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Ds says piano lessons not challenging enough!!!

(10 Posts)
Jesusgirl Tue 20-Sep-11 21:32:34

Ds does piano lessons in school. He previously had a private teacher but it was becoming too hectic taking him down to her so we opted for school lessons.

He likes his new teacher a lot but today told me the piano pieces are too easy and he only gets to do one per lesson.

It's quite true though, he learns just a page of his book and has to practice it all week. Most of the time,he plays them perfectly on the 1st day, and he just 'teaches' himself other things all week.

His old teacher used to give him about 3 things to practice.

I'm not quite sure how to handle this. I've asked to speak with the piano teacher but is this the norm or is the pace really too slow.

I'm hoping we wouldn't have to go back to the private teacher as school lessons are much cheaper and more convenient for me.


roisin Tue 20-Sep-11 21:38:30

How long has he been learning? How long has he been having lessons in school? Has he done any grades yet? How old is he?

If this is two weeks' in, I'd give it a bit longer yet to let the teacher get the measure of him.

Does he have a practice diary from the teacher? If not, I'd get a notebook and write in there what he's practised and when he's practised and that will help him/her get an idea of how keen he is.

OmniumAndGatherum Tue 20-Sep-11 21:39:07

Blow cheaper and more convenient. This teacher is not doing his/her job effectively. It's one of the perils of having lessons with peris at school: they tend to slavishly follow the same pattern for all pupils. Your DS is evidently a quick learner, and his teacher should be following his lead (I speak from reams of experience here).

You could try sitting in on a lesson (if the school won't allow it, ditch the teacher anyway: you have a right to know what's going on if you're paying for lessons). That might give you a better idea of what actually goes on. Are there any other - possibly more suitable - piano teachers within school? If not, I fear you are condemned to private tuition if you want your DS to carry on learning and enjoying the piano.

Jesusgirl Tue 20-Sep-11 21:49:43

Thanks for the very quick reply.

He has been learning 'formally' for about 18 months. He's age 7. The 1st year was with the private tutor. He started in school after half term last school year.

I initially thought she was going slow because he just started and it was just half a term left so I was a bit concerned that the pace is still so slow.

I just don't want him to loose interest as lately, he's been so 'in love' with playing the piano. I NEVER have to remind him to practice. If anything, most times I tell him to please get off the piano as he wants to keep playing.

I'll try the diary thing. I have an appointment with her mid October. Hopefully she'll give a good explanation, otherwise, we'll go back private.

OmniumAndGatherum Tue 20-Sep-11 21:54:55

Oh bless him. What a wonderful thing. My DS was the same at seven; he's now grade 6 two years on. It's delightful (apart from when he's playing the piano when he's supposed to be getting dressed). It really does pay to find a teacher who responds to the child. Good luck. smile

Jesusgirl Tue 20-Sep-11 22:00:46

Thanks omnium! I'm hoping that'll be ds's story - grade 6 in 2 years time!!!

He recently taught himself to play fur Elise. He learnt on YouTube! There're lots of tutorials on there! I tried to discourage him as I didnt want him to learn to play the wrong thing. But I'm just saying this to say how interested and excited he is about the piano. It's the 1st thing he goes to when he gets home from school!

The more I think about it, the more I'm thinking we should go back to his private tutor!

OmniumAndGatherum Wed 21-Sep-11 14:00:58

He sounds fab. Good luck to him! smile

AChickenCalledKorma Wed 21-Sep-11 16:03:16

If he's that keen, he needs the right teacher. Either the one at school is the wrong teacher, or she has really not realised how keen he is to progress.

In your shoes, I would talk to her, tell her how much work he used to do and how much he likes to practice and see how she responds. But I think you might need to change back to the private tutor.

For what it's worth, DD is just about to do Grade 1. For the last few weeks, there has been some new music each week, some suggestions on how to improve the pieces she's already working on, a new scale per week and some theory homework. So in total, she has three pieces, three scales and a set of broken chords to work on this week.

confidence Wed 21-Sep-11 23:01:14

If the child is that keen and able, it's almost certain you won't be serving his needs properly through lessons with a peri at school. Unless you are extremely lucky, or it's a private school with an exceptional musical tradition etc. Quite apart from the level of teaching itself (which may be fine), you won't be able to liase with the teacher nearly so well, and therefore won't be able to support the learning at home as well. This is one of the most important factors influencing progress, particularly with very young kids.

I'd go back to the out-of-school teacher and do the job properly, the way it deserves.

Jesusgirl Thu 22-Sep-11 16:55:13


I only wanted him to do the school lessons selfishly! I was trying to avoid dropping him off,and waiting half an hour in the car! But it's really not worth it, especially as he is now complaining.

He mentioned to me yesterday that he has lessons with another boy using a lower level book than him! Not sure how that works.

I'll ring (crawl back to) the old private teacher!!!

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