AZ PIANO REVIEWS!: REVIEW - PIANO LESSONS For KIDS - Important Info To Know! - Digital Piano Reviews

May 14, 2010

REVIEW - PIANO LESSONS For KIDS - Important Info To Know!

UPDATED - Feb 12, 2013 - PIANO LESSONS for KIDS! I believe piano lessons should be a requirement for all kids. Please read this very carefully if you're a parent and considering piano lessons for your children.
Did you know that kids like music? Yes, it's true...but you  knew that already didn't you?:) Young children (even infants and toddlers) like to "move" to music, listen to music, smile when they hear the music, and "sing" to the music whether it's on a home stereo, iPod, TV show, musical toy, or whatever. It's just natural for most kids and it's part of our makeup as human beings.  Parents should want to have their children be more involved in music as they grow up and hopefully have an opportunity learn to play a musical instrument. These kids (pictured on the left) are examples of happy, excited local students that I have the pleasure of working with.

But sometimes certain parents and music teachers make it difficult for a child to get into music. As a parent, piano & guitar teacher, and musician, I've seen this all my life. Parents will say things like "my kids are too young," or "their not ready," or "they need to prove to me that they really want it," or I don't want to spend the money and take the chance that my kids might "fail" or not like it (lessons). Some music teachers will say "they're too young" or "I've been teaching them for awhile and their not interested in practicing," or "they don't seem to enjoy their lessons so maybe they should quit." It IS true that certain children don't like the process of music lessons and practicing, that is understandable. However, that doesn't diminish the fact that they probably still like music. Fortunately for me, my parents encouraged me when I was young by getting me into both guitar & piano lessons. 

Discouraging your child from taking music lessons (before they've actually started) is a bad idea. This is because children become afraid they might fail due to their parents low expectations for them and that their parents don't want to spend the money (invest in) on an instrument with this kind of uncertainty. But that uncertainty usually comes from the parents and NOT from the kids based on my experience. If a parent realized how playing music (especially piano) is such a good thing for a child in so many ways, they would rarely hesitate and would try to support their children every step of the way.

For years it has been known that playing music can have a dramatic effect on raising grades and test scores for children in school, improving general study habits, increasing personal confidence and well being, and allowing for higher quality social contact with noticeable positive changes in maturity and personal responsibility. In other words, playing music (especially on a keyboard instrument of some kind) makes for a better, more well rounded child.

The musical goal should not be to play at a "certain skill level in a certain amount of time" or to play exclusively a particular type of music such as classical, jazz, or rock. The goal of the parent and the teacher should always be "what can I do to make piano lessons the best possible musical experience for my child." Some teachers have a very strict "agenda" when it comes to teaching lessons, and if the students don't fit into that, the child is blamed many times when things don't go well. From personal experience I do know that some kids just don't want to take lessons of any kind no matter what. Many kids want the instant, easy way out because they're used to the fast paced life of instant satisfaction with their cell phones, iPods, computers, Wii games, and all the rest. But those things don't always make for a better child. 

I am on the board of the largest non-profit music education program in Arizona called "The Phoenix Conservatory of Music." This group runs special "after-school" music education classes for "at-risk and lower income families" in schools and rec centers around the greater Phoenix area and beyond. PCM as they're called, has a high quality teaching staff that gives instruction on a multitude of different instruments including voice and dance for over 3,000 children per week! These programs are funded by local, state, and national grants and other donations so that PCM can continue to help improve the lives of many children through playing and/or performing music. It's a noble endeavor and one that I am proud to be associated with. But I can tell you with authority that the lives of these kids have been impacted in tremendous positive ways because of their involvement in music lessons and in some cases the changes are next to miraculous! Without the stimulation & fun of the lesson program and playing music, many of these children lives would start deteriorating.  If you want to learn more about PCM, you can go to www.pcmrocks.com. PCM also offers piano & other instrument lessons to the community at their large professional facility in the MetroCenter mall in Phoenix, AZ. Give them a call to find out more.


As for individual piano lessons, here's what you need to do for your children (if you're not already); if you get any sense at all that any of your kids like music and enjoy listening, singing to, or moving to the sound of music, then get them in piano lessons ASAP. Starting at the age of 5 is NOT too early. In fact, there is piano lesson curriculum out there (some of which I use for my lessons) which is written with young children in mind starting at the age of 3-4 years old. Be sure that you choose a piano teacher NOT because they have the lowest lesson price (although price & affordability is important), but because they know how to motivate and relate to kids and want to do what it takes to move them forward in a positive way. I hate to say this, but there ARE bad and/or lazy piano teachers out there who will hurt your kids musical future and musical enjoyment rather than help them, so be careful of who you choose for a piano teacher. Just don't let your child tell YOU he or she would rather NOT take lessons because they don't want to practice. The fact is...they WILL have to practice at some point and that's just the way it is. BUT they'll probably appreciate the fact (when they start playing better) that you kept them going and didn't allow them to quit so easily.

As adults, we know you can't do anything well or enjoy doing it unless you practice and work at it. Whether it's your job, your cooking, your driving, sports, your relationships with your spouse, kids, or whoever, everything takes a bit of work and discipline. So don't let that get in the way of your kids (or your) success in playing the piano. And remember, sometimes getting the "right type of piano" makes all the difference. And that's why I highly recommend that most families with beginner students get a good digital piano like a Casio PX780 Privia ($999 internet price) to speed up the learning curve while making music more fun, all for a low price. I've reviewed this piano in a blog article, so check it out (link below) when you can and you'll learn why this piano and others like it are so good for music education and piano playing. They play and sound like a big upright piano with very cool educational features including direct connect to iPad for use with exciting interactive piano learning apps for both children & adults.

Casio PX780 piano review

Or if you want to "take the plunge" right away and purchase a nice acoustic baby grand for yourself and/or your children, there's certainly nothing wrong with that and in fact, it is exciting to own and play one even if you are just a beginner:) And if your kids have been playing piano for awhile and are starting to do very well, a grand piano or more advanced digital piano is a great way to develop better and more complex piano playing skills.

For more info on pianos, piano lessons, or how to purchase a new piano for LESS than internet prices, contact me at tim@azpianowholesale.com or call direct at 602-571-1864

4 comments:

  1. Nice! Teaching a child to play piano can be an enjoyable task, especially when the child goes on to develop their skills and become a professional performer!

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  2. I really appreciated this article. I had a BAD piano teacher who actually fell asleep during one of my in-home lessons. Also, I kept wanting to try new and more current music styles, but the teacher was straight classical, so between that conflict and the teacher's laziness/sleepiness, it was never going to happen.

    Now, with 25 years of hindsight, I am looking for a new teacher. What questions do you recommend that I ask to make sure that me and my new teacher make a good fit? (--besides price and availability issues.) Any advice is appreciated.

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  3. I would be happy to give you personal advice on selecting a piano teacher if you email me, as that kind of thing is better done in that way.

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  4. Here are a few questions for you to ask a prospective piano teacher:

    • What is your professional and educational experience in music?
    • What is your teaching experience? What age groups do you teach?
    • Is piano your primary instrument?
    • Are you a full-time teacher, or is teaching simply a hobby or part-time job?
    • How do you participate in ongoing professional teaching development?
    • Are you affiliated with a local or national music teachers association?
    • Do you have a written studio policy?
    • Do you regularly evaluate student progress?
    • What instructional materials do you use?
    • What styles of music do you teach?
    • Do you offer group lessons?
    • Do you offer other performance opportunities for your students, such as festivals and competitions?
    • Do you use technology in your studio, such as computers, music instruction software, digital keyboards?
    • How much practice time do you require each day?
    • What do you expect of your students?

    And, as the blog above stated, do not choose a teacher based on price alone! Make sure they are qualified, and don't be afraid to ask for references or testimonials from current students.

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