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Piano lessons too long?

(13 Posts)
Enb76 Tue 07-Jul-15 10:13:47

I pay for a 1/2 hour lesson for my 6 year old. She's really very musical and the teacher is very highly regarded in the city where I live. She's been playing for a year and is probably just off G1 standard.

The problem is he forgets that she's just 6 and although I only pay for 1/2 hour the lessons are rarely under an hour and I think she's just too young. They do a lot of talking about the pieces, musicians, composers etc... so it isn't all playing. When I ask her if she's enjoying it she says she is but I watch her get more and more frustrated with herself when things aren't perfect. She practices for half an hour everyday with me and mostly enjoys this too except when she's being a 6 year old. She has about 5 short pieces to learn every week.

I'm worried that she'll begin to hate the piano but equally she is the sort of child who doesn't like to give things up - for example, I'd love her to give up ballet but she doesn't want to even though she doesn't really enjoy it.

How do I broach the subject of lesson length without offending the teacher who is giving his time for free? My mother says that I shouldn't.

slippermaiden Tue 07-Jul-15 10:41:36

Can you arrange to be going out as soon as the half hour lesson is up? Or just explain that you'd like the lessons to be more fun? Or choose a new piano teacher aimed at teaching small children. You are paying the lessons should be what you want them to be.

Fleurdelise Tue 07-Jul-15 12:32:57

I would arrange another activity after the piano lesson and tell the teacher we need to be there on time. Even if it is a family activity or anything like that.

Dd is 7 and her piano lesson is 30 min, it does run over by 5-10 min sometimes or she may do an hour lesson in the run up of an exam but generally 30 min is enough to cover the needs for her age.

Dd's teacher told us that there is no need to increase the time until grade 4/5.

DeeWe Tue 07-Jul-15 19:26:39

Well it depends on what exactly is going on.

Is it that actually she can't concentrate for 30 minutes straight off, so he's doing 5 minutes playing, 5 minutes talking to give her a break.
Dd1 could concentrate for 30 minutes straight off (and did) at that age. Dd2 would have worked much better 5 minutes on 5 minutes off, and ds works well for 20 minutes straight, but struggles with longer, so he's not going above 20 minutes for his lesson.

Enb76 Tue 07-Jul-15 20:13:56

She can concentrate for ages. It's not that really, I guess it's because it's so serious. Talking to people IRL who know of this guy apparently he's only like this with pupils who have real potential so I should suck it up and be grateful. She wants to do it but she's just so young. I do wish I'd made her wait a year.

Ferguson Tue 07-Jul-15 22:59:30

It doesn't sound as though SHE will be distressed by an hour, and if a fair portion of it is discussion, analysis etc, that is a valid contribution to her musical education; it seems it is more YOU feeing concerned.

I taught 'informal' music in primary schools for twenty years, keyboard, recorder, percussion (ie not formal for exams) and some weeks it might be all playing, other weeks mostly 'chat' if the kids were in that sort of mood.

If she is happy, let her make the most of a good opportunity!

Worriedandlost Wed 08-Jul-15 21:27:04

I did not quite get why you feel so distressed, seems like you have this idea "one hour is too long for 6yo" and it bothers you, and not what is actually happening. Your 6yo likes lessons and is able to concentrate, why do you want to change it? There are children who can do it at 6yo and yours is one of them, just enjoy! My dd had one hour lesson at 5 and could handle it ok (in fact I think she had one hour lesson at 4 too, but I don't remember now), it did not ruin her attitude towards learning music. Besides if teacher changes activities during the lesson, child just doesn't have time to get tired, he/she is too engaged!

Just relax and trust your child....

Moominmammacat Wed 08-Jul-15 21:52:33

My ds used to have 2 x 15' at 6 because he couldn't concentrate!

Indole Wed 08-Jul-15 22:29:42

I wouldn't say an hour's lesson is too long if it is interactive and she enjoys it, but I would say half an hour is way too long to practise every day. Ten to fifteen minutes would be plenty.

Worriedandlost Wed 08-Jul-15 23:29:50

Dd's violin teacher would be shocked if I said that she practiced less than 30 mins at 6yo smile. I think it depends on a teacher and a child.

Enb76 Thu 09-Jul-15 10:42:31

Ha, with 5 pieces to practice, sight-reading and scales we'd never cover anything with 10-15 minutes! 30 mins is the minimum I can get away with.

Indole Thu 09-Jul-15 15:46:36

I'd ask for fewer pieces. DD has been playing piano for two terms and violin for a year. She's at Grade 2 level in the violin and hoping to do Grade 1 piano next term. She usually gets about three pieces per instrument and possibly a scale or study, and seems to manage to fit it all in in 15 mins per instrument. As you can see, she isn't being held back by this!

Ferguson Fri 10-Jul-15 20:00:02

But she doesn't have to do ALL aspects at every practice session, so let her choose which she wants to concentrate on. And playing ONE piece with really good control and sensitivity is better than rushing through FIVE to get them all done.

QUALITY is more important than QUANTITY in music!

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