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Teaching Siblings (Read 1611 times)

Offline ameliatan

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Teaching Siblings
« on: May 23, 2018, 04:14:43 AM »
Dear Fellow Teachers,

I recently have 2 sisters who will be taking lessons with me i.e. 5 years old (total beginner) and her sister is 8 years old, a beginner who had a couple of lessons before.  I only gave them 1 trial lesson but I think its too early to tell what their personality is and their strengths and weaknesses.

I heard it can be quite a challenge as it usually ends up with 1 student hating the instrument and the sibling loving it  :( I certainly donít want this to happen with these 2 girls. This is my first experience teaching siblings of this age gap.

From what I read in other forums also, it seems that you shouldnít share the same method books for siblings? I thought it would mean a huge cost saving for the parents (so donít need each girl to have different stack of books!) I was thinking of using Bastien or MFPA on the 5 yr old and using Faber lesson books with the 8 yr old. The problem is should I just let the 5 yr old use the same Faber books as her sister later on? Any ideas or advice is much appreciated! Just wondering what are the pitfalls of teaching siblings of this age?

Offline dogperson

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Re: Teaching Siblings
«Reply #1 on: May 23, 2018, 09:44:13 AM »
I can only provide the perspective as an adult who had a sibling taking lessons at the same time when we were children.   Based on my experience, I would recommend not using the same method, as the cost of the books is strongly outweighed with the potential problems.  My sister was forced to use my old method books, and therefore heard and saw in writing on the books, my progress. 

She grew to HATE lessons and has never played since she was allowed to quit.  I wonder:  if she would have been assigned a different series, so that she could have her 'own' music and her 'own' successes, might it have been different?

FWIW:  I have discussed this with my current teacher, and she always assigns different method book series to siblngs.  If I were a teacher, I would discuss allowing children to have their own paths and own successes as a reason for having two series.

Offline dinulip

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Re: Teaching Siblings
«Reply #2 on: June 21, 2018, 09:50:54 PM »
I always use different methods for each sibling - thus avoiding comparisons between them.  It works fine!

Offline ameliatan

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Re: Teaching Siblings
«Reply #3 on: August 21, 2018, 08:49:20 AM »
Dear Fellow Teachers,

Just an update of the 8 year old and her 5 year old sister who started as beginners with me. The 8 year old seems quite bright, and has finished the Primer in 3 months. She is a quick learner and reads her pieces fluently. Her little sister has just finished MFPA book 1 and is moving to book 2. 

As I do not want them on the same PA books later, I will need to switch 1 of the sisters to a new method. The 8 year old seems to prefer solo playing. She has a short attention span.  I am a bit worried, because in lessons, halfway playing she told me she is 'bored' sometimes so I quickly switch activities to keep her engaged.  I was wondering if I should switch her to John Thompson or continue with Accelerated PA as she is a rather fast learner.

The younger girl seems to enjoy all the MFPA duets and moving steady.  Sorry but this is my first time using 2 different methods for siblings of this age gap. Any advice on which method(s) to switch to is much appreciated!