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#1272197 - 09/21/09 04:21 PM Have you taught your own child?
PianoKitty Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 133
Loc: US
If so, did you find it more difficult, easier, or about the same as teaching other children? Also, did you do 1 weekly lesson and practice with them daily (like a regular student), or did you try to move faster by doing 2 lessons per week (so twice as much information per week...) along with the daily practice?

I have been teaching my daughter to play for the last year or so. She is 5 years old and is doing well, but I find that as a piano teacher, I have greater expectations for my own child than I do for others'. I have to remind myself often not to get frustrated and to keep moving forward with her. My daughter seems to love piano, so that's good! But she wants to please me and I think she gets down on herself sometimes for not playing perfectly. I am trying not to put too much pressure on her and I make lessons and practice fun with rewards, prizes and things. Most of the time she asks me, "Mommy, can we do our piano lesson now?!" so I think she is still excited; I just need to keep my frustration and expectations in check.

Anyway, just wondering if any other teachers have taught their own child, and how it went. Did you experience these things as well? Did your child stick with piano?
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#1272205 - 09/21/09 04:30 PM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: PianoKitty]
ProdigalPianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/08/07
Posts: 1049
Loc: Phoenix Metro, AZ
In Noah Adams' "Piano Lessons" where he wrote about the Van Der Lindes who run the Sonata piano camp for adults. He said that when their kids (who all apparently became music teachers themselves) were small, when they were outside playing, instead of saying "you have to come in and practice now" and making their friends leave, the mom would say "Everyone come in! Let's have some fun at the piano!" (or something like that).

I think that's a wonderful way to approach it for a parent who teaches.


Edited by ProdigalPianist (09/21/09 04:38 PM)
Edit Reason: correct annoying apostrophe error
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#1272209 - 09/21/09 04:36 PM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: PianoKitty]
abcdefg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 67
Loc: midwest
I have taught both of my daughters, now grown and on their own. The oldest loved the piano and I taught her through 8th grade. At that time we found a college professor to teach her. She even played a concerto with a local symphony. My youngest daughter had some vision problems which made reading difficult. Reading one line is easier for her. She ended up playing in the band and even as an adult has found a community band to be a part of. I taught her through 10th grade. As she got older she concentrated more on the clarinet and on the piano she didn't learn much more than a recital piece. I think she always felt a little competition with her sister.

What I found hard was scheduling their lessons and finding time for them to practice. My oldest daughter is thankfully a quick learner. I would schedule lessons but if I was tired or needed that time for a make-up, the lesson with my own children was "re-scheduled". At one time I had 40 students a week so you can imagine that my own had little time to practice.

I think that as long as it is a positive experience it is a wonderfu. My daughter and I still enjoy playing duets. Hopefully you will know if and when it is time for your daughter to find another teacher because the parent/child relationship can make teaching difficult.

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#1272224 - 09/21/09 05:09 PM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: abcdefg]
lalakeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/05/06
Posts: 286
Loc: Chicago 'burbs
I taught my son and daughter, beginning when each was in first grade. Both participated in my student recitals. My son continued piano lessons until 9th grade; my daughter until 8th grade. I gave my kids the option of quitting piano IF they wanted to channel that time into another musical interest, which they would continue to pursue at least through high school. Both played band instruments, and chose to concentrate on that instead of piano. And both played in the top band in their (very large) high school, which may not have been as possible if they had to fit piano practice into their schedule along with their homework, part-time job, and band.
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#1273131 - 09/23/09 12:18 AM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: abcdefg]
PianoKitty Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 133
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: abcdefg
What I found hard was scheduling their lessons and finding time for them to practice. My oldest daughter is thankfully a quick learner. I would schedule lessons but if I was tired or needed that time for a make-up, the lesson with my own children was "re-scheduled". At one time I had 40 students a week so you can imagine that my own had little time to practice.


I also struggle with this. I have a large teaching studio (only a few students shy of 40!) and after teaching for 6 straight hours, it's hard for me to want to do another 30-minute lesson with my daughter, on top of playing myself. So her lessons are a bit sporadic, but thankfully she is a quick learner (like your daughter) and so far she is doing great and enjoying it.
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#1273337 - 09/23/09 10:09 AM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: PianoKitty]
GardeningPianolady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/23/06
Posts: 26
I taught both our kids when they were younger, ages 4-6. Then, they went to another teacher. Child #1 continued until 8th grade, then dropped and took trumpet lessons instead. Child #2 returned to me around age 12, then dropped in high school and took vocal lessons.
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#1273373 - 09/23/09 10:58 AM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: GardeningPianolady]
dumdumdiddle Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/16/06
Posts: 1265
Loc: California
I also taught both of my kids until about 6th grade. Then the eyerolling, sighs, and attitude began and I moved them to another teacher.

Both kids took piano through junior high and then stopped, as they preferred other instruments. My daughter learned guitar, my son the drums. Now they are 18 and 21 and they still play their preferred instrument, although my son enjoys improvising on the piano (my daughter won't touch the piano with a 10 ft pole).
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#1274186 - 09/24/09 01:25 PM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: dumdumdiddle]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Just wondering if you have another teacher teach your child, do you still watch them practice?
Do you try to correct them during practice if you see something is not right?

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#1274209 - 09/24/09 01:47 PM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: C.Y.]
Diane... Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/16/06
Posts: 3450
Loc: Western Canada
Think it depends on the person!

Regarding watching them practice, I would say yes, watch them occasionally. No I take that back, ALL THE TIME!

One day I could hear my son practicing downstairs. Sounded good. Then, he made a mistake, so I listen a little bit longer, and heard the "same" mistake again. So I listen a third time from upstairs, and he made the exact same mistake "again"! Not a different mistake, the exact same one! So I went downstairs and found him watching TV with his finger on his tape recorder hitting the rewind and play buttons.

Too smart for his own good! Takes after his "father"! smile


Edited by Diane... (09/24/09 01:49 PM)
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#1274214 - 09/24/09 01:53 PM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: Diane...]
PianoKitty Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 133
Loc: US
That's the issue I have...every time she practices, I feel like I have to get involved and correct her. So it feels like I'm giving her a lesson every day LOL. But I'd rather her do it right than listen to her practice it incorrectly all week. And I'm sure that when she gets older, she'll be able to practice more independently.

We also have a special reward system in place for her piano practice. She has a chart on the fridge and she gets a sticker for every day that she practices. If she practices every day for a week, she gets a prize. This is great fun for her LOL, and one reason I think she is enjoying piano at such a young age.
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#1274225 - 09/24/09 02:02 PM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: PianoKitty]
abcdefg Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/18/09
Posts: 67
Loc: midwest
PianoKitty--You are doing what I ask my beginner parents to do. Supervise the student's practice at home. It is amazing what some of my parents have learned. Even those who have never played the piano. They understand how to ghost play, they can listen for articulations, phrasing, pedaling, etc. The parents become a huge asset to me. In your case you are giving the lesson and supervising the practice. Your daughter will probably learn faster than the traditional student.

Student just came in the door, I will look back at this later.

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#1274239 - 09/24/09 02:13 PM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: abcdefg]
PianoKitty Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 133
Loc: US
Abc, yes, I recommend all of these practice and reward methods to my beginner parents as well. And like you said, even the parents who started out not knowing a thing about music (and are somewhat wary in the beginning about being able to help their child) are learning right along with their kids, and they're able to supervise practice and know when something is off. Some of them have even started taking lessons with me themselves, after seeing how easy it is to learn. I agree that that's a huge asset to us as teachers. I get miffed with parents who expect their young child to come to lessons once a week and practice perfectly every day at home without any help; usually these parents are too busy or too apathetic to get involved, and it shows in their child's playing and progress.

I always tell my beginner parents that if they don't understand something, to *please* call me. I would much rather clarify things and have the student practice correctly than have an entire week of practicing incorrectly and have to deal with unlearning that later. Because of this encouragement for communication, and because I have such a large teaching studio, I get a lot of phone calls LOL. But that's OK. =) I discourage talking after the lesson because all of my lessons are back-to-back.

Sometimes I think my daughter having a piano teacher for a mother is both a burden and a gift LOL. I expect her to progress faster than other students (which she is) but I have to remind myself to keep it fun for her. So far we are doing good, and I hope she keeps enjoying it!
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#1274240 - 09/24/09 02:16 PM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: PianoKitty]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: PianoKitty
So it feels like I'm giving her a lesson every day LOL.


That's what I try to say. If you have already done that 7 days a week, what difference does it make to have another teacher teach you child on the lesson day? You still need to do it on other 6 days.

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#1274251 - 09/24/09 02:24 PM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: C.Y.]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Originally Posted By: C.Y.
Originally Posted By: PianoKitty
So it feels like I'm giving her a lesson every day LOL.


That's what I try to say. If you have already done that 7 days a week, what difference does it make to have another teacher teach you child on the lesson day? You still need to do it on other 6 days.


Well, FWIW, my kids are more inclined to take advice from a hired stranger than they are from me. I don't know if other kids are the same. If I say it's an E they'll say it's a D, just because it's Dad.

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#1274259 - 09/24/09 02:41 PM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: kevinb]
PianoKitty Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/09
Posts: 133
Loc: US
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Originally Posted By: C.Y.
Originally Posted By: PianoKitty
So it feels like I'm giving her a lesson every day LOL.


That's what I try to say. If you have already done that 7 days a week, what difference does it make to have another teacher teach you child on the lesson day? You still need to do it on other 6 days.


Well, FWIW, my kids are more inclined to take advice from a hired stranger than they are from me. I don't know if other kids are the same. If I say it's an E they'll say it's a D, just because it's Dad.


This is the reason a few piano-playing parents have cited when signing up with me. They tried teaching their own child and the child was combative or unresponsive with them, just because it was mom or dad. But with me, they view me as an authority figure and don't pull those kinds of things. So having a different teacher (me) has worked well for them.

So far, my daughter enjoys her lessons with me, so that isn't a problem and hopefully it doesn't become one. She actually asks me, "mommy, can we do our piano lesson now?" and if we forget to practice one day (I know...horrors since I am a teacher LOL!), she tells me - "mommy, we didn't practice piano today!" LOL, she keeps us on track. Mainly because she wants to earn stickers for her prize chart haha!
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#1274260 - 09/24/09 02:41 PM Re: Have you taught your own child? [Re: C.Y.]
C.Y. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/30/08
Posts: 391
Originally Posted By: kevinb
Well, FWIW, my kids are more inclined to take advice from a hired stranger than they are from me. I don't know if other kids are the same. If I say it's an E they'll say it's a D, just because it's Dad.


Then it goes back to my original question.
Originally Posted By: C.Y.
Just wondering if you have another teacher teach your child, do you still watch them practice?
Do you try to correct them during practice if you see something is not right?



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