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Piano ...

(12 Posts)
Wishingitwaswarm Sun 09-Apr-17 22:12:54

My DD (13) lost her piano teacher last October. She would have been doing grade 5 this term
I have struggled to find a new teacher for her.
I have been let down twice from teachers saying they have a spot then turning us away.
DD doesn't want to take exams (abrsm) but want to play pop songs

I have found two wildly different teachers. One is get a traditional piano music score and play from it, the other plays in a band and basically plays by ear and doesn't use a score at all but plays using cords so will find the music from you tube and play it.
DD prefers the latter one, i feel dubious because surely it's good to read from a music score and play it. But at the same time i think what a great asset to be able to play anything just by hearing it.

DD is taking GCSE music.

Wwyd is it that important to have the music in front of you and read it,. Or to hear it and be able to play it
I'm really torn between them

BackforGood Sun 09-Apr-17 22:20:32

Both are great skills to have.
Would she consider agreeing with you to get her Grade 5, and then you allow her to move to the other teacher once she has 'banked' that?

Oddly, it was after her GCSE music that my dd started playing very much more by 'ear' and then putting chords underneath tunes she'd picked out. She now plays all the time. Will just get her phone out and play all sorts of stuff - pop, musicals, hymns, songs, whatever. It really is great when she's out somewhere and fancies a little play, or someone wants her to play. I guess its because she understood chords and the structure etc more since doing her GCSE.

Wishingitwaswarm Sun 09-Apr-17 22:24:39

It was the compromise that to carry on playing - no exams.
Sorry i should have added that she plays the flute as well (grade 4) so she has the reading ability from that but it's only one stave not 2 like piano

Mistigri Mon 10-Apr-17 18:59:45

If she's got to grade 5 then she can read music.

Tbh with a 13 year old, the real choice is probably to go with the teacher your DD prefers or expect her to give up soon.

Which teacher is "best" really depends what she wants to do. My DD came to the piano from a guitar/ jazz/ improvisation background - she started playing by ear, just using chords like you would on a guitar, or working out arrangements by listening to a piece of music. She later started classical lessons (aged 14) and her unconventional start hasn't hindered her at all; if anything it was helpful because she started out with no fear of the black notes or "difficult" key or time signatures, and she progressed very quickly. She still plays mostly without music - even when playing classical music: she can read sheet music of course, but she memorises all her pieces.

goldenlilliesdaffodillies Mon 10-Apr-17 19:08:46

I would go with the first one. A qualified, experienced piano teacher should be able to teach both those skills. It doesn't sound like the 2nd teacher is a piano teacher if doing everything by ear though? Your daughter could do look up the chords on youtube herself too?

Playing by ear and learning chords is a good skill to have, but to make progression I do think you also need to learn proper technique and able to read the dots too!

Chickendipper12 Mon 10-Apr-17 19:15:28

My dh plays piano hes grade 7 but never uses much from his classical lessons.

He now earns a living selling his "pop music" although its more "alternative electro" is she interested in writing music? Or just playing?

If she wants to write the second person would probably be best, if she just wants to know how to play the classical would be better.

Chickendipper12 Mon 10-Apr-17 19:17:37

Ps although dh can read music I dont think iv ever seen him in all the time hes been doing music here.
I tidy his music studio and have never seen a music sheet anywhere haha

onlymusic Mon 10-Apr-17 20:23:10

At 13yo-isn't it about being cool and popular among friends and not about doing classical piano? grin Esp she does not want to do exams. I agree with Mistigri, let her do what she wants and she can always catch up later

eatyourveg Mon 10-Apr-17 20:24:23

DS1 had a music scholarship at school - no lessons, no grade exams, all self taught - didn't use music sheets just a book of chords from playing the guitar. He took Music gcse so presumably has learned to read the notation. He plays most genres - just hears something - tinkers for a bit and then he seems to be able to do it. I would go with the second one.

troutsprout Tue 11-Apr-17 09:25:44

Dd (14) yr9 came at piano 2 years ago via clarinet so like your Dd can read music well. She has done gcse music this year and has used both instruments.
She plays a lot by ear despite having quite traditional lessons and I think this playing by ear has really helped with the composition bits of the gcse.

Mistigri Tue 11-Apr-17 16:59:50

I also think that learning to make music without the "prop" of sheet music is excellent for composition skills.

I played piano as a child, quite well (from a purely technical point of view), but never learnt to improvise or compose. For DD whose music education has been much less traditional, composing and improvising are very natural.

Obviously teacher 2 isn't going to turn your DD into a concert pianist, so would be a bad choice if she was aiming to do serious music studies, but it doesn't sound as if that's the case.

beautifulgirls Tue 11-Apr-17 21:51:37

Honestly I would look about more for other teachers, wait a bit if needs be. Someone is bound to have some middle ground between these two extremes.

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