Learning 2 instrutment together at 8 years old

Florence G said: May 21, 2015
 1 posts

Dear all,

My son (8 years old) has been learning piano for 1 year 9 months now. He is interested and willing to practice every day. But he has problem in his finger position and does not seem be able to curl his fingers very well. Also he drops his hand waist a lot when playing. He has a good teacher and he sometimes remind him to change but NOT every class. The teacher seems more focus on his sight reading the note and be able to play it correctly.

I feel like my son’s talent may not in piano but I really want him to learn an instrutment well (no need to be professional) in early age. Should I let him try violin to see if he has more potential in violin?? He said he wants to try violin and guitar too. If I let him take trial class, should I sign him up for private or group class?? How many trial class is enough to see wheher he is interested and has potential?? Or should I just let him continue piano only at this age but talk to the teacher to ask him to do something to help him on his finger position??

Thanks for more advice

Mengwei said: Jun 3, 2015
Mengwei Shen
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Piano, Cello
Jersey City, NJ
127 posts

“Should I let him try violin to see if he has more potential in violin??”

The thing is, 2 years of piano lessons (and life) gives him a stronger physical/emotional/musical foundation now than he had at the beginning of piano lessons. So it may seem that he “has more potential” but it’s not about the violin—it’s about having grown up in the last 2 years.

“If I let him take trial class, should I sign him up for private or group class?? How many trial class is enough to see wheher he is interested and has potential??”

As a Suzuki teacher, I already believe that “Every Child Can”—they all have potential. One of my Suzuki booklets has a quote: “It is no good to try a little and quit before anything happens.” I wouldn’t advise switching from piano to violin because—are you going to “try” violin for 2 years, then move on again? If you’re adding violin, you’ll have to consider what that means in terms of practice time (2 instruments), and I still wouldn’t advise quitting within 2 years (or 3, or 5, or 7…).

I tell my new families that it’s not about whether their children “are interested” or “like it” now. Most children will become interested the more you do it and the better they get at it. Then they will like it because they’re good at it! It’s really the parents’ decision to pursue music education, and I challenge them to have a long-term mindset and realize that it will be their responsibility to follow through. They would (probably) do the same with math homework, English homework, brushing teeth, picking up toys, requiring meals be eaten politely at the table with the family, or whatever else is important in their house.

“Or should I just let him continue piano only at this age but talk to the teacher to ask him to do something to help him on his finger position??”

Teachers also have priorities. I’m happy to have a joint discussion on priorities/goals with any of my parents and incorporate their ideas, within limits (I can think of a few non-negotiable items that if they were to seriously disagree with those, it would be better for them to work with another teacher). I would suggest asking your teacher to spend a lesson with you on this without your child present, like a parent-teacher conference.

This topic is locked. No new comments can be posted.

You must log in to post comments.

A note about the discussion forum: Public discussion forum posts are viewable by anyone. Anyone can read the forums, but you must create an account with your email address to post. Private forums are viewable by anyone that is a part of that private forum's group. Discussion forum posts are the opinion of the poster and do not constitute endorsement by or official position of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc.

Please do not use the discussion forums to advertise products or services