how important is piano?

(14 Posts)
JimBobplusasprog Thu 10-Jul-14 17:14:00

Ds is starting another instrument. He's 8 and has just done his g4 on his first study. He wants to take up a new orchestral instrument and he's never been drawn to the piano (despite us having one at home). I know piano is useful but I don't really understand why and how much. I don't want him to be disadvantaged if he wants to study music later on. How much does it matter?

olaflikeswarmhugs Thu 10-Jul-14 17:27:04

It's the foundation to learning most other instruments . DDs piano teacher always bangs on about that . Learning to play piano first will give the necessary skills to make learning other instruments so much easier . HTH smile

janet41 Thu 10-Jul-14 18:10:52

Hi I have been wondering the same thing; dd is also 8 and will take grade 5 cello next session; she started piano and clarinet this year - the latter she got distinction for her grade 1 today; piano is much slower -(and more difficult) progress and I was wondering if we should leave it for now given we have some time constraints on practice. I understand that piano is a great foundation instrument but given She can already read three chefs is it really so critical?

We've recently had this discussion with a 14 year old DS. We have a piano, we have a piano teacher (for DH), we've talked about the benefits that piano gives to composition (which is about 1/3 of the GCSE), how piano is THE second instrument and if you want to be a music teacher then it's good to be able to accompany your pupils in their exams.

Maybe starting at 8 you've more chance of converting a reluctant pianist, mine's taking up trombone.

2kidsintow Thu 10-Jul-14 18:21:48

Playing the piano got me my job. It's a massive plus if you want to go into primary teaching. (I appreciate that 8 is a bit early for career decisions though smile )

Wafflenose Thu 10-Jul-14 18:29:40

DD1 knows she needs it eventually, but isn't interested yet. She is 8 and working towards Grade 6 on her first instrument and Grade 4 on her second. She taught herself piano for a year when she was little and still plays occasionally, but really doesn't want lessons. I suppose she'll pick it up quickly if and when she decides to... but in all honesty I don't think she is going to be a musician and it probably won't matter.

She is currently campaigning for drum kit lessons. We can't afford it!

1805 Thu 10-Jul-14 18:39:00

Well at age 8 it's a bit early to predict the future, but piano is a very useful instrument to play. You can accompany people, and everywhere has a piano. It also has the possibility of being a one-man-band using a keyboard (shudder). It's just useful. I wish I was better at it.
At music college you always used to have a chordal instrument as 1st or 2nd study.
If your dc is gd 4 age 8, then no doubt he'll learn quickly, so there's no rush if he doesn't fancy it.
Being able to see the chords you are playing makes it easier to learn about chord progression and other musical theory stuff.

JulieMichelleRobinson Thu 10-Jul-14 19:30:25

You basically need it for conservatoire or university music courses. My uni wanted grade 8 in first study and at least grade 6 on piano/organ/harpsichord.

But at 8, it can wait a few years. Does help with theory, though.

JimBobplusasprog Thu 10-Jul-14 22:22:21

Okay, thanks. If ds wants to do music at university he can take up the piano some way into secondary school and get to g5 in time. Tbh he wants to be a rocket scientist but I wanted to make sure I wasn't shutting any doors for him.

JulieMichelleRobinson Thu 10-Jul-14 23:44:55

He can start piano at 10 or 11 and get to grade 8 by sixth form fairly easily (speaking from experience - I did tons of non-musical activities too and didn't do all that much practise until year 12). Since you only need grade 5 or 6 for university, and since grade 5 is "functional" for most purposes if you have general musicianship skills, there's no panic.

JulieMichelleRobinson Thu 10-Jul-14 23:45:07

*practice. Whatever.

CookieDoughKid Fri 11-Jul-14 14:21:26

Having piano is a life skill. I only ever got to grade 5 when I was a young student but mostly due to lack of money (poor parents). Being able to sit at the keyboard and read the notation and have some inkling has made it far more enjoyable for both me and my dc. We both love having a hobby together.

Mistigri Fri 11-Jul-14 17:46:15

I'm not sure there is a huge hurry as in my experience skills are quite transferable between instruments, with sufficient motivation. My daughter started on a wind instrument at age 5, then took up guitar 18 months ago aged 11 and made extremely rapid progress, and this summer has started piano with equally rapid results. It comes down to whether they really want to do it and are prepared to put in the time and work.

beccajoh Fri 11-Jul-14 17:52:24

Almost essential for music college/conservatoire. I found it really useful for theory, especially chords.

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