Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Should I "Make" my Child Practice.....

I am asked this question often. The answer generally is YES. You make your child eat their vegetables, you make them go to school, you make them clean their room, you make them do homework, you make them brush their teeth.

Very few children know what is GOOD for them. This is why GOD GAVE CHILDREN PARENTS....to nurture them, love them, be their parent - not just their friend..... too many parents today are too worried that their child will not be their friend if they discipline them.

Children yearn for boundaries even though they may act like that do not want them....they do!

I think it is reasonable to do what my dad did forty years ago - a parent should have a VERBAL AGREEMENT with each child that they are going to take a minimum of one year of piano lessons. After that commitment is fulfilled, then a child should be rewarded and allowed to go on and perhaps play another music instrument.

During that first year a child will learn many things and not just about music .... they will learn the following LIFE SKILLS;

When Children Take Piano Lessons, they learn far more than Music...

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.
How's this for the 8 C's?

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 extremely 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 rhythms, 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.

Let the Music Begin!! Art Scott

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

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is It Time To Find a New Teacher?

I get calls every week from parents who are either looking to start their kids for the first time with lessons or they are contemplating switching teachers.

I am always amazed when I ask a parent who is considering a switch of teachers and I ask them, "How Long Have you Been with your teacher?"....and I get responses like, three years, or two years. I explore deeper then and ask, what are the issues your having?

Here are some common responses;

1) My child is not progressing.

2) The teacher yells and screams and my child.

3) My child is bored with the music the teacher is giving them.

4) The teacher is always cancelling lessons or not showing up.

5) The chemistry is just not good between my child and the teacher.

The bottom line here if things are not working right, talk to the teacher and see if issues can be corrected. If they cannot be resolved, by all means stop the lessons and try out some new teachers and keep trying till you find the right fit. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT THAT YOUR CHILD HAVE A POSITIVE EXPERIENCE WHEN IT COMES TO PRIVATE LESSONS. If would be a tragedy for any child to quit music altogether just because of a bad experience with a teacher.

I always tell parents that I always want to do what is best for the child. Period. After 30 years of teaching, I am happy to share freely what I have learned.

Some children are best suited to study with men, others with women. The personality has to have a good mix or it is a waste of time and money.

Hope these ideas help you. Joy in your Music journey today.

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

Monday, January 19, 2009

When should you start kids in Piano Lessons?

Readiness is a very individual issue. Some children are ready to start private lessons at 4 and 5 years old. I base it on attention span....if mom, dad or the grandparents can sit with a young child and read a book for 30 minutes - usually they can be taught well in a private piano lesson.

I does take parental involvement....a parent of grandparent must be willing to support and encourage a child and be hands on present for them during the first few weeks. Even just having a adult present makes a child feel safe and important; the validation that taking piano lessons is a good thing and that we hang in there and not just quit because it gets hard...we keep perservering and get the 'job' done.

Never be afraid to try out a lesson or two and by all means try out several teachers and find the right person to connect with your child. You will know when this happens if you know your child well.

Best wishes, Art Scott

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