32 PM »
as long as your kid enjoys piano study and play, he'll benefit immensely from lessons and the opportunity to explore the great cultural inheritance of piano music.  to be blunt, there is nothing in his two performances (glinka, mendelsohn) that strongly indicates he should or should not consider music as his career, if he's studied four years.  is he quite good at maths ?  math and music can be very compatible proficiencies, and if you are concerned about his future career someone good at math has many options.  at the same time, don't underestimate what playing music contributes to an individual's social growth and development, to learning about other cultures and periods of history, that math, engineering, science won't.

Offline pjjslp

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #8 on: April 04, 2016, 08:45:00 PM »
Next year, he is expected to play orchestra, solo recital by his teachter. It's going to need more time for learning piano daily (2h per day right now). That means the sacrifice of time for other interest. That's what I am worrying about. This is a big commitment. If his future career is not a musician, is it worthy for such a big commitment?

Although it seems to be the current trend in parenting to involve one's kids in many activities, our limited time and resources have forced us to limit each child to a single activity outside of school. If piano is what interests your son, I would say you've found his "thing," and how lucky it's such a beneficial one! As long as he's getting his homework done and he has a social life that satisfies him, practicing piano sounds like a much better way to spend his spare time than sitting in front of a screen. Most kids who are involved in sports put a LOT of time and money into it, and I think it's safe to say the vast majority of them don't have careers in the big leagues waiting for them. No reason music can't be the same, right?

Offline slsyt

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #9 on: April 04, 2016, 09:49:32 PM »
@pjjslp

Thank you for your great advice! I think I will continue to support him until he can make his own decision. My son switched to a new piano teacher two years ago. He made a lot of progress from his new teacher. I will watch him as he continues to develop. His teacher has assigned him difficult new pieces, includes Bach Partita No. 1 (whole piece), The lark/Balakirev, the Mozart Concerto 24 Let's see if he can get along with these new challenges. It's better than sitting to play computer games.

Offline iansinclair

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #10 on: April 04, 2016, 09:54:28 PM »
I might add to my earlier comment.  I don't usually talk about my children -- both now adults.  But my son found, when he was in second grade, that he loved ballet.  That went from two hours a day, five days a week, to six hours a day, six days a week to... eventually, senior soloist in one of the major North American ballet companies, and a good career and lots of good friends (and, I might add, a really nice wife and two lovely kids of his own!).  He's retired from that now, and making a darn good living as an engineer.  My daughter fell in love with horses -- an almost equal amount of time and more money.  She didn't make a career of it (she's a historian), but it was worth every dime and every minute.

You just can't tell, but if the lad likes what he's doing, that's terribly important.
Ian

Offline briansaddleback

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #11 on: April 05, 2016, 12:55:10 AM »
Let me tell you don't get ballet wrong, these ballet guys are strong and very athletic. They have a good foundation to learn some sports. I recommended my nephew while back to take ballet as he had a disposition towards it and my wife got mad at me at home telling me why did I recommend something so feminine to him. I said what? Ballet is very tough and respectable classical art my dear friend!!  Is what I said back to her.
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Offline louispodesta

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #12 on: April 05, 2016, 11:25:06 PM »
Hi there,

I am posting a link for my 10 years old son's recent performance on a piano recital and seeking your advice/comments. Although he has earned a lot of praise after the performance, I am still not sure his potential/future as a pianist (I am not a musician) since it is such a competitive field! I am still not fully convinced that we should invest so much time & $ on this if music is not going to be a good career for him. My son has already studied piano for 4 years.



-Thank you-

Thank you all for your very well thought out and also heartfelt comments.  However, as a philosopher who recognizes another (ancient) philosophy, I would proffer the following:

1)  As a social activist philosopher, I currently am an empiricist, in term of epistemology.  That means that, as a mindset, I mimic the scientific method by citing published sources for my "opinions."

I will not bore you with my second point, but I will instead state, that no human/hominid (in terms of their neurobiology) gains the power of abstract reasoning until they have started or attained puberty.  And, please save your comments regarding Savants!

2)  In this particular case, this "ten year old" is playing far beyond his years in term of note accuracy, as well as musicality.  How is this possible?

Now, here comes the Xenophobia which I have been accused of before.  This refers to the act of copying/replication which non-occidental "artists" are famous for.

That means that this normal ten year old has spent, in my opinion (because it way to perfect) hundreds of daily hours mimicking a famous recording of this particular piece.  Therefore, the "humble" parent, asking as to what he should do now, is 100% BS!  Absent that, he is more likely a 13 year old.

As an Asian parent (xenophobia, xenophobia, xenophobia!), then you should be honest about your parental philosophy, and that will not cut it as "the boy loves playing the piano."  Also, where is this "boy's' mother, in regards his supposed future?

Finally, of course, this should have been posted in the Teaching Forum, but then again, that is not the purposive nature of the OP.  It is, in my opinion, to launch another Lang Lang!

Have any of you posted a video of yourselves as a ten year old that was even remotely this professionally produced?  I think not.

Offline klavieronin

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Offline slsyt

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #14 on: April 06, 2016, 04:21:37 PM »
Hello louispodesta,

First, thanks for your comment!

Second, my son doesn't have a "tiger mother". I am a full-time scientist (also a guitar/music fan). I take care of my son's piano study. I don't have so much time/energy sitting by him and watching him playing piano everyday. My son plays piano every day normally for 2 hrs: 1hr in early morning (he is always the first one to get up in the house, even in cold winter), 1hr in the afternoon or night. Sometime a little more if there was a recital/competition coming up. He didn't do well with his first piano teacher (first two years), but his second teacher discovered his talent. His interpretation of music comes naturally with the guidance of his teacher. He learns twice amount of pieces as his peers. His teacher continuously challenged him with more and more difficult pieces, for example, he played well with his first Bath piece-Partita No1 Prelude in relatively a short period of time to his age.

Third, I wish he was 13 years old so his finger could be stronger (ha ha ha...). As a parent, I will not force my child to do something if he doesn't like. I post the video here because I wanted to hear valuable opinion from talent/experienced people, which would provide me much guidance for my child's development. To be honest, I wanted my child to have a bright future (in this competitive world). If he doesn't have enough music talent for a music career, he can be a scientist, engineer (my son once said he wanted to be an engineer), or doctor or so on. But his teacher said he has extraordinary memory for music and is an exceptional student.  She will prepare him for piano in conservatory. That is what I am worrying about.  If he doesn't have strong enough talent to be competitive, he can divide his time and advance himself in other areas.

Finally, thank you for your praise on my video producing skills. I started to learn it after my son's piano teacher asked me to post his video on YouTube less than two years ago. I know how to take nearly professional pictures, but I am still new to making videos.

Best wishes

 

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #15 on: April 06, 2016, 11:49:37 PM »
Hello louispodesta,

First, thanks for your comment!

Second, my son doesn't have a "tiger mother". I am a full-time scientist (also a guitar/music fan). I take care of my son's piano study. I don't have so much time/energy sitting by him and watching him playing piano everyday. My son plays piano every day normally for 2 hrs: 1hr in early morning (he is always the first one to get up in the house, even in cold winter), 1hr in the afternoon or night. Sometime a little more if there was a recital/competition coming up. He didn't do well with his first piano teacher (first two years), but his second teacher discovered his talent. His interpretation of music comes naturally with the guidance of his teacher. He learns twice amount of pieces as his peers. His teacher continuously challenged him with more and more difficult pieces, for example, he played well with his first Bath piece-Partita No1 Prelude in relatively a short period of time to his age.

Third, I wish he was 13 years old so his finger could be stronger (ha ha ha...). As a parent, I will not force my child to do something if he doesn't like. I post the video here because I wanted to hear valuable opinion from talent/experienced people, which would provide me much guidance for my child's development. To be honest, I wanted my child to have a bright future (in this competitive world). If he doesn't have enough music talent for a music career, he can be a scientist, engineer (my son once said he wanted to be an engineer), or doctor or so on. But his teacher said he has extraordinary memory for music and is an exceptional student.  She will prepare him for piano in conservatory. That is what I am worrying about.  If he doesn't have strong enough talent to be competitive, he can divide his time and advance himself in other areas.

Finally, thank you for your praise on my video producing skills. I started to learn it after my son's piano teacher asked me to post his video on YouTube less than two years ago. I know how to take nearly professional pictures, but I am still new to making videos.

Best wishes

 
Thank you for your very thoughtful reply.  As a philosopher, I will not respond with psychobabble that arbitrarily passes judgment on your efforts/goals accomplishments as a parent.

However, I offer the following analysis:  By my count (regarding the OP), I number approximately 13 uses of the personal pronouns "I", or "he," in reference to your son.  I count none of those directly responding to their own personal feelings/opinions/goals to your son.

This, for all those who are following this post, is what I refer to as an Asian mindset (Xenophobia, not!).  Did you read his response?  In his world, this is not only perfectly normal, it is admirable.

However, when these aforementioned pronouns (you can read them again yourselves) dictate a current and future mindset:  "If he doesn't have enough music talent for a music career, he can be a scientist, engineer (my son once said he wanted to be an engineer), or doctor or so on. But his teacher said he has extraordinary memory for music and is an exceptional student.  She will prepare him for piano in conservatory."  What more proof do you need?

It connotes that (unlike worthless American parents), we Asian partents should be admired for being so diligent with our children's cultural education.

Here it comes!!!

When I was a child, my father, after work as an examining physician with the U.S. Veterans Administration (9:00 to 5:00), practiced four hours a night after dinner (and half days on Saturday and Sunday).  This was my environment as a child.

Accordingly, when I was seven to nine years old, I was forced to take piano lessons from top notch teachers.  I hated every moment of it because I wanted to play baseball or football with my friends (just like billions of children desire to do so, regarding sports, with their friends at this age.

So, I quit, and I quit, and I quit!  This is just like 90% of most nine and ten year olds do everyday!

However, music (like any other Fine Art, is a reflection of ones life total experience).  Therefore, I got to grow up and experience my childhood to its fullest, like everyone else!

Accordingly, in my early 20's, I discovered that I really loved and wanted to become a musician.  This meant nothing to me until I matriculated at North Texas State University Music School in 1971.

There, I ran into student after student who had a very difficult time of saying in a normal day to day conversation: how are you? or nice day isn't?"  Get the picture?

Currently, NPR makes a very bid deal out of portraying prodigies as very normal human beings.  I ain't even remotely that stupid.  I experienced this once again about seven years ago when I ran into my former coach's top student, when I was coming out of a session.

I complimented him on his superb talent playing ability.  He didn't even speak because, unless pre-arranged at the age of fifteen, he did not even have the social skills to do so.

So, as far as the OP is concerned:  you have a great heart, but it is not, as my philosophical essay (which was accepted for formal review by the Royal Institute of Philosophy) states that the rearing of the pre-adolescent young is strictly a mother's role/responsibility and her female immediate family.

Dear OP, with all of your obvious love, it is not your responsibility to dictate your son's piano studies.  And, for the record, the last time I quit lessons, my mother and father had the big fight.

I was eleven and just won a contest.  She said" well, I want him to take piano lessons.  My father  said (remember, 'four hours a day after work'): well, what does he want to do?

She said:  well, he wants to play baseball with his friends.  He said: well, that is what he is going to do!

That, dear friends is why I can, at the age of 64 play the entire classical repertoire with my entire life's experience reflected in my music.  And, for the record, my "Daddy" got terminal cancer in my adolescent years, and that also is apparent in my music.

Because!  First, I got to grow up normal as a kid.


Offline keypeg

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #16 on: April 07, 2016, 02:02:02 AM »
Hi there,

I am posting a link for my 10 years old son's recent performance on a piano recital and seeking your advice/comments. ....



The video is private and can't be seen - at least I can't see it.

Offline louispodesta

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Re: Advice on my child's piano performance and potential
«Reply #17 on: April 07, 2016, 11:00:54 PM »
Guess what?  When the OP, wanted the whole world to see "his," and I don't mean his son's video, everyone was free to take a look (which I did).  Now, he (the father) has changed his mind.

As stated in my response, the kid played his arse off.  It was perfect, for a supposed "ten year old."  I guess it is those Flintstone vitamins which makes a ten year old almost "six feet tall."

My compliments on your wanting to take a fresh and personal look yourself.  As I referenced in my reply, it would not be the first time some parent was trying to promote (sadly) their flesh and blood as the next Cliburn.