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Topic: Learning from teacher and from musescore/flat.io  (Read 706 times)

Offline pianoparent345

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Learning from teacher and from musescore/flat.io
on: June 21, 2021, 06:27:38 AM
Hello,

Our son is 6 years old. He started his piano lessons 6 months ago via Zoom. He is doing well on his lessons and is working through Piano Adventures Level 1 books with his teacher.

He has also been spending 8-10 hours a day on his own on this website called flat.io during his holidays: he takes various versions of a piece (e.g. Mozart's Turkish March) from musescore/flat.io and painstakingly copies the different versions into flat.io to create his own version. He then tries to play his version (a few measures at a time) on his own on the piano.

His piano teacher is not particularly interested in helping him in these adventures. He insists our son follow the curriculum and strengthen his basics first. We agree with the teacher.

At the same time, it would be cool to nurture our son's interest in learning about music composition so that he stays engaged, and does not get bored. He does find the Piano Adventures book somewhat boring and "easy" now.

We would like to figure out how to strike the right balance between strengthening the basics, and letting our son explore the nuances of music composition with the help of online tools.

Any advice for us?

Thank you.

Offline volcanoadam

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Re: Learning from teacher and from musescore/flat.io
Reply #1 on: June 22, 2021, 12:06:21 PM
Your kid seems to be very hungry to explore music. The pace of his study is apparently too slow for him. To easy material creates boredom, too difficult frustration. In both cases it means discouragement - that's the easiest way to finish his musical career.
I'd suggest find him a better teacher, one that is able to correctly adjust pace of his study. Ideally someone who will also teach him improvisation, that will meet his interests.
VA

Offline pianoparent345

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Re: Learning from teacher and from musescore/flat.io
Reply #2 on: June 24, 2021, 07:04:23 AM
Thank you @volcanoadam. Much appreciated.

Any  tips on how to look for a good piano teacher for our son? Is it okay to ask whether they would be open to teaching improvisation to a 6-year-old?

Thank you!

Offline quantum

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Re: Learning from teacher and from musescore/flat.io
Reply #3 on: June 24, 2021, 11:01:15 AM
I think it is important to foster your child's natural interests.  Piano foundations are important, but completely ignoring strong inclinations towards composition/arranging in the pursuit of a proper "curriculum" would be ill advised. 

It may be more beneficial to your child if you were to find a teacher that was a better fit.  One that teaches the fundamentals but also guides your child's natural curiosity. 

Agree with the above suggestion, locating a teacher that can teach improvisation.
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline dogperson

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Re: Learning from teacher and from musescore/flat.io
Reply #4 on: June 24, 2021, 03:39:23 PM
I donít know where you live.  If the US or Canada, mtna.org has a searchable database of teachers by zip code.

In my opinion, I would think it would be difficult to find a classical teacher who also teaches improvisation, but you would need to discuss with any potential teacher.  I would also think it would be difficult to include everything in one lesson. You need to consider the attention span of a 6 yo may not be conducive to extending the lesson length.

Think about if you could add an extra weekly or bi-weekly lesson just for improv, and keep the classical training as you are doing now.  You could then explore jazz pianists to teach the improv

My parents did something similar:  I had two weekly lessons: one for repertoire and one for theory and ear training.  Loved every minute of it.

Offline ranjit

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Re: Learning from teacher and from musescore/flat.io
Reply #5 on: June 24, 2021, 05:24:55 PM
A 6-year old spending 8-10 hours on something is quite rare, and that kind of drive is part of what constitutes talent. I think it's very likely that if his talent is encouraged, he will be able to get quite good at the piano. At least that's been true in my experience. However, most teachers cannot teach talented students and will follow standard teaching practices which will not suit the child, and they may get bored or quit. Ideally, you want to search for a teacher who has experience with talented children. There are usually some teachers who train students for competitions. You might want to look into those. I think it would be perfectly normal for a child like that to advance 2-3 grades in a single year, for example.

It's not that common to find teachers like that, and it will depend on your budget. They also usually play at a high level themselves, and this is also important, because someone who does not play at a high level will not know the movements required to play like that, and won't be able to give a solid technical foundation. But advanced level, I mean being able to play at least undergraduate level material fluently, maybe more. I find that teachers who do not have that level of experience usually parrot common teaching ideas, but are unable to go deeper into the minutiae of technique or interpretation.

Offline pianoparent345

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Re: Learning from teacher and from musescore/flat.io
Reply #6 on: June 24, 2021, 07:40:57 PM
Thank you for your suggestions and feedback @quantum, @dogperson, @ranjit. We very much appreciate it.

I wanted to clarify that most of our son's music time is spent on the computer (flat.io, musescore, musicnotes): about quarter of this time is on the piano/keyboard itself. :) We also have him taking classes twice a week, but we can't stretch them beyond 30 minutes each for now -- he starts losing focus after that.

We are in the Bay Area (US) and will check out mtna.org.

Thank you!
 

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