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#940162 - 10/13/08 09:50 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
I've written a long treatise which is copied onto my computer. It is not fair to the forum members to go this far OT, but it's available in a PM if you are interested Steven. It's simply too vast a topic.

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#940163 - 10/13/08 10:04 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
sotto voce Offline
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Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
I've written a long treatise which is copied onto my computer. It is not fair to the forum members to go this far OT, but it's available in a PM if you are interested Steven. It's simply too vast a topic. [/b]
Awww dang! I was just going to reply to what you initially posted. \:\(

My only real point was that the specific hard-wiring involved in early childhood language acquisition is completely inaccessible—gone forever!—once we're past that stage of early childhood.

I shouldn't wish to stray off-topic in this thread either, but this whole postulation of the "window of opportunity" as regards music is certainly of intrinsic interest to teachers and parents alike (and anyone who did acquire music that way, too). I'd like to see it explored further, and may send a PM to Rich Galassini to ask what his own sources are.

I think it's worth mentioning again that anything that can be learned without having to be taught—absorbed automatically and effortlessly—has intrinsic benefits. When I read first-hand accounts of the struggles that adult beginners have in learning to read musical notation, I realize just how fortunate I am.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#940164 - 10/13/08 10:18 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
keystring Offline
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Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
Still wishing not to stray - I've spent several decades on this in a number of ways. The theories can also be misused, even when "educating" - If I ever have the time maybe it will be a book. Things are interrelated.

As mentioned before - language # 6 is going fine. I am deliberately approaching it a certain way, and have managed, as far as the student was willing, to also teach it that way. The ideas about language learning and music learning are parallel, and one discipline often refers to the other sporting the same theory.

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#940165 - 10/13/08 10:40 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
childofparadise2002 Offline
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Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 542
Steven,

Note that the critical period of language acquisition that you mentioned does not refer to reading and writing, it refers to speaking and comprehension of spoken language. In other words, if someone is not exposed to language during this critical period, his innate ability to using and understanding the language structure will not be developed. But this doesn't mean that kids need to learn how to read and write during this period. Reading and writing can wait.

As to music, starting lessons can be compared to learning reading and writing. In this sense it can wait. Being exposed to music is more comparable to the critical period of language that you referred to--this includes listening and singing and moving with rhythm, and doesn't need to happen in any formal setting.

In other words, even if there is a critical period for music just as there is one for language, it probably requires exposure to music, not learning an instrument.

That said, I do agree with you that there is no harm to start formal instruction at an early age if the kid wants it and parents are willing. I don't think we need to be so goal-oriented in everything that we do. If the child enjoys lessons, if the parents think it's money and time well spent, why not? It's perfectly reasonable to use money to "buy" a good experience. And, even though most children will learn a lot more efficiently, say from 7 to 9 years old than from 4 to 6 years old, lessons in early years are not wasted as they build the foundation for the child so that (s)he will progress even faster during 7 to 9 years old.

So it really depends on each child. In the OP's case, I suspect that it's difficult to change the parent's mind, but he can always try to look for a teacher who is a better fit for his child. And if enough teachers tell him that this is not working, he might be willing to think about group lessons or just wait.

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#940166 - 10/13/08 11:08 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
A specific language, or language period? And what is learning. Somebody posted a video of his 18 month child playing away on the piano just like Daddy. Somebody pointed out rhythm, half jokingly. Did anyone notice that the little tyke was holding down a key with his left hand, and that he tended to gravitate on the octave of that note? How many things on how many levels in a manner that includes an intermeshing of body, mind and sensations, do children explore on their own. How much do we draw on these earliest childhood things as we reach adolescence and adulthood? And what if we are directed and narrowed too early?

Sure, give a child early exposure and even lessons if he is so inclined. But be careful. Secondly, be careful not to crush the potential of older people wishing to learn either music or language. I suspect very strongly that our manner of learning is malleable if we can understand what's behind it. At least some of that may be a case of unlearning how we learned to learn. :rolleyes: If we allow a general theory that holds much truth to be the total reality then we may prevent good things from happening that could happen.

I am in danger of bringing this way past the scope of this thread. Years ago I rode home with a kindergarten teacher close to retirement age. Her little kids could not paint a giant capital letter A on the big easel because they didn't know when to stop the brush stroke. Almost all of them had memorized the alphabet thanks to Sesame Street like parrots with no real association. But they did not know how to copy shapes because they had no sense of space, and that, in turn, was because they had not used their bodies. She said "I used to teach my kids how to paint. Now I get them to crawl on the floor in and out, over and through things."

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#940167 - 10/13/08 11:21 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by childofparadise2002:
Steven,

Note that the critical period of language acquisition that you mentioned does not refer to reading and writing, it refers to speaking and comprehension of spoken language. In other words, if someone is not exposed to language during this critical period, his innate ability to using and understanding the language structure will not be developed. But this doesn't mean that kids need to learn how to read and write during this period. Reading and writing can wait.[/b]
You are right. But reading and writing don't have to wait.

For instance, consider keystring's anecdote about the teacher whose children knew the alphabet but couldn't copy shapes. Why would that be—unless no one ever put a pencil in their hands?

BTW, I've posted in Rich's thread, where the discussion is on-topic and where specific academic research has been mentioned:

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/24134/2.html#000036

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#940168 - 10/13/08 11:30 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
 Quote:
For instance, consider keystring's anecdote about the teacher whose children knew the alphabet but couldn't copy shapes. Why would that be—unless no one ever put a pencil in their hands
Because the concept of space and shape perception is not as straightfoward as we think. It gets developed first through our physical interaction with our environment. The pencil in the hand would do nothing. You must be able to perceive the shape. You perceive through the body. That's what some learning disabilities are about.

We are such an intellectual, linear-concept oriented world that we have divorced ourselves from the senses and our own bodies. This can and does create problems. Music learning is wonderful in that respect since we use our ears, touch, our whole bodies, and our eyes too.

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#940169 - 10/13/08 11:42 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
sotto voce Offline
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Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
I think children deserve more credit than that. You say the pencil in the hand would do nothing, but it certainly did something for me.

I was in touch with my senses in the way you describe at a very early age, and I can't be alone in that experience.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#940170 - 10/13/08 11:47 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
Steven, we're missing each other here. My children had pencils and paint brushes and whatnot in their hands as soon as they could be trusted not to eat them. ;\) Which was quite early, btw. There's also a photo of my 3 year old with a big knife cutting up mushrooms and other things beside his brother for the pizza that the two of them made. The BODY must ALSO be used. The students of this kindergarten teacher had been pushed to learn things only with their minds and in a directed way, so that their concept of space and not developed. She had been an educator for 40 years, she knew what the problem was so she had the kids experience their bodies. We must not overly restrict our children's learning toward those things that we think are immediately important for ultimate jobs and status - we must be more open minded and flexible.

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#940171 - 10/13/08 11:57 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
There's also a photo of my 3 year old with a big knife cutting up mushrooms and other things beside his brother for the pizza that the two of them made.[/b]
I was writing at that age—maybe not three, but certainly four. As I just said over in the other thread, I may have been precocious but I cannot have been unique.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#940172 - 10/13/08 12:20 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 542
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
A specific language, or language period? And what is learning. ... And what if we are directed and narrowed too early?

[/b]
There seems to be a language period, according to the popular linguistics and neuroscience books that I read. But this is not a problem for most kids growing up in a "normal" environment. The harm is really for those who are somewhat deprived during this period, such as living in isolation or not having access to any language use beyond everyday conversation. That's partly why parents are encouraged to read to babies and toddlers, it's an enrichment that helps develop the "language instinct". For music, I suspect similar things are listening to music, singing to babies and toddlers, moving about with music, etc.

In terms of whether children can be limited too early, it's always a possibility that parents should be aware of. But it's impossible to actually let a child experience everything: parents always have preferences as to what's important for their children and what's not, each community has its own limitations as to what it offers to its children and what it can't offer, and children have their own predispositions that observant parents are aware of from early on. I agree that it's unhealthy to let a 4yo practise piano, say, for 3 hours a day, but if it's 15 minutes and the child enjoys it, I would assume that it comes to no harm.

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#940173 - 10/13/08 12:22 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 542
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
 Quote:
Originally posted by childofparadise2002:
Steven,

Note that the critical period of language acquisition that you mentioned does not refer to reading and writing, it refers to speaking and comprehension of spoken language. In other words, if someone is not exposed to language during this critical period, his innate ability to using and understanding the language structure will not be developed. But this doesn't mean that kids need to learn how to read and write during this period. Reading and writing can wait.[/b]
You are right. But reading and writing don't have to wait.

[/b]
Yes, I agree. It can wait, but doesn't have to.

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#940174 - 10/13/08 12:39 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by childofparadise2002:
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
You are right. But reading and writing don't have to wait.

[/b]
Yes, I agree. It can wait, but doesn't have to. [/b]
Thank you. \:\)

And I would agree, BTW, that whether pursued super-early or at the "normal" stage of development, there shouldn't necessarily be any predictable difference in the level of achievement ultimately reached.

I think it's the same with the early music exposure thing, too. I have no basis at all for suggesting that an unusually early head start confers any lasting advantage or results in a superior skill level than would otherwise be the case.

For this reason, I, too, think it's silly for a pianist to brag about having played since the age three! I've always felt odd regarding my own admittedly odd background and circumspect about sharing it, especially with adult learners who might be discouraged to feel they're at such a relative disadvantage.

Rather, I always insist that it's never too late to start with music or a foreign language. It just means that the road is tougher.

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

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#940175 - 10/13/08 12:51 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 542
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
Thank you. \:\)

And I would agree, BTW, that whether pursued super-early or at the "normal" stage of development, there shouldn't necessarily be any predictable difference in the level of achievement ultimately reached.

I think it's the same with the early music exposure thing, too. I have no basis at all for suggesting that an unusually early head start confers any lasting advantage or results in a superior skill level than would otherwise be the case.

For this reason, I, too, think it's silly for a pianist to brag about having played since the age three! I've always felt odd regarding my own admittedly odd background and circumspect about sharing it, especially with adult learners who might be discouraged to feel they're at such a relative disadvantage.

Rather, I always insist that it's never too late to start with music or a foreign language. It just means that the road is tougher.

Steven [/b]
People brag whatever they want to brag about. Whereas some people think it's worth telling everyone that they started playing at the age of 3, others might think it's really worth bragging if they started at the age of 15 and made it to the top. Yet others state these things as simple facts and don't mean to brag...

I also agree with you that it's never too late to learn anything. I'm an adult student who has never had experience with piano until these past few years, though I always loved music. I'm learning well and enjoying every minute of it. Sure enough I won't become a concert pianist, but the vast majority of people who start learning piano as children also don't become concert pianists... What I missed, though, is hundreds or perhaps thousands of hours that I could have enjoyed making music. In this sense I think the experience is more important than the outcome, and I think a child who wants to start early should be allowed to try.

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#940176 - 10/13/08 12:52 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
keystring Offline
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Loc: Canada
The waiting part is silly, agreed. We are inwardly directed and know when something is the right time. To be stopped at that time means a golden opportunity is lost.

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#940177 - 10/13/08 02:08 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
koiloco Offline
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Registered: 03/16/08
Posts: 622
Loc: California
I will say that discipline and respect need to be taught to a child at home by both parents. In the OP's student case, this student might or might not be too young to start, but she's definitely in need of some proper parenting and her parents are not doing a good job at that. I can almost be certain that Anna's not afraid of her mom very much and by gender association, Anna is not afraid of her piano teacher either. Anyway, as others have already said, there's no point dragging it out; just drop her as a student.

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#940178 - 10/13/08 02:18 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
keystring Offline
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Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
I would sincerely hope that Anna is not *afraid* of her parents or her teacher. Did you mean to use another word?

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#940179 - 10/13/08 02:21 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
koiloco Offline
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Registered: 03/16/08
Posts: 622
Loc: California
Maybe, listen / respect might sound nicer but afraid is exactly what it is until they fully understand and comprehend what 'respect' and 'obedient' mean.

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#940180 - 10/13/08 02:27 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by keystring:
I would sincerely hope that Anna is not *afraid* of her parents or her teacher. Did you mean to use another word? [/b]
Dang, ks ... I'm literal-minded and pride myself on an eye for detail, but I missed that!

I guess, having pets rather than children, that I'm accustomed to thinking or saying how they're not afraid of me—especially those intransigent cats!—as though that were a bad thing rather than a good thing. They rule this house and don't respect me, and the cats' attitude has rubbed off on the dog.

I automatically inferred koiloco's meaning rather than the literal one. \:o

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

Top
#940181 - 10/13/08 02:41 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
I love your cats. Little kids are a bit like a cross between cat and dog. They go off and do their own thing, and suddenly they are there wanting to show you everything! If only we could have more time, and listen and watch more. They want so much to please - fear is unnecessary at any age. I am the parent of two wonderful fine young men. Their personal ethics and concern for others is heartening in these times. Would instilling fear have done the same? I would rather think that I have been fortunate.

I'm getting maudling. Time to get a cat.

KS

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#940182 - 10/13/08 02:51 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
koiloco Offline
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Registered: 03/16/08
Posts: 622
Loc: California
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:
I automatically inferred koiloco's meaning rather than the literal one. \:o
Steven [/QB]
you inferred 100% correctly.

We have a lot of friends and family gatherings at my house almost every weekend. Of course, all their children (all under 10) are allowed and welcomed to enjoy and experiment with all my instruments (Piano, drums, flute, guitar, violin...) Some are not always behaving and often banging on piano and other instruments. Their parents ask them to stop, other adults ask them to stop and they would for 5 minutes and they would do it again but it would take me 1 look into their eyes and a firm 'No' to stop them for the whole gathering. Was it 'respect' for me as an adult that they listened ? I don't think so! cuz if they understood 'respect' they would listen already to their parents and other adults.
Kids are very complicated to raise and understand as I am finding out myself raising my son, but in this context of the OP, I believe 'afraid' is the exactly suitable term.

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#940183 - 10/13/08 02:56 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
koiloco Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/16/08
Posts: 622
Loc: California
and Keystring, you are very lucky with your boys.

I am also very lucky with mine too but fear is a very useful tool to discipline and teach kids if used properly and not abused. Unless, you are telling me you never grounded your boys for some bad behaviors. \:\)

where's Sotto ??? Please infer from my last sentence \:\)

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#940184 - 10/13/08 04:34 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
keystring Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11805
Loc: Canada
I never grounded my boys for bad behaviour. Seriously. ;\) Anyway, this subject is drifting. Apologies to the OP and anyone interested in the topic. I'm opting out for that reason.

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#940185 - 10/13/08 05:01 PM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
Gary D. Online   content
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Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
I think we can bring this topic back around by agreeing that fear, obedience and respect are words that have strong emotional "baggage". They are often used loosely.

Regardless, the word that I prefer is "respect". I think we have to teach some children what the word means, both by demanding it and giving it back.

To me that is what this thread might be all about. In some situations parents make it impossible for us to establish an environment in which respect is possible.
_________________________
Piano Teacher

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#940186 - 10/25/08 04:21 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
lotuscrystal Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/22/08
Posts: 304
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Kemeritt, I completely empathise with you...I've had my fair share of four year olds over the years, and they have been hard work..if they are not acting up, getting a word out of them has been impossible, so I've had to become a mind reader. I would not normally allow this, but for the students who act up, it's quite beneficial for the piano teacher, to have the parent sit in on lessons and moderate behavior.

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#940187 - 10/25/08 10:52 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
Danny Niklas Offline
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Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
Since the child is so young I would suggest that actually banging on the piano is a usefull activity for her. She needs to explore the sounds on her own, to explore the act of making music oll by herself. What are noises to you are actually a stimulating discovery for her. I let a child stomp and bang as much as he wanted on the piano and eventually he said "enough of this, can you really teach me music now?"

Of course shouting "stop" or "no" doesn't work.
It doesn't work with older people and doesn't work with younger people as well. "Nos" actually can trigger really violent anger crisis. Screaming or scolding doesn't produce any effect. What works is acting calm and resolute, wait for the end of the tantrum and then discuss it with calm.

The concept of respect doesn't work unless you give it in return. Teaching a young child to respect an adult (and for what reason?) but not stressing that the adult must respect the child (in other words reciprocal respect among individuals) just teaches authoritarian submission, well in other words dictatorship. But respecting another person means accepting that you must be wrong. I know parents who get mad at their young children for not doing something. Then the same child gets mad at the parent for having forgotten something important (like bringing her to a birthday party)
The problem is that the parent doesn't accept the scolding from the child and react negatively. So must for respect, the child can only get negative confused conclusions from such behavior. Respect indeed would imply the parent accepting to be scolded by the child and even apologizing. Adults generally do a lot thing that are not respectful of someone else free will and rights. So it must mean that they didn't learn their lesson on respect as young children. Maybe it's because it was just a lesson on supremacy in disguise.

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#940188 - 10/25/08 11:01 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
sotto voce Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 6163
Loc: Briarcliff Manor, NY, USA
 Quote:
Originally posted by Danny Niklas:
Since the child is so young I would suggest that actually banging on the piano is a usefull activity for her. She needs to explore the sounds on her own, to explore the act of making music oll by herself. What are noises to you are actually a stimulating discovery for her. I let a child stomp and bang as much as he wanted on the piano and eventually he said "enough of this, can you really teach me music now?"

Of course shouting "stop" or "no" doesn't work.
It doesn't work with older people and doesn't work with younger people as well. "Nos" actually can trigger really violent anger crisis. Screaming or scolding doesn't produce any effect. What works is acting calm and resolute, wait for the end of the tantrum and then discuss it with calm. [/b]
I'm not a parent, so I have no experience here at all.

Nevertheless, I would imagine that setting boundaries from the start might be a better idea, and it's certainly clear to me that banging on the piano has nothing at all to do with exploring "the act of making music." Noise is noise, and it ain't music. How are you helping the child if you don't teach him or her the difference?

I was certainly never permitted such an infantile indulgence, but learned instead all about the act of making music (and reading music, too) by being seated next to my mother on the bench as soon as I could sit up on my own.

A piano isn't a toy, and banging on it just shouldn't be acceptable. Stomping? Unthinkable.

Danny, your ideas give new meaning to the concept of "permissive parenting."

Steven
_________________________

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."
—Albert Schweitzer

Chopin: Allegro de Concert Op. 46
Schumann: Toccata Op. 7
Fauré: Ballade Op. 19

Top
#940189 - 10/25/08 11:47 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
Danny Niklas Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/15/08
Posts: 905
Loc: Switzerland
 Quote:
Originally posted by sotto voce:


A piano isn't a toy, and banging on it just shouldn't be acceptable. Stomping? Unthinkable.
[/b]
Well as long as you don't do anything that will break the piano. A child understands perfectly the difference between music and noise even without being taught it, but just pressing the keys down with the fingers or the fist is an important self-exploratory experience no matter what sounds come out. Certainly a child ability to discriminate music from noise won't be harmed by exploring the magic of producing sounds through the depression of a key. That's also what adults do when they're exploring something new. They just don't immediately look for someone who can explain to them how to use it, they don't believe in touching something only as long as you know how to use it professionally; they have fun touching and experimenting. I have seen it done with xilophones, synthetizers, amplifiers, virtual-games. It's just our nature. The only reason why adults explore less in awe and through touch than little children, is that they have already explored most of the world when they were that young; so they don't need to repeat that phase except for new things they had never seen or known before.

I'm not condoning the breaking of expensive objects, but experimenting with the unknown is wired into us. Letting them explore sounds means also that soon they will soon run out of sounds they can produce on their own. At this point they will ask for new ideas and will be ready to follow a more formal guidance. But curtailing such natural and much needed self-exploratory phase can indeed triggers frustration, rebellion and turn lessons into a series of tantrums.

I myself started piano lessons after having spent at the age of 3 an year experimenting with my old grandma piano. I even figured out the concept of a "bass line" on my own. I loved clusters expecially and was rather bored by melody at the beginning.

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#940190 - 10/26/08 09:53 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
pianocruisers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 52
Loc: Northern Virginia
It sounds like a 4 year old to me. She doesn't have the ability to sit there for that long due to attention span.

I also teach a 4 year old and what is going for me is that she is well behaved enough to sit there.

It sounds like she is an active child and I would use it to your advantage to teach the lessons. I would explain to the parents that she is not of the maturity level to learn the instrument, but you would like to teach her some general things like rhythm and so forth.

get your rhythm sticks out, tamborine, and play songs for her that she knows. She will love making the beats. Teach her high and low sounds, and on her GOOD days, teach her simple things on the piano. Faber has a great book out for the very young beginner that might work for her if you are using a different book I would look into it. Even my four year old gets impatient with the music for little mozarts. This is what I would do if the parents insist that they want her to continue...

but I say if you have the amount of students to drop her, I would just explain that she needs to mature a little more and that they should wait until she is in 1st grade.

However, I would say that 4 is an age to expect them to not pay attention. You do a good job keeping their attention by not focusing so much on the same thing for too long. I mix up my lesson for my 4 year old and it works better for me.
_________________________
I teach not for business, but for opportunity to give another child the love for music.

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#940191 - 10/26/08 09:56 AM Re: "Hate to break it to ya, But you're kid isnt Mozart!"
pianocruisers Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 52
Loc: Northern Virginia
OMG I forgot to add, the music for little mozarts series has a stuffed bear and mouse that I use in my lessons as puppets. Whatever she is doing, she stops...it's like an automatic music lesson saver. It was the best 10$ I ever spent!!!
_________________________
I teach not for business, but for opportunity to give another child the love for music.

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