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#2004511 - 12/26/12 08:55 AM when do you stop having lessons?
adultpianist Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 539
At what stage do you feel you have learned enough not to have lessons anymore? When you have done all the Grades or when you have done a degree or when you can fluently read any piece of music up to a high level.

My music teacher does not have a music degree but she has enough knowledge to teach the subject and only got a far as Grade 7. I don't think she is interested in going any further with her music studies because she can make an adequate living out of teaching the piano and that is fine for her. She never performs, jut teaches. why do people go on to take a univerity degree in music? What purpose does it serve? I think degrees are only relevant if you are going to be a concert pianist who would need more than Grade 7 skills.

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#2004520 - 12/26/12 09:12 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10747
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: adultpianist
At what stage do you feel you have learned enough not to have lessons anymore? When you have done all the Grades or when you have done a degree or when you can fluently read any piece of music up to a high level.

My music teacher does not have a music degree but she has enough knowledge to teach the subject and only got a far as Grade 7. I don't think she is interested in going any further with her music studies because she can make an adequate living out of teaching the piano and that is fine for her. She never performs, jut teaches. why do people go on to take a univerity degree in music? What purpose does it serve? I think degrees are only relevant if you are going to be a concert pianist who would need more than Grade 7 skills.


This question is answered differently for different people. Some are happy with a certain level, while others will never stop learning. I wanted a degree because I wanted to learn more about teaching piano even though I had done it for several years by the time I got my masters. It was also to lend legitimacy to my business so it wasn't seen as just a hobby or a side-job, but that I had degrees in it. I didn't pursue my doctorate because I felt the master's was sufficient for that, nor was I interested in teaching within a university setting where that would come in handy in getting a position.

However, I continued to take lessons beyond college, and while I'm not currently studying, I'm still learning new things on how to teach, new repertoire, and trying new ideas that I get from forums like this. For me, learning is a lifelong pursuit that I'll never "complete".
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#2004545 - 12/26/12 10:57 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: Morodiene]
adultpianist Online   content
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Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 539
You are right. Each person whether they are ameatur or profesional only goes up to their desired level. I could quit and stop now and would have sufficient knowledge to play at my level by working through pieces at grade 2 and 3 level by myself and I guess I would get a lot of enjoyment out of it. There are some lovely pieces at the lower grade level, but I want to be better so I will plod on lol.

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#2004547 - 12/26/12 11:06 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
Morodiene Offline
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Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10747
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: adultpianist
You are right. Each person whether they are ameatur or profesional only goes up to their desired level. I could quit and stop now and would have sufficient knowledge to play at my level by working through pieces at grade 2 and 3 level by myself and I guess I would get a lot of enjoyment out of it. There are some lovely pieces at the lower grade level, but I want to be better so I will plod on lol.


That's usually what keeps a person going...there's that next piece they really want to learn but they can't quite do it justice yet. wink
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#2004594 - 12/26/12 01:05 PM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 439
After his first year of college my son decided to quit flute. He still plays when someone calls and asks him to perform for the local theater company or other performance. Occasionally he picks it up again. He has other interests now.

He never considered or did "levels". The only music tests he had were in college. For playing he always just played something harder than the time before and performed a lot.

He teaches flute when his name is given out.

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#2004623 - 12/26/12 01:49 PM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: MaggieGirl]
adultpianist Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 539
but if you want to teach at a music school they require you to have exams up to such and such a level. My local music school will not hire anyone to teach unless they have Grade 7 level in their chosen instrument.

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#2004630 - 12/26/12 02:04 PM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10747
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: adultpianist
but if you want to teach at a music school they require you to have exams up to such and such a level. My local music school will not hire anyone to teach unless they have Grade 7 level in their chosen instrument.


That's just that school. Others have different requirements, or they will consider other equivalents such as performances and private teaching experience.
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#2004660 - 12/26/12 03:49 PM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5277
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: adultpianist
but if you want to teach at a music school they require you to have exams up to such and such a level. My local music school will not hire anyone to teach unless they have Grade 7 level in their chosen instrument.

That's all? Some music schools here won't hire you unless you have a masters degree in your chosen instrument.

Real musicians never stop having lessons, even if by lessons they don't mean weekly piano lessons with a professor. They can attend master classes and take occasional "coaching sessions" with master teachers. They can attend concerts and observe artist at work. They can compare and contrast several recordings of the same work being studied. There are many ways one can learn outside of a weekly piano lesson setting.
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#2004663 - 12/26/12 04:04 PM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: Morodiene]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Nice response.

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#2004666 - 12/26/12 04:07 PM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: AZNpiano]
adultpianist Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 539
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Originally Posted By: adultpianist
but if you want to teach at a music school they require you to have exams up to such and such a level. My local music school will not hire anyone to teach unless they have Grade 7 level in their chosen instrument.

That's all? Some music schools here won't hire you unless you have a masters degree in your chosen instrument.

Real musicians never stop having lessons, even if by lessons they don't mean weekly piano lessons with a professor. They can attend master classes and take occasional "coaching sessions" with master teachers. They can attend concerts and observe artist at work. They can compare and contrast several recordings of the same work being studied. There are many ways one can learn outside of a weekly piano lesson setting.


I think it depends on the type of school you are with. My school is a small local school where they do not teach beyond grade 8. A teacher of a higher calibre would be teaching at a school of a higher standard

The Royal College of Music in London turns out great musicians.

the Royal College of Music (RCM) is one of the world’s great conservatoires, training gifted musicians from all over the world for international careers as performers, conductors and composers.

None of the teachers where I go would be able to teach students to such a high standard but they are very good for what they do teach to kids and adults who just want to do it for fun.


Edited by adultpianist (12/26/12 04:23 PM)

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#2004682 - 12/26/12 05:15 PM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
catpiano Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/12
Posts: 55
I decided to go to college for music because it seemed to be the natural course for my life. I never went through a graded system, but I was very advanced by the time I got to high school, and throughout high school I worked towards applying for music school/conservatories. That was always my ultimate goal. I continued to take lessons for about a year after college. I stopped because I reached a point where I could figure out the technical and musical complexities of most pieces that I wanted to learn. I also wasn't doing much performing anymore and deciding to pursue a different goal career-wise so it just sort of made sense (financial and otherwise) to stop taking lessons.

I think every pianist will have a different answer for this, it really depends on each person's situation.

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#2004683 - 12/26/12 05:22 PM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
LadyChen Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/25/12
Posts: 521
Loc: Canada
I've never studied music in college or university, but I aim to get the best music education possible through private study and mentorship. I don't think I'll ever stop taking lessons -- I know I can always learn more!

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#2004767 - 12/27/12 12:45 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
Candywoman Offline
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Registered: 07/14/03
Posts: 823
A music degree can be relevant for many reasons. Many of the courses deal with music history. Studying music history is really important to placing yourself, or a piece, in the context of a musical lineage.

The required choir courses address general musicianship, as well as issues of harmony, style, and vocal training.

Most importantly, the courses requiring essays help you to organize your thoughts and communicate them.

One must be careful dividing musicians into camps of concert pianists and everybody else. For instance, I couldn't be a concert pianist at this time, but I could accompany a singer who wants to perform, or play a concerto in my spare time. So while I'm not a concert pianist, I need all the knowledge I have gained. In my opinion, one must never limit her/himself and rest on his/her laurels.

Dollars to donuts your music teacher could benefit from, and enjoy, more piano lessons, both for her expansion as a musician, and as a teacher. Perhaps you might suggest the idea to her.



Edited by Candywoman (12/27/12 12:53 AM)

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#2004772 - 12/27/12 01:49 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
currawong Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 5834
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: adultpianist
why do people go on to take a univerity degree in music? What purpose does it serve?
What purpose does it serve? If you have no interest in furthering your knowledge, in exploring how music is put together, in developing your skills as far as you are able, in making music with like-minded musicians, and in opening up for yourself the riches of all music, why then no purpose at all.
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#2004785 - 12/27/12 03:26 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: currawong]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: adultpianist
why do people go on to take a univerity degree in music? What purpose does it serve?
What purpose does it serve? If you have no interest in furthering your knowledge, in exploring how music is put together, in developing your skills as far as you are able, in making music with like-minded musicians, and in opening up for yourself the riches of all music, why then no purpose at all.
thumb

Adult pianist, you should also know that you don't get into college at grade 7... you get into college if you can play at associate diploma level. Where I live candidates must do an audition and prepare a program of four pieces, they must also sit an interview, complete a music skills test and get a high school average mark of above 80.

Playing the piano is one thing - being able to accompany, work in ensembles, teach different systems, methods and ages, arrange, having a good understanding of history are the skills of not just a mere pianist but a well rounded musician.


Edited by Nannerl Mozart (12/27/12 03:29 AM)
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#2004792 - 12/27/12 04:33 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
adultpianist Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 539
Originally Posted By: Nannerl Mozart
Originally Posted By: currawong
Originally Posted By: adultpianist
why do people go on to take a univerity degree in music? What purpose does it serve?
What purpose does it serve? If you have no interest in furthering your knowledge, in exploring how music is put together, in developing your skills as far as you are able, in making music with like-minded musicians, and in opening up for yourself the riches of all music, why then no purpose at all.
thumb

Adult pianist, you should also know that you don't get into college at grade 7... you get into college if you can play at associate diploma level. Where I live candidates must do an audition and prepare a program of four pieces, they must also sit an interview, complete a music skills test and get a high school average mark of above 80.

Playing the piano is one thing - being able to accompany, work in ensembles, teach different systems, methods and ages, arrange, having a good understanding of history are the skills of not just a mere pianist but a well rounded musician.


Yes and what you describe is what concert painists have to learn. They have to learn how to play with big orchestras and how to accompany them as their solo pianist, when to come in, when to let them play all at the right time... how to follow a conductor etc. I am a beginner and I have to concentrate on what I am doing. It is doubly hard when you are playing with an orchestra. I have posted a clip. In this clip it shows the skill of pianists with an orchestra. I love the piece by the way. If you watch, the pianist plays with no score and knows when to play and not play against the orchestra. She plays and occaionally looks at the conductor for direction. Only a very very experienced pianist can pull this off. The piece is difficult enough to play without an orchestra. Is the orchestra accompanying the pianist or is the pianist accompanying the orchestra? I would think it is the pianist as solo pianists but what do I know, I am a beginner lol

[video:youtube]http://youtu.be/sNRi0FNP_Xk[/video]

I adore Helene Grimaud as a pianist... She has phenominal skill. The only other pianist I have seen with her kind of skill at the piano keys is Leonard Bernstein and I have watched a fair amount of professional pianists.



Edited by adultpianist (12/27/12 04:36 AM)

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#2004796 - 12/27/12 04:46 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3328
Loc: Scotland
As a youngster I did up to grade 8 (ABRSM) and then a diploma. I didn't take music beyond school. Now I find myself teaching for a living. I'm now trying to work toward a teaching diploma, and wanted a teacher to help me with this, so I posted on a UK-based teacher's forum, to try to find one.

I was dismayed by the number of posts saying, Oh, you can do it yourself, you just need to keep going. I found it really quite irritating.

The good news is I did get a local lead, and have an interview with a teacher in January.
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#2004798 - 12/27/12 04:57 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: ten left thumbs]
adultpianist Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 539
I know a youngster who studied percussion and various brass instruments and could play piano to Grade 8. However when she graduated from university with a degree in music she gave it all up for an office job. She said the only reason she went to do a music degree was because she was already a musician and was at a cross roads in her life and thought getting a music degree was the only thing she could do. She was mainly a percussionist although she did play in a brass band. I think it is such a shame to go through all that training and not get a music career out of it. She always felt she was not good enough to go into music as a career and said that percussionists were very far and few between. I then said could she not teach percussion, after all, she has a degree and she said no, there is not much call for percussion teachers and she did not feel she was good enough to go for a job as a percussionist in an orchestra.

I have never seen her play and am not skilled to judge her ability but feel it is a shame. I asked her if she felt getting a degree in music was a waste of time considering she is not doing music as a career and she said no....

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#2004803 - 12/27/12 06:18 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
Nannerl Mozart Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/19/08
Posts: 732
Loc: Australia, Melbourne
Adult pianist I studied up to grade 8 and I'm doing an associate diploma now, and I'm also doing my music degree. The thing is half way through my degree I decided to drop it all and study to become a chef. Was my music education a waste? No. It taught me to have a lot of pleasure in making music, it was an outlet when I was in my teen years - full of hormones and angst I was glad I was able to get it all out in my attempts to improvise and compose, I was glad to have something to fall back on in case I ever decided to quit being a chef, I was glad to have grown up in a discipline that encouraged one to get better and better at my own craft.

I decided I loved music so much when I was offered a job in teaching beginner children how to play the piano... so I'm going back to finish my degree but I don't think it was a waste for me to even go to culinary school - it taught me a lot about being organised and not so scatterbrained.

Kids grow up and change careers all the time... my friend who wanted to become a concert pianist decided to become a doctor instead... he does the odd gig here and there and goes to lots of concerts. Christine Rice was completing a PhD in science but she dropped it all to become an opera singer. I know a chef with a MBA before completing her apprenticeship to become a chef. Nothing you learn is ever a waste. It enriches you...

Besides this, I get the feeling that you think concert pianists should be well rounded musicians, everybody else e.g. teachers and amateur music makers don't have to know about theory, harmony, ear training, history, etc... Sure it's not needed - playing the piano, if you reduce it down to the basics involves pressing down on the right keys for the right about of time ... but making music involves a lot more than that... a degree isn't needed but it does enrich you certainly. As a teacher I have found myself to be so thankful for all the things that I've learned that have affected the way I play. My five year old student had issues with pulse and rhythm, I was glad that my degree taught me to use several different methods and techniques - French time names, conducting, using body percussion - stomping and clapping, tapping with percussion instruments. I could go on and list what I learned in music school and describe how it assisted me as a teacher, but it would take up a few thousand words.
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#2004809 - 12/27/12 06:50 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: Nannerl Mozart]
adultpianist Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 539
Originally Posted By: Nannerl Mozart
Adult pianist I studied up to grade 8 and I'm doing an associate diploma now, and I'm also doing my music degree. The thing is half way through my degree I decided to drop it all and study to become a chef. Was my music education a waste? No. It taught me to have a lot of pleasure in making music, it was an outlet when I was in my teen years - full of hormones and angst I was glad I was able to get it all out in my attempts to improvise and compose, I was glad to have something to fall back on in case I ever decided to quit being a chef, I was glad to have grown up in a discipline that encouraged one to get better and better at my own craft.

I decided I loved music so much when I was offered a job in teaching beginner children how to play the piano... so I'm going back to finish my degree but I don't think it was a waste for me to even go to culinary school - it taught me a lot about being organised and not so scatterbrained.

Kids grow up and change careers all the time... my friend who wanted to become a concert pianist decided to become a doctor instead... he does the odd gig here and there and goes to lots of concerts. Christine Rice was completing a PhD in science but she dropped it all to become an opera singer. I know a chef with a MBA before completing her apprenticeship to become a chef. Nothing you learn is ever a waste. It enriches you...

Besides this, I get the feeling that you think concert pianists should be well rounded musicians, everybody else e.g. teachers and amateur music makers don't have to know about theory, harmony, ear training, history, etc... Sure it's not needed - playing the piano, if you reduce it down to the basics involves pressing down on the right keys for the right about of time ... but making music involves a lot more than that... a degree isn't needed but it does enrich you certainly. As a teacher I have found myself to be so thankful for all the things that I've learned that have affected the way I play. My five year old student had issues with pulse and rhythm, I was glad that my degree taught me to use several different methods and techniques - French time names, conducting, using body percussion - stomping and clapping, tapping with percussion instruments. I could go on and list what I learned in music school and describe how it assisted me as a teacher, but it would take up a few thousand words.


I am not saying that teachers and ameatur musicians do not need to know about theory or tone or ear training. Perhap I did not word it very well. I meant that when you go on to do advanced studies, you learn about orchestral works. My cousin who got her degree from Canberra(yes she is Australian) is now running a school orchestra, teaching flute, and teaching ensemble studies. She has also played in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra playing both principal flute and piccolo.


Edited by adultpianist (12/27/12 06:51 AM)

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#2004810 - 12/27/12 06:55 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: ten left thumbs]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
Ten.

Sorry to spoil you parade. But Michael Gove is changing the GCSE curriculum massively in favor of the British Baculareate.

So that only STEM (Science, TEch, engineering and maths) subjects are manditory + one foreign language.

The 'soft' as he calls it subjects such as humanities, history, geography, drama and MUSIC are going to be made optional choices.

A lot of drama and music teachers are cacking their pants at the changes and are going back to university to get maths or science modules.

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#2004811 - 12/27/12 06:56 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
justpin Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/25/12
Posts: 504
Loc: Holmes Chapel
Have a read of this:

http://www.cracked.com/article_19411_5-bizarre-dark-sides-to-modern-orchestras.html

So its either orchestra which doesn't pay well or teaching. Which has its own difficulties.

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#2004816 - 12/27/12 07:09 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: justpin]
adultpianist Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/01/12
Posts: 539
interesting article. What made the likes of Leonard Bernstein so good and go on for so many years without having to quit beause he got repetitive strain injury? He played for YEARS.

On that note I know someone who played professional violin in an orchestra injured her shoulder (I think from too much playing) and had to quit. She now teaches violin.

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#2004903 - 12/27/12 11:27 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: justpin]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3328
Loc: Scotland
Originally Posted By: justpin
Ten.

Sorry to spoil you parade. But Michael Gove is changing the GCSE curriculum massively in favor of the British Baculareate.

So that only STEM (Science, TEch, engineering and maths) subjects are manditory + one foreign language.

The 'soft' as he calls it subjects such as humanities, history, geography, drama and MUSIC are going to be made optional choices.

A lot of drama and music teachers are cacking their pants at the changes and are going back to university to get maths or science modules.


Gove can go **** *******, but it makes no difference to me. I am a private teacher, and my underwear remains unchanged. smile
_________________________
I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#2004953 - 12/27/12 01:30 PM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: justpin]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 439
Originally Posted By: justpin
Ten.

Sorry to spoil you parade. But Michael Gove is changing the GCSE curriculum massively in favor of the British Baculareate.

So that only STEM (Science, TEch, engineering and maths) subjects are manditory + one foreign language.

The 'soft' as he calls it subjects such as humanities, history, geography, drama and MUSIC are going to be made optional choices.


I'm very sorry to hear this is looking like a global focus. My son's scholarship program was cut this year (US)- the money is being moved to STEM scholarships. No one needs the humanities/arts/English anymore. smirk What is funny is that the pendulum will swing again and my daughter who is very STEM oriented naturally will probably be on the opposite side when it swings again.

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#2005399 - 12/28/12 10:07 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 10747
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
This is a huge mistake. I am often surprised that people don't realize the need for arts in children's education. Name me a society that exists or ever existed without arts, and I'll show you a looney bin! GRRRR!
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#2005461 - 12/28/12 11:24 AM Re: when do you stop having lessons? [Re: adultpianist]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2202
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
Someone should rebrand music theory as a math and science class.
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Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
New Topics - Multiple Forums
2014 Bradshaw and Buono Piano Competition
by hsheck
04/18/14 01:21 AM
What is the strangest thing you have found inside a piano?
by That Tooner
04/17/14 11:18 PM
Kawai vs Ritmuller
by cromax
04/17/14 11:08 PM
Considering going into debt for a Steinway grand
by joonsang
04/17/14 10:38 PM
Best Glue for Damper Pads
by JMichaelWilson
04/17/14 10:07 PM
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