Advice for a Parent

said: Aug 28, 2006
 4 posts

It’s me again. Thanks for the great advice and here are some more!

I have always wanted to learn to play the piano, but never took formal lessons. I intend to start my 19 month old in the program once he turns 3 and I have the following questions:

I understand that the Suzuki method is heavy on parent involvement. Does this mean that while my son is learning to play an instrument, I will also be learning, and will I end up being able to play the instrument as well?

As I would like my son to play the piano, is it advisable for me to purchahse a keyboard now and begin teaching myself to play? If so, what kind of keyboard can I purchase that’s reasonably priced and what kind of books would you recommend I use to start self-training?
Do you think this will be helpful to my son or will it be confusing to him once he starts the lessons especially if I don’t play well now or count music well etc?

Does the program recommend the kinds of instruments parents should purchase after their children start the program.

Do I have to buy a full piano or is a keyboard ok?

Thanks.

Kirsten said: Aug 29, 2006
 Violin
103 posts

I think your first step is to find a Suzuki piano teacher in your area who you can talk to.

If you want to take lessons for yourself, are you able to do so? Sometimes it never occurs to us as parents to spend money and time on ourselves. If you were to study with a Suzuki piano teacher, you would have the wonderful side benefit of having a year or more of preparation to become a Suzuki parent. It is not a requirement by any means, but a great way for you to learn the piano, and accomplish your personal goal.

Because your child is still a baby, you would need to have someone else care for him as you take the lessons. When your child becomes mature enough for lessons, the teacher might add 10 or 15 minutes to your own lesson so that your child can begin gradually. Or your teacher might group your child with another student or two, so that the children can each have a short lesson.

As far as electric vs acoustic goes, I would advise that you not make any choice before talking to your potential teacher about it. All piano teachers I have ever met prefer that their students have a good quality acoustic piano. Some teachers will allow for the student to have an electric piano under certain circumstances.

There are good quality professional electric pianos, which have weighted keys, and there are toys or poor quality pianos. A piano teacher is objective enough and knowlegeable enough to steer you in the right direction for your personal circumstances, and even help you find the right dealer.

Kirsten

said: Aug 29, 2006
 104 posts

I think Kirsten’s advice is right on target. Eesi, if YOU want to learn to play piano, then you ought to take lessons. I’ve ushered three kids through Suzuki violin lessons, and I cannot play beyond early book one, and what I play sounds truly awful (in fact, the other day, my 5-yr.old took a bathroom break while practicing, and I twinkled on her violin while she was gone, and my husband came into the room to find out why she was sounding so awful all of a sudden—surprise! it was me!). Perhaps you could research Suzuki piano teachers NOW and find one who would be willing to take YOU on as a student first…eventually bringing your son along to get him started. I think that your efforts to learn to play well would have a great impact on your son. I DO play piano, and the knowledge that I have has been a great help to my daughters—and it has helped me to know what I DON’T know, too—so I can ask questions to get the right information. Good luck!

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