Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Benefits your child will receive from taking Piano Lessons

Back in the 1890's through the 1950's, the PIANO, the VICTOR VICTROLA, the PHONOGRAPH RECORD and the RADIO were the Entertainment Centers of every home here in America.

There were no TV's, no Nintendo's, Computer games, Weii machines, etc. Families turned to live music in the home to entertain themselves.

People actually learned how to play the piano and sing around the piano. It was a family affair. Young people took piano lessons as part of their Education and Personal Enrichment.

Here we are in 2009 - and we need as a nation to get back to the basics. When your kids grow up they will need to have skills that will last them the rest of their life. Consider the list that I have compiled below.

"Taking Piano Lessons does MORE than just teach MUSIC....."

Confidence - your child will be able to play with ease and confidence and be envied by their peers

Concentration - controlled studies have proven that children who take Piano Lessons
are able to accelerate beyond their peers in Math and Science skills; the brained is sorted in a such a manner that skills require thought and organization come with greater ease.

Coordination - eye hand coordination is developed to extemly precise movements, superior to skill of a Heart or Brain Surgeon - Pianists can close their eyes and play memorized pieces - try doing surgery that way.

Consistency - daily practicing renders great results. Children learn that if you put great effort forward towards playing and improving, great results are bound to happen.

Charm - when children develop their skills in playing the Piano, they learn a great deal in grace and charm and develop a taste for the finer things that life offers.

Conceptualization - complex skills such as note reading, understanding complicated rythms, coordinating the hands to handle playing

Courage - children learn NOT to quit when the going gets tough. Tenaciousness is learned from the start of the very first lesson. Anything worthwhile in life takes stick-to-it ness.

Commitment - children will not be anymore committed than their parents are. Piano lessons should be just as important as every subject at school. The parent as to set the stage for this attitude to be really implemented. Homework is given and needs to be completed. Making a verbal commitment of one year of lessons should be done between a child and the parent so the young person will the process of lessons seriously and be prepared weekly for their teacher.

 For more information, see another of my 50 websites and videos:     http://autismspecialneedsmusicbyartscott.blogspot.com/
    (949) 454-1221  Studio Phone   24/7

Friday, December 26, 2008

"I am not sure my kids will stick with it..."

I hear parents who call me for the first time say this all the time.  Taking private music lessons is a COMMITMENT on behalf of the PARENTS first, then the child(ren).  I always say to a parent, "....your child will NOT be any more committed than you are."

It's very true.  I always recommend parents do as my dad did with 5 children...he made a one year commitment with each one of us, that IF we PRACTICED and PREPARED for our lessons for a minimum of one year, he would rent or or buy us whatever instrument we wanted.  Three of my brothers went on to play the trumpet in school bands and my sister stayed with the piano for 6 years.

All of my siblings can read music and can sing in church choirs and as a result of that one year background they each have a confidence level and understanding of music and the fine arts that they otherwise would not have.

So a commitment talk is imperative if a child is going to take the process of lessons serious.    Through taking piano lessons children learn more than just 'music'; they also learn and cultivate issues in their lives like self-respect, respect for teachers, respect for the arts, respect for starting and finish assigned tasks, they learn that failure is part of the process of growing and learning, they also learn an appreciation for self expression, being able to create their own music and compose.

Frankly, the sky is the limit.  Commitment.  It's worth it.  Involvement in sports is only one facet of a child's total development as a person.  A great Music Education gives a total and balanced 'diet'.

Art Scott

 For more information, see another of my 50 websites and videos:     http://autismspecialneedsmusicbyartscott.blogspot.com/
    (949) 454-1221  Studio Phone   24/7

Saturday, December 20, 2008

It's Never Too Late to Start

It really does not matter how old a person is, I have successfully taught 4 year olds and 60+ to play the piano and every age in between.

Some folks grew up where their parents could not afford lessons or even a piano.  Now you can enjoy playing music today!  Usually when adults decide to muster up the courage to have their first lesson and they realize it's not that hard to learn how to play, they fall in love with making music and playing the piano.

So what are you waiting for?  Call today and find out how easy it is to start and fulfill your life's dream....playing the piano for your own enjoyment.

If you need help buying a piano or keyboard, we offer free advice to anyone who calls.

Art Scott   For more information, see another of my 50 websites and videos:     http://autismspecialneedsmusicbyartscott.blogspot.com/
    (949) 454-1221  Studio Phone   24/7

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Parents.....what happened to the good old fashioned days.....

When parents were in charge and they made the decisions - not the kids.

I am amazed how many parents allow the kids to be in charge today and make decisions. Being the eldest of 5 kids, raised on the East Coast, and now with over 30 years teaching experience under my belt, I am disappointed when I run into  a teaching situation where I have to terminate the relationship - because the parents are not in charge.  I love teaching kids but if the parents are not on the same page as myself, it is time to move on.

Humorously I have often said that if children were left up to their devices, they would eat chocolate bom boms, watch TV and play computer games.  Where was the turning point in our society where parents became more worried about being a child's 'friend' rather than be their parent.

I am grateful that the wonderful parents who employ me , some for as many as 8 years consecutive and each family has gone through several funnels to get me to stay as their teacher.   Anyone can write a check but it takes a real live parent, in charge to help a child along the journey of taking lessons and be committed to help a child progress.  This sometimes means that a parent will sit periodically and monitor what a child is doing and making sure a child gets their lesson fully prepared for their next lesson.

We live in a day and age of supposed entitlement - where people believe they have the right to say or whatever they want - and the fact that they have money gives them the right to hire and fire folks with no respect or regard for the professional and individual.

About once a year I come across folks who think they can still hire slaves....that lasts about two minutes with me...this is why I post an elaborate website and  a blog because if parents do not like what I say here in this informational environment, it is not even worth booking a first appointment.

However, if a parent likes and agrees to my philosophy of not only teaching music, but they happen to a be a good parent, this is beginning of a wonderful relationship that will last for years. 

Best wishes, Art Scott   musicbyartscott.com   (949) 454-1221 

Friday, November 28, 2008

Teacher Burn Out?

Many times a young person will study with a teacher for several years and for one reason or another, progress just stops.  It is very easy to cross over that grey line where a student teacher relationship stops having the professional distance which is so important.  

Students should respect their teacher and parents should instill this respect from the start of lessons.  When the respect for any teacher diminishes, then it may be time to secure a new teacher.

I know that I only had the privilege of having two major teachers at the piano who influenced my life and career greatly; Mrs. Faye Johnson and Mr. David Ehrman.

My respect for these precious teachers and musicians is immense.  I remember only one time in college where I was not fully prepared for my lesson and I called Mr. Ehrman from a pay phone and cancelled my lesson; I was almost in tears and was so shaken to have to call him that it never happened again.  I so admired this dear man who had poured his life into mine and so cared for me and helped me develop my talent tremendously .  I simply did not want to waste his time being ill prepared.

I put myself through college teaching piano and it paid all my bills.  When I was sixteen and had finally worn my mother down and she relented and after 8 years, cancelled my piano lessons with Mrs. Johnson, this dear teachers last words to me were "tell Artie he should be a piano teacher".  

This affirmation established my career for the next few decades and has afforded me immense pleasure and satisfaction.

So if you sensing that your child is burned out, no longer respects their teacher, by all means try out some new teachers and find that special one that will make piano and music  come alive to your young person.

Art Scott   www.MUSICBYARTSCOTT.com

Friday, November 21, 2008

Group Piano or Private Lessons

Many parents ask me the difference between group vs. private piano lessons.  There are pros and cons on each side.

Group Lessons

Are Cheaper
No Individualized Attention
The class moves at a constant pace forward and children who don't catch on are left behind and may feel angry and frustrated
Students who have great musical talent will excel sometimes in spite of the teaching environment

Private Lessons

With a qualified teacher children who are slow learners, perhaps have limited musical aptitude can still learn well and be able learn AT THEIR OWN PACE.
With a nuturing, patient teacher who is experienced all Children can learn and feel great about their lessons and will be proud of their accomplishments.
Children will be monitored on a consistent basis so they will progress and reach their highest potential
Private lessons will always cost a little more - but you get what you pay for.

If you have some thoughts on this issue, please send them to me.

Art Scott    "Every Child Deserves a Music Education!"

Sunday, November 2, 2008

It's Time to Applaud....

We all grew us in different homes and in various family dynamics.  For some of us, there were so many children (5) that kids practically raise each other.  I remember when I would practice piano, my dad could not wait till I was finished practicing so he could watch the 6 o'clock news.


I am so thankful after 40 years of teaching to have been a part of hundreds of families and have watched how much cooperation is rendered by a child when they are praised and made to feel important because of their musical accomplishments.  

It's funny to me, being a music educator how so many parents will have their kids involved in so many sports, drive and even fly to other states to participate in competitions, yet when I comes to piano or any instrument including voice, where is the same passion?

I once have a friend in college who played football tell me that he admired me and other musicians because what we did for our profession we could literally do for the rest of our lives.  Often times if a person is a professional athlete of any major sport, their bodies are so injured at the end of their career, physically they are washed up and can no longer play the sport they loved.  Interested contrasts.

So I wish that more parents would balance getting their kids involved in sports is great, but in addition, develop a child's intellect should always include at Music Education.
Every child deserves a Music Education.    Art Scott  www.MUSICBYARTSCOTT.com

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Wish My Mom had Never Let Me Quit...

If I had a dollar for every time an adult has said this to me, I would probably be a millionaire.  After months or years of 'making' a child practice, it can wear down any parent and often, this is just what the child is trying to do.....I had a voice teacher friend once tell me that "the most talented students will try to sabotage the lesson process - because it comes so easily to them"....After thirty years of teaching experience, I would have to wholeheartedly agree.

A word of encouragement to adults, parents and grandparents who read this, it is NEVER too late to start to play, or go back to playing and studying.  In fact, in several homes that I teach in, a mom or dad is taking lessons back to back with their kids, so their is a healthy competition present and the children and prone to working harder, so they can stay ahead of mom or dad.

So music touches all of us.  Support your local private teachers....and as earlier as you can start your children, the better.  Studies have proven that a child's brains develops and absorbs the most between the ages of 1 and 3.

Art Scott     www.MUSICBYARTSCOTT.com

 For more information, see another of my 50 websites and videos:     http://autismspecialneedsmusicbyartscott.blogspot.com/
    (949) 454-1221  Studio Phone   24/7

Monday, October 27, 2008

Keeping a Child Motivated at the Piano....

Mommy, I wanna quit.
At some point every parent will hear their child say this - it could be on the second lesson, the second month or second year.

The trick is setting the stage as a parent.  My dad was very wise in that he told all of us (5 children) that we HAD to stick to piano for a minimum of one year.  After we fulfilled that, he told us that we could choose any other instrument in the band to play at school but we HAD to have a year of background so we would know HOW TO READ MUSIC, how to count, etc., and have some basic music theory under our belt.

I am so glad to this day - that I stuck with the piano for 8 years....and then went on to put myself through college by teaching piano and paid for 100% of all my school and living expenses.

Back to motivation and keep your children motivated.  After thirty years of teaching I have found their are 2 schools of thought - reward or deprivation.

We live in a different day and age today.  I often tell parents that I have trouble finding parents who are COMMITTED and willing to be firm and basically do their job as parents.  I am blessed to have over 50 families who are supportive and parents who are great parents and where the parents are in charge and not the kids.

Every time a child does their job and practices without being reminded - they can get a sticker put up on a chart - and at the end of 30 days of successfully practicing they get a reward - like going to a concert, going to a toy store, getting a new computer game or whatever is meaningful to them.  I have one mom 20 years ago go out and buy roller blades for her son when they were a hot ticket item...and put them high up on a shelf and told her son when the chart was filled out he would get them.  It worked.

For girls getting their nails done, for boys playing golf with dad.  Make it special!

Deprivation I find does not work well; in fact it cause have an opposite effect and cause children to hate music and hate the piano.  Find something that works for you kids and stick to it.  Children yearn for boundaries even though at time they may act like they hate them.

Work with your teacher closely; make sure your kids are playing interesting music.
If the music is boring it will be an uphill battle.

Funny thing I have found about kids, they often are just a reflection of the good and bad aspects / personality attributes of their parents.  So if you see your son or daughter quiting when the task gets hard, perhaps they are modeling behavior they have seen from mom and day.

When a mom and dad and even grandparents praise their kids and support them verbally and show sincere affirmation over the piano pieces they are studying, great things can and do happen.   We all need appreciation and need affirmation and in the music world which tends to be very competitive and ruthless at times, a child does develop intrinsic confidence from the praise they get at home.

Music successfully learned cast permanent memories on the psyche of children and parents.   Choose your piano teacher carefully!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Student should ALWAYS be involved in choosing....

 For more information, see another of my 50 websites and videos:     http://autismspecialneedsmusicbyartscott.blogspot.com/
    (949) 454-1221  Studio Phone   24/7

I loved my first piano teacher, Mrs. Johnson.  I owe her an awful lot in that after eight years of private lessons, I finally 'wore my mom down' and she let me quit....although she was a brilliant teacher, I admiringly have developed my own style of teaching children and the one primary thing I do vastly different is I do not go page and page in piano method books...rather, I turn the selection process into a game similar to Jeopardy....door number #1 - 2 - 3 and sometimes even 4.  Depending on the child, years of study and level of accomplishment, these choices may include a classical piece, a jazz piece, a Disney piece, etc.  I give them 10 seconds to make up their mind....and the look of excitement on a child's face when they get to choose the piece is worth all the gold in China....or somewhere...My standing rule though is once you have selected the piece, there is no changing....so choose carefully.

Sometimes get regret the piece they choose because "it's HARD".
I don't fight them on this - I agree with them it is hard - sometimes it's hard to even wake up in the morning....but we all grow as a result of accomplishing a 'hard' piece.

I sometimes will even role play with the kids and pretend to be them and wine and complain so they can see how silly the look when they behave this way.

Someone once told me that to be a good piano teacher you are not just a musician who is teaching, but over the years you become an arm chair psychologist of sorts.

Send me your questions and concerns, I am happy to interact with anyone on the subject of piano teaching, children, musician education, etc.

Come back tomorrow....and tell your friends to visit our new, exciting site.

 For more information, see another of my 50 websites and videos:     http://autismspecialneedsmusicbyartscott.blogspot.com/
    (949) 454-1221  Studio Phone   24/7

Friday, October 24, 2008

Topics for the next few days...from Music by Art Scott

Over the next fews days I will be covering several topics that most parents will enjoy reading; this includes

-How to keep my child motivated

-When should a parent let a music teacher go and how to handle the transition

-How to support your child daily and keep them motivated and practicing

-What to expect from piano recitals and how to prepare you child for them

......send me your suggestions for other topics you would like to see discussed

 For more information, see another of my 50 websites and videos:     http://autismspecialneedsmusicbyartscott.blogspot.com/
    (949) 454-1221  Studio Phone   24/7

Welcome to Music By Art Scott

Welcome to my new music blog.  The sole intention of this blog is to provide daily information to parents about Music Education and the joy of bring piano music to your home - and keep it going - year after year.

Part of this process involves two things; choosing the right instrument and choosing the right teacher.

 For more information, see another of my 50 websites and videos:     http://autismspecialneedsmusicbyartscott.blogspot.com/
    (949) 454-1221  Studio Phone   24/7

If you already have a piano or keyboard in your house, you need to make sure if it's a digital instrument that it is touch sensitive; that way your child can begin to express themself correctly right from the start when they take lessons.  Touch sensitive simply means that when someone is playing softly that they can play soft; when they excert more pressure into the key(s) it responds louder, thus emulating a real piano.

Having a piano in tune is also essential for a child's ear to develop fully.  If it's been twenty years since you had your piano tuned, send me an email at mraspiano@yahoo.com and I can refer you to a good tuner, anywhere in the world!
My resources are endless and it would be a privilege to help you.  Depending on where you live you can spend from $80 - 120 currently on having a piano tuned.

The wave of the future I predict is in digital pianos - you can find a huge selection of prices, major name brands of keyboards that are touch sensitive starting as low as $130 for a 5 octave unit made by Casio.  I fully support digital pianos as a veteran piano teacher with over 30 years teaching experience.  Families today generally do not have the room or budget to spend on an acoustical piano - one with strings and hammers.

If you choose to go the route of a real piano - you can rent them or purchase them new or used.  If you are the type of consumer who likes to research before you make a purchase, you can buy the book "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Buying a Piano by Marty and Jennifer Flinn - you can get this easily on Amazon.com.  I noticed used copies for around $6....

Once you secure an instrument for you child to practice daily on, now comes the task of finding the right teacher.  Whenever a parent calls me, which is almost daily about piano lessons, I also encourage them to have a mutual 'audition' time of a lesson or two with several teachers to find the right personality mix.

If the personality jive well together - then this should be a positive relationship that lasts for many years.

Unfortunately many parents have had negative experiences in their own life experience and strictly out of their own fears of the past, they refuse to even try the process of giving their children private piano lessons.   In my opinion this is both wrong and selfish.  The old catholic nuns who taught piano and would strike children with rulers - is - a thing of the PAST.  Thank God!!

For further information on how to choose a teacher, how to choose an instrument, please avail yourself of my two websites;  www.MUSICBYARTSCOTT.com and www.ARTSCOTTPIANOBROKER.com

Should you have specific questions and concerns and want some free advice you can either post here on my blog or email me directly at  mraspiano@yahoo.com

I am and will always be a firm believer that "Every Child Deserves a Music Education" and also that "Music Changes Lives Forever!

Feel free to look at my blog daily for new information.  If there are subjects that you as parents want to see covered, please feel free to suggest your concerns here - as this BLOG is for you.

Have a great day.  Art Scott, Owner / Operator

 For more information, see another of my 50 websites and videos:     http://autismspecialneedsmusicbyartscott.blogspot.com/
    (949) 454-1221  Studio Phone   24/7

PS - if your wanting to shop for sheet music, music books of all types of music and want to give some music as a gift for a birthday, special occasion, Holiday, at the top of my site, click on the sheet music banner and you will find thousands of selection for piano, vocal, instrumental there.

Also, if you are in the market of guitars, drums, keyboards and much more, go to the bottom of my site www.MUSICBYARTSCOTT.com and click on the keyboard banner.
There you will find over 125,000 instruments at great prices.