Piano in London for v young children

(21 Posts)
ZZZenAgain Thu 22-Nov-12 13:42:19

I would also think a young graduate might be quite enthusiastic being new to the job which could also be very positive. Based on your own negative experience though, I understand why you are cautious. I think the most important thing would be someone who is used to teaching such young children or at least keen to try it. That will narrow down your choices anyway

Colleger Thu 22-Nov-12 12:08:23

If you want a great teacher then your child has to first prove herself and that can only happen by getting lessons now from someone who looks as if they have a good CV. You will not get a prof without her proving she is gifted. I don't understand what the problem is getting a pianist fresh from conservatoire. Their technique will be close to perfect as they won't have spent years building in bad habits.

You are over thinking this.

ZZZenAgain Thu 22-Nov-12 10:25:35

I think 7 would be a good age to start piano but if you want to do it now when he is 4, be sure that you sit down on the lessons so you can correct things at home and have a trial lesson or two so you can see if the teacher has a manner with your dc which does not feel unnecessarily stressful to you.

With such a young child word of mouth would be best. Failing that, I would go into a music store and ask for a recommendation and then you will need to call the teachers yourself and ask a lot of questions I suppose. Good luck with it.

ByTheWay1 Thu 22-Nov-12 10:18:47

we are not churchgoers, but found our piano teacher through our church parish magazine. He had just had a family move out of the area so had 4 slots to fill - normally he is word of mouth only, so we were lucky...

my eldest was 6 when she started - the youngest was 4 and a bit - she had the last 5/10 min of a half hour lesson, they both had a half hour lesson when she was nearly 6.

We decided to not do exams until they showed an interest in doing them, so just explored many styles of music with the teacher providing pieces for them - then about 2 years ago they wanted to start doing the exams - ( now studying for grade 3).

Molehillmountain Thu 22-Nov-12 09:42:05

One of our good friends is a professional percussionist, who played piano and trumpet before discovering his passion. I recently asked him when he started lessons, on anything, and he started piano at seven. He saw nothing unusual in this and I quizzed him a bit about what would be right for dd and he said year two. I think it's a myth about starting early being essential. Some future greats know by that age that they want to do it and so push their parents, some are started by their parents. Does your dc express an interest in starting lessons?

picturesinthefirelight Wed 14-Nov-12 13:50:24

Dh started at age 14 and though he isn't concert standard (small hands) is a fab pianist, musician and a better accompanist than many if his colleagues who started earlier.

CURIOUSMIND Wed 14-Nov-12 13:28:15

6 ,7 years old is not late to start piano, even for a concert pianist must be.If you are very talented, you will catch up quickly, reach somwhere in a fraction of time that most peole need.If you have no particular talent, start at age 4 could be a real pain.

sanam2010 Wed 14-Nov-12 07:00:10

I'm not good enough to teach her the piano as i dropped it when i was 10 to play the guitar instead. But maybe just doing some dancing/singing and then waiting till she's 6 or 7 might be a good idea as well. Maybe I'll try to find a good but nice teacher earlier and see how it goes. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

hardboiled Tue 13-Nov-12 22:20:08

Yes, you could maybe have a go yourself then shift later on?

When DS was 4 we met a Russian teacher who said he was very musical and ready for piano classes. Both DH and I were horrified by the way she spoke to him and the tone and discipline she was using with a four year old. DS once cried because she told him his fingers were weak and lazy. We were sure that in a few months DS would hate the piano. So we stopped it and DH started teaching him himself. They started with the Bastien books for very very young children which are fun and they include things like jumping up and down the keyboard and banging with your fists. DS didn't take his first grade exam till he was 8. That's four years in between of just learning for the love of it, all freedom and no presure. Now he is 10 and preparing Grade 5. And most important, he still loves it.

Imo at a very young age it's very important to learn that music can be fun and a pleasure. Mind you, that's not the way Lang Lang's father thought!

picturesinthefirelight Tue 13-Nov-12 21:59:58

Llang llanos father taught him to start off with. He was quite a bit older when he had other teachers. Having seen the documentary on him last night and watching done of the very young children on there I'm not sure I'd want that for my child.

picturesinthefirelight Tue 13-Nov-12 21:58:21

I did that too. Taught dd until she was about 7.

EvilTwins Tue 13-Nov-12 21:57:33

Oops, hit send too soon. The point being, OP, couldn't you be the teacher for the moment?

EvilTwins Tue 13-Nov-12 21:56:42

I started my twins on the piano aged 5, but "taught" them myself. One got into it straight away, the other isn't so fussed. I still teach DTD1 fairly regularly, but at her pace, and she's making progress. If she carries on being interested, I'll find her a "proper" teacher in a year or so (they're just 6 now)

APMF Tue 13-Nov-12 21:47:01

Starting at 8 is only a bit late if we are talking about a child protege smile which mine isn't.

picturesinthefirelight Tue 13-Nov-12 21:13:06

It's normal to start at about the age 6 or 7 except for Suzuki/kodaly/Dalcroze based lessons that are geared towards young children and developing musicianship.

sanam2010 Tue 13-Nov-12 21:06:45

Thanks. I thought it was quite normal to start at 4, I didn't think many who later go on to become pianists etc start much later than that? Isn't starting at 8 quite late?

On the question of why I am planning it already - yes DD loves singing and music, even when she started nursery at 7 months they commented that she seemed to love classical music bc they could see how she either fell asleep or became happy as soon as they put classical music on. I have quite a few musicians in the family and one aunt and one cousin studied in the top music conservatory in Germany. But no-one here in London to give advice, I don't really know any musicians or families pursuing it seriously. I am not saying i am planning this as what she has to do but would like her to have the option - I feel having bad teachers early ruined it for me (in my case I had talent but was lazy and as i had teachers who didn't really care I wasn't pushed and never progressed properly) and i want to start DD off with a very good and inspiring teacher so she at least has the chance to love it - I feel starting with a mediocre or bad teacher can ruin it from the start - not sure if this is true but it would make sense to me. Is this not the case?

I like the idea of checking out piano competitions. Thanks also for the links, I will have a look.

Musomathsci Tue 13-Nov-12 20:20:46

I would ring around lots of teachers and try to find someone who specialises in teaching very young children - this is a very specific area of expertise. You might like to try the EPTA website (European Piano Teachers' Association) - teachers have to be qualified to become members. Word of mouth is always good - ask around everyone you know. Also see if there are any local piano competitions / competitive festivals - always a good hunting ground to find a teacher - maybe approach the ones whose pupils you like the sound of! Also musicteachersuk.com
Be prepared to be told that children that young aren't always ready for individual lessons - it's true, and you may need to accept some more general musicianship classes as the best way in for a child of this age. Some unusual children are ready for lessons at 4, but they are few and far between, so don't be too disappointed if it doesn't work out straight away. Time spent on rhythm games, singing and so on, isn't wasted - it is laying important foundations for the future.
Do you have a piano? Does your child show any interest in it? Picking out tunes and so on?

APMF Tue 13-Nov-12 20:13:10

We didn't start DS on the piano until he was about 8. He couldn't start any younger because his fingers just didn't have the spread.

You obviously have great plans for your DD if you are starting her at 4 smile

ohmeohmy Tue 13-Nov-12 08:38:10

Stephen baron in muswell hill is great but teaches mainly through north London colourstrings who Are fab. Teach musicianship alongside technical stuff. Have to do the kindergarten first and they make sure kids ready for practical lesson

Colleger Tue 13-Nov-12 08:13:49

What do you mean by professional? Someone who has left conservatoire or someone who teaches at conservatoire? A conservatoire will not teach your child as they only teach the very best pianists. All qualified teachers are professional.

sanam2010 Tue 13-Nov-12 07:09:45

I would like DD1 to start piano lessons when she is 4 but would like to do it only with a very professional teacher - I started aged 4 but with awful teachers (usually conservatory students who did it at a big discount so it was cheap) but it was a bit of a waste of time.

I don't want anything like Suzuki etc., preferably just someone very professional who can instil love of music while also ensuring proper technique from the start.

Where would you do that in London? I have googled etc. but most professional places are aimed at older children. Any ideas where to get started?

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