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Slow piano progress?

(12 Posts)
Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Sat 17-Mar-18 10:06:06

I’m quite musical - grade 8 violin and taught myself piano to grade 6. Mainly amateur stuff now.

I recognised one of my children is possibly musical and expressed an interest so she started piano at age 7. Really liked it initially but nearly a year later I feel she is struggling. Her teacher is old school (older) and I like that in as much as she teaches them using sheet music, a little music theory, treble clef first but using both hands. My child is struggling to read the music - it seems to take her longer to work out the treble clef notes. My gut feel is that she takes a little longer than some to pick up maths and it’s a similar issue here. (She is fine at maths, it’s it’s not a strong point).

Her teacher is finding her frustrating. My daughter was really upset yesterday as she feels like whatever she does isn’t enough. We do try to practice 4 times a week, 20 minutes and I feel she isn’t progressing but slowly. We aren’t aiming for grade 1 yet - still more basic tunes.

Her teacher feels kids nowadays just can’t concentrate the same way (and I’m loathe to admit I do partly agree when I remember myself at the same age).

My daughter isn’t now enjoying her music or her lessons (although together we sometimes have good practice times).

I have suggested we take a break a few months. Think if she still wants to play. Perhaps find another teacher.

I want to offer my children the chance to love music like I do but not at the expense of their well-being! I’m not a pushy mother - maybe I need to be!

Any thoughts?

Mistigri Sat 17-Mar-18 10:38:34

She obviously needs a different approach. Slow progress isn't the issue here; not enjoying it is though! If she enjoyed her lessons she would most likely progress faster.

Is piano the right instrument? Reading two staves at once is difficult and there is also the added difficulty of coordinating two hands that are playing different things. Who chose piano - you or your DD?

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Sat 17-Mar-18 11:07:53

That’s a good question - she chose it, for a variety of reasons.

I agree she is finding the coordination of two hands hard. I find that hard too and have always felt the violin is a natural instrument for me.

Food for thought

kinorsam Sat 17-Mar-18 17:23:15

Her teacher is finding her frustrating
There's your answer: find another teacher. Preferably one who makes music fun and enjoyable.

billybagpuss Sat 17-Mar-18 17:29:50

It does sound like the teacher maybe isn't the right fit for her. On average it takes 18 months to get to grade but if she's not enjoying it that is far more of an issue.

I tend to teach by reading 'shape' as more important than 'notes' and whilst note reading is important I find it often doesn't really click until about grade 3. There are plenty of great modern teaching methods 'Alfred premier course' and 'piano adventures' that she would probably love. There is nothing wrong with 'old school' but I think your DD would benefit from something a little more modern.

Heratnumber7 Sat 17-Mar-18 17:38:03

Find another teacher. And start her on something like the clarinet at the same time.
It has the advantage of being able to play with other people more easily and can therefore be more fun (not just the clarinet obvs)

LooseAtTheSeams Sun 18-Mar-18 12:12:21

Completely agree - if she is still keen on piano, find another teacher - one that's more sympathetic and less judgy.
If she's not enjoying piano, switch to an instrument with one clef to read and build up her confidence on that. A friend of mine learned flute, cello and double bass but says she just couldn't coordinate her hands for piano - so she focused on instruments she could play!

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Sun 18-Mar-18 14:37:01

Thanks - hugely appreciated.

I’m torn now between just finding another piano teacher or getting violin lessons. I know everyone says violin is harder than piano but I’m not sure I agree based on my experience.

kinorsam Sun 18-Mar-18 14:41:06

Be led by your dd, and ask her what she wants to do. Also, and I know it's hard, but try not to compare her progress with your own experiences.

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow Sun 18-Mar-18 14:43:55

Good advice on both counts and I’m definitely guilty of the second.

Noteventhebestdrummer Tue 20-Mar-18 06:08:58

I think Violin is much easier than piano for most kids. Can she sing in tune?

Trumpetboysmum Tue 20-Mar-18 06:20:18

Dd has taken ages to get to grade 1 on piano and is a couple of years older than your dd. I think if you've never read music or learnt an instrument before it can be really tricky to get started . It does sound as though it might be worth trying a different teacher though.
Interesting what you say about reading shapes rather than notes Billy I think that's how dd learnt and it took having cornet lessons at school to consolidate the note reading .
Cornet being one clef and her second instrument dd has picked up much quicker so I would definitely look at starting violin or another instrument . Piano is I think worth carrying on with though it's a good skill to have

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