Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Lesson

The girlie had her first piano lesson last night. Her brother started his lessons in the fall, and she's been curious from the start. But given her young age, the piano teacher suggested that we just let her observe and get used to the presence of the teacher every week, before letting her give it a try.

I love their teacher. She is GREAT with children.

I actually used to teach piano as a teenager. I even taught my brother up until he sat for his Grade 2 Royal Conservatory Exam. He got first class honours at the age of 7. So in theory, I could teach my own kids at least the basics, even though it's been over 20 years since I taught anyone.

In theory. You see, I pretty much could have killed my brother during his lessons. It's so much harder to teach your own - your expectations are so high, you assume they can do better, they never practice enough, etc., etc. Just ask my brother what those years were like, I bet he'd still remember the torture.

So when it came time for music lessons for my boy, I wasn't even going there.

After four months, he can read simple music, count and play with both hands. He practices every day without prompting, and to be honest, I've only sat down with him a couple of times just to see what he's playing. I'd say that's massive restraint on my part.

When the teacher rang the doorbell yesterday, the girlie came up with me shyly, and only agreed to go to the piano room with the teacher if I accompanied them. I did so gladly, as it was the deal. The teacher welcomed it and let me stay in the back.

What a joy it was to watch the girlie concentrating, looking at the teacher with such attention, and focusing on her fingers and the book in front of her. She learned the number of her fingers, the difference between black and white keys, and long and short notes. She even played two simple pieces. And she was beaming, ear to ear, as the teacher told her how well she was doing.

After 15 minutes, it was over. The plan is to do 15 minute weekly sessions for the first month, just to ease her into it.

As her brother went in for his turn, she ran to the other room with me, jumping up and down, shouting, "Mommy, I want a FULL lesson next time!" I told her it would come soon enough, but that we were so proud of what she had done for the very first time. More ear to ear beaming.

*****
This morning, as I put the coffee on and got breakfast going, instead of heading to the TV room, the girlie walked over to the piano.

"I'm practicing first thing every morning! I'm good and I can do it, better!"

Do you think she's in the running with her brother?

You betcha for sure.

18 comments:

Kami's Khlopchyk said...

That is so wonderful! Jack started lessons this year too and I can't say there has been no prompting to practice. And I am the helicopter hovering. And I don't know much about playing either!

Kamden, unlike, G couldn't care less about the whole thing. I don't think he will be following in his brother's footsteps!

Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas said...

Your post couldn't be better timed. The 6YO told me yesterday that she wants to try piano. Being that I always wished I'd learned, I was going to start my research. In your opinion, when should kids start?

Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas said...

Your post couldn't be better timed. The 6YO told me yesterday that she wants to try piano. Being that I always wished I'd learned, I was going to start my research. In your opinion, when should kids start?

Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas said...

Your post couldn't be better timed. The 6YO told me yesterday that she wants to try piano. Being that I always wished I'd learned, I was going to start my research. In your opinion, when should kids start?

Fear and Parenting in Las Vegas said...

Your post couldn't be better timed. The 6YO told me yesterday that she wants to try piano. Being that I always wished I'd learned, I was going to start my research. In your opinion, when should kids start?

Cid said...

Aren't you lucky. My sister and I hated our piano teacher and while my brother was never forced to take lessons he is now the only one who plays. By ear, of course.

Tara R. said...

Having music in your life, and being able to play an instrument, is fabulous.

Congrats to your daughter! I hope she and her brother continue with their lessons for many years.

louann said...

I think that's wonderful. It develops a lot of discipline and the creative side of the brain is exercised.

Kori said...

And I imagine that piano practice us MUCH less grating to the nerves than, say, the violin? Becuase I HATE it when Sam practices!

April said...

That's so funny; I was just talking to the Arts Program Director at the after-school program about how I can't be Sylvia's vocal or acting coach because I don't think it would be good for our relationship.
That's awesome that they're both enjoying the piano so much! I really wish I'd kept my lessons up, but I quit after a couple of years.

Tooj said...

Ooohhh, piano lessons. I'm jealous. I want my boys to take them, but we don't have a piano, the funds for one, or room for one if we COULD afford it. What to do, what to do....this will be fun to hear about how they compete during the lessons. :) Well, compete in a very friendly, sibling way.

petite gourmand said...

That's so great.
Funny I literally just got home from Lulu's piano lesson.
she started in the fall and is improving everyday- though I wished I played so I could be more helpful.
(ironically I'm kind of leaning along with her though and now she's showing me a thing or two)

I almost melted when she played Ode To Joy this morning.

Lucky you to have a bit of sibling competition in the house to help with the extra practice time.

Oh and for what it's worth- our teacher said that even though most of his students have parents who play- they usually never teach them themselves because kids don't necessarily learn as easily with a parent vs. a non family member-teacher.

so sit back and enjoy all that sweet music!

Jen said...

hi, nice seeing your blog again, life gets so busy....this is so sweet, I remember my piano lessons, lots of fun! :)

Life As I Know It said...

Learning music is a beautiful thing. That's so wonderful that she is excited about it!!

Cherry said...

Sorry I've been away so long. work work work you know, and now that I'm on leave I have all this home work to do... deadline is approaching!

My mother is a piano teacher, so I grew up with young and old (teenagers were old to me) coming to our house to learn to play. My mom has a whole studio full of pianos for her lessons. But me, learning from my mom didn't go so well. I'd pitch fits and practicing became a chore to check off, not something I enjoyed doing plus I was a brat to my mom. My brother in fact asked to take from someone else because he was good, but it's hard to learn from your parent.

To this day, I forget not everyone learned to read music as they learned their alphabet. It's totally second nature to me and for that I'm very grateful.
I get one of those pianos in my mom's studio when she retires (she's 76 and still teaching 4 days a week and working 2 other music jobs), so I hope my own little one will take to it... but I'm hiring a teacher!

BusyDad said...

Ha! This brings back memories of when my mom taught me piano. She is the kindest gentlest person in the world -- when she's not teaching her own child piano. Whenever I see a piano, I make a wide loop around it. Getting too close to it scares me. ;)

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