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  1. As a classical educator of my kids and a piano teacher, my teaching methodology is shifting to classical. Does anyone know of a piano teaching series or book from the classical perspective?
  2. My 7yo has enjoyed plunking around on our digital piano, composing his own songs and learning some tunes via the built-in program. Without instruction, he has poor technique and isn't learning music theory this way, so I'd like to be intentional with his piano and music theory instruction. For this kid, I suspect it will be a hobby and not a life-long pursuit. Maybe he'll join a homeschool band or something if interest and opportunity presents itself. I inquired about some private lessons, but my husband thinks at this age and stage, it is an unnecessary expense. He questions whether we can handle the year-long weekly commitment (and having to entertain/occupy my younger kids somewhere else), but also if we should commit to something that he might not want to pursue long-term as a weekly class with daily practice at this age. And yah again, the price tag he thought was a bit much for right now. As an alternative, I had him do a few lessons of Hoffman Academy. We love it so far -- the methodology, Mr. Hoffman's demeanor, and how it will encourage such enjoyment of creating music. I will buy the downloads/join the 2.0 site when it launches to round it out. It seems to me, if a student only wishes to have a casual, passing ability to play piano or make music, Hoffman Academy ought to be sufficient to meet that end. If he wanted to pursue further piano or another instrument, I'm thinking HA would lay a good foundation....right? Or, would it be more likely that without a private instructor seeing my child's weekly progress, he might develop bad habits that are hard to break? I would be actively involved with viewing the lessons and making sure he is following instructions with regard to form and technique, to the best of my own ability -- but my own musical background is just a few years of elementary-age violin in a group setting, a year or so of piano, and 4 years of choir. I'm not a musician. I'm overthinking this, but I welcome any input. Is "good enough" fine here? Thank you!
  3. Does anyone have experience with Hoffman Academy https://www.hoffmanacademy.com/ beyond the free lessons? Ds10 has done a few of the lessons, but I am considering one of the memberships being offered on Kickstarter today and tomorrow. Just not sure if I will follow up on doing the "extras" with him, or if the free lessons are enough for now. I play the piano myself, and we do have some music books at home from older kids who were taught years ago, so I am torn! While the lifetime membership looks appealing, I wonder if a shorter stint with the premium membership would work just as well. Too many choices! Good problem to have, right? Thanks!
  4. Does anyone have experience with Hoffman Academy https://www.hoffmanacademy.com/ beyond the free lessons? Ds10 has done a few of the lessons, but I am considering one of the memberships being offered on Kickstarter today and tomorrow. Just not sure if I will follow up on doing the "extras" with him, or if the free lessons are enough for now. I play the piano myself, and we do have some music books at home from older kids who were taught years ago, so I am torn! While the lifetime membership looks appealing, I wonder if a shorter stint with the premium membership would work just as well. Too many choices! Good problem to have, right? Thanks!
  5. I have zero experience with the piano or reading music, but I would like to teach my kids to play. (And I'd like to learn too!) What have you used and liked? Anything you'd recommend I steer clear of? My guys are pre-k, k, and 2nd. Also, we can't fit a piano in our home atm, so I'm looking at keyboards. They all seem to have a different number of keys, and none with what I think is the actual number on a piano...? Does it matter how many keys are on the keyboard I buy?
  6. I need your wisdom! My DD is 10, and her piano teacher says that it's time for her to have a grand piano. My DD can't practice many of the things the teacher is asking her to do, and the teacher says it's because she's not on a grand. She says my DD can try to compensate but that it isn't fair to a student if it's not necessary to put them through that. She even went so far as to tell me that it wasn't really worth paying the extra money for lessons with her (this teacher is double the price of her old teacher) if we aren't going to commit to a grand sometime soon. We could cut back on things and find a way to afford it, but it hasn't felt right to me and DH. It feels so extravagant for such a young child to have such an expensive piece of equipment. I guess I am very worried about the message it would send her to spend that kind of money on her. I guess I could see spending that kind of money when she's 13 or 14, but it feels like the wrong thing to do with a young kid. How the heck would I keep her grounded if I spend that kind of money on her? To be fair, she has shown tremendous dedication and has practiced piano for 60-90 minutes almost every day for about 2 1/2 years. She's working on a Chopin waltz that is level 7 or 8 (the one in B minor--I think it's his easiest). I'm not worried about her dedication or seriousness about piano. She loves it and this is her life. Are DH and I worried about nothing? Or is there something to our worry? We don't live an extravagant lifestyle (1 tiny car, small house, clothes from thrift stores), so this is new territory for us. Any wisdom?
  7. I can't be the only one who has a kid who wants to learn the piano but we don't own one nor do we have the space for one. What's the solution here (for practice)?
  8. My son has been playing for almost 8 years and is now thinking of taking music even more seriously. He would like a portable model, something he can easily bring into our minivan. Good sound, headphone capability etc. His favorite genre is jazz. I'm almost completely illiterate when it comes to pianos other than knowing that analogs/ uprights need tuning and digitals probably don't. Would love suggestions. This digital one might also completely replace our analog piano. Our budget is around $750-$1000. Many thanks!
  9. If you've used the Pianimals series all the way through with your children, what piano series did you move into once you finished it? And at what level?
  10. My DD has been taking piano for a few years now. She loves to play but has had a great deal of trouble progressing through the books. She started learning with the Bastien Method but after almost 2 years she was still trudging through the Primer. We started with a new teacher in January which has been a wonderful change! The previous teacher was very understandably impatient when DD didn't know note names etc. I know nothing about piano so I didn't realize that a typical student would have mastered that by now and there was no communication from the teacher. The teacher would ask DD to play the songs she practiced all week and if they were not correct she would tell her "No, it should sound like this" Well, of course DD could then play the song she just heard. (She has a good ear) Our new teacher is using the Piano Adventures books. She was completely baffled when we started. She has taught piano for decades and said she has not seen someone on so many different levels in so many different areas. I.E. She cap point to a half note and say "This is a half note it gets 2 beats, a dotted half note gets 3 beats , a whole note gets 4 beats," etc. However when she plays it is difficult for her to keep a steady beat or give the notes their value. She can pick almost any melody she hears on the piano given a little time but after years and flash cards and computer print offs, she still can't identify note names, other than middle C, with any consistency. She identifies other notes by finding C and singing up and down the scale as she touches the keys. I heard Ms. Barton say on a video that children with Dyslexia should not be forced to learn to read music because they will learn to hate it. I also have a friend who has her Pedagogy who say's she was taught that although Dyslexic children have a difficult time learning to read music but it is good for their brain development to keep at it as long as they are in a positive environment. Has anyone out there had experience with this? Does your Dyslexic child play an instrument? Is another instrument better suited? Do they read music? Right now DD's teacher is very loving and understanding and I think with the circumstances she will apply gentle pressure and lots of encouragement. DD adores her and she is breaking down each concept for her. The other side is last week they spent an entire lesson clapping rhythms that DD still can't get. I am eager to hear of another's experience.
  11. How do you know when to assign longer instrument practice? Dd is 6. I am teaching her piano. She is working her way through My First Piano Adventures B. She has been playing for a couple of years. We practice together 20 minutes, most days. I sit with her, and she will play through several of her old songs to warm up; then she will put extra time into whatever new songs she is working on. Recently, we can't seem to get past the old songs with time to work on the new material. On the one hand, she's only 6. OTOH, she had been at 20minutes for more than a year, and a 5 minute bump would probably be all we needed to move forward. Thank you in advance for all of your CHEW (Collective Hive Experience & Wisdom).
  12. I am hearing the phrase "play by ear" with respect to piano music a lot from my family members. One of my BILs and his son never learnt music formally and hence never learnt music theory and cannot read music, but they are both in a band and "compose" music all the time and never use any sheet music - they picked up piano, flute and guitar this way. How is that possible at all? How does one figure out multiple finger combinations on an instrument without ever knowing the meanings associated with each key/chord/scale? The reason this came up is because they are visiting for the summer now and they told me that I need to pull my DS out of his piano classes, put him in front of an instrument and let him "fool around" with melodies by himself in order to become creative! (ofcourse, I have no intention of doing that). But they definitely got me thinking about music and how the brain learns it. Their beliefs are 180 degrees removed from my impression of music education that I am a little taken aback. I was of the opinion that a strong grounding in the theory of music is necessary to become a fine musician. Apparently not, according to some. Any people with piano background care to enlighten me on this? Thanks in advance. ETA: My DS goes to a piano academy where the teachers are highly qualified in piano education with decades of experience teaching children (his teacher has done it for 32 years) and they make it fun as well as educational. They teach sight reading, music theory, ear training, finger positioning as well as piano playing - they incorporate a lot of games into the classes for the younger set to keep them engaged. They have recitals, mini-recitals, guild exams etc to motivate their students.
  13. Sorry - this isn't exactly high school related but I thought I might be more likely to find folks here involved in examination courses for piano. Please forgive the cross-post! X-post from the Gen. Ed. board: I'm teaching piano to a friend's dd and she's ready to move on from method course books to examination courses. Here in Canada, we use the Royal Conservatory (http://www.rcmusic.ca/) syllabus and books but my friend lives just across the border in Minnesota. At this point, her daughter isn't sure if she wants to go on to do piano exams but still wants to keep her options open in that direction. Is there something similar to RCM in the States? Are there state specific organizations or is there a national organization? I've done a bit of Googling but couldn't really find the info I was looking for. I could use RCM materials with her but I'd like her to be able to take exams and earn high school credits if that's what she wants and I can't figure out if RCM exams taken in Canada would do that for her. Can any of the piano peeps help? :) ETA: I thought I had found a website a little while ago that talked about Carnegie courses?? I can't find the site now, though. :(
  14. I'm teaching piano to a friend's dd and she's ready to move on from method course books to examination courses. Here in Canada, we use the Royal Conservatory (http://www.rcmusic.ca/) syllabus and books but my friend lives just across the border in Minnesota. At this point, her daughter isn't sure if she wants to go on to do piano exams but still wants to keep her options open in that direction. Is there something similar to RCM in the States? Are there state specific organizations or is there a national organization? I've done a bit of Googling but couldn't really find the info I was looking for. I could use RCM materials with her but I'd like her to be able to take exams and earn high school credits if that's what she wants and I can't figure out if RCM exams taken in Canada would do that for her. Can any of the piano peeps help? :) ETA: I thought I had found a website a little while ago that talked about Carnegie courses?? I can't find the site now, though. :(
  15. I have a question for myself. I took piano lessons for about 8 years as a child, but it has been almost 12 years since I have done any formal piano training and I've only played sporadically since then. I am only ok at the piano and can get by, but I would in no way say I'm especially skilled. I am wanting to go back and self-educate myself and improve my piano skills, but I have no idea where to start. We can't afford for me to find an instructor, but I feel like there is probably I lot I could teach myself before that becomes necessary. Do you have any recommendations for books or anything to help me improve? Here are areas I feel like I am probably weak: Sight Reading Technique (fingering especially) Scales (I did almost no scale practice, even as a child) Memorizing pieces Is there some sort of whip-you-into-shape piano book (or set of books) out there for an adult?
  16. We're looking at piano lessons for our DS. Does anyone have experience with the Suzuki method? Pros/cons vs. something less stringent? Or thoughts on the Suzuki method in general for any other instrument? Many thanks!
  17. Any recommendations for music theory workbooks or maybe software for preparing for ABRSM's Music Theory, Grade 7? We need some help! Seeking something more broken down and sequential than the books published by ABRSM. DD scored a merit on the Grade 6 theory exam, though she'd been earning distinctions before that. She loves the subject and is beautifully motivated, but needs some better study materials now -- early in the year! While we're on it, has anybody used an online music theory paper scorer?
  18. How do I help my children build up and maintain a repertoire of piano pieces? What happens now is each piece is practiced for a week or so, then ignored when they move on to the next piece in the book. They never get to a point where a song is played really well, and once they move on, the older pieces are never played again. Their teacher doesn't offer any guidance because she's "anti required memorization." If any of you remember my past problems with their teacher: All of my kids are moving to a new teacher in June, but I would like for them to be able to spend the next two months building a repertoire they can take with them. Any advice or experience welcome.
  19. I was asked today what I do to teach my children music (my oldest dd plays piano) and once I thought about it, there is quite a bit I do. I thought we could pool resources and ideas on how we do music education for our kids. Here were the ideas I came up with... CD's Beethoven Lives Upstairs (and all the other ones in the series. You can see them if you scroll down on this page) DVD's The Composers Specials (You can get these through the library system individually, they are fantastic! There are also artists & inventor specials by the same company) Books Story of the Orchestra Mike Venezia's books (artists & composers) Websites Classics for Kids There is a ton of amazing stuff on this website. You'll have to browse it to see it all. Music Lessons I always recommend piano first. I am no expert, but the ability to play the piano has allowed dd to easily pick up other instruments such as guitar, violin and even the accordion. Musical Theater My family has participated in "A Christmas Carol" musical for the last 5 years. It has extensive voice training and has taught us to sing in parts. Software Music Ace Excellent computer program. What are your ideas?
  20. Hello! This is my first thread after semi-lurking for a while. I'm thankful for this board, and I hope to have more to offer in the years to come! Anyway, oldest DS begins 1st next year. I've always had visions of all my dc beginning piano lessons by 1st, at the latest, and loving music, becoming accomplished, well-rounded adults, etc. :) We have a piano, but it looks like we just don't have the resources to begin lessons this coming year. DS is completing the Kindermusik Young Child series this spring, and I'm trying to work out an affordable plan for next year. My options: The Kindermusik instructor also teaches Suzuki flute. I have been bartering with her for Kindermusik time for all three dc. She has been pleased with me and is open to bartering for lessons. DS has a relationship with her, and he'll be getting solid teaching from an experienced teacher. I just bought the Piano Adventures primer level books. I am confident in teaching these books to him, and he has a little head start from his Kindermusik experience. I'll continue as long as I can, and if he LOVES piano, we'll do our best to get piano lessons. We're in a college town with a good music school, so we have that option to explore. Both 1 and 2 as long as my sanity allows. I love music and never had formal lessons, so my give-my-children-what-I-didn't-have mode is in overdrive here. I know the effort involved, and I'm not intimidated (yet). So I suppose I'm looking for advice about how much is realistic to do with DS6 who is a bit reluctant to sitting still, but is capable once I provide stucture and make him. TIA!
  21. I have a 3yo girl and 5yo boy starting to learn the piano. (The piano teacher says the girl is more proficient :001_smile: .) On Craigslist some people offer to give away old pianos to someone who will move it. I know nothing about the piano. What should I look for in these ads?
  22. We are getting a piano from Marc's grandmother and have the opportunity to get some very reasonably priced lessons. It is only going to cost me $5/half-hour for lessons in piano or voice from someone with a BS in music education who also spent a year at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford, CT studying pre-opera. She has been giving voice lessons since she was 16 years old (not sure how long she has done piano lessons), and has experience working with young children. I am crossing my fingers that this turns out to be as good as it sounds. She seems like a wonderful lady. Or, we can do the expensive group class with the Music Together® teacher. This would also mean that I need to buy two keyboards for the boys to use in class. And it would mean a public recital, which is something my oldest would hate. So.....if we go with the private lessons, what is a good program to buy for use with a beginning student? She is willing to use whatever materials I buy. My sons will be 5 and 7. She said that she grew up with the Leila Fletcher Piano Course, but that it is now out of print. I'll also need a book on music theory. Please help! ETA~I did a search, but everything I was finding was for teaching piano at home without a teacher. We have a teacher, so they don't seem to apply!
  23. Hello. We are looking at adding some piano lessons to our summer days, and i was wondering if there were any ideas for curriculum that have been tried out there on musically gifted 7 year olds? Is Bastien still thee course of choice for WTM families, or is there something else out there that has been discovered? Thanks for any imput. Sincerely, Whit
  24. I bought this (on sale through http://www.homeschoolbuyersco-op.com) and just got it. I love it already. Just wondering if anyone else is using it? DS and Stonebridge Academy kids will be using this as part of the application part of music this year.
  25. that's me! Is it possible? I mean, like, I'm teaching latin this year and I don't know a lick of it myself..... :D Latin and Piano aren't the same thingys but if it's possible it would be a win-win for the budget and for another masterly inactivity for the kiddos. Slay this thought if insane. Or tell me how it's done. .
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