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Thread: Should my 5 y.o. learn piano or violin?

  1. #1
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    Default Should my 5 y.o. learn piano or violin?

    On turning 4 I put my son in a generalist music class. Like Orff, Kodaly method etc. he's learnt solfage, identifying different sounds, some singing, xylophone, and always some keyboard. He's finishing his first year to learn an instrument at 5 years old.

    The teacher says only piano and violin are suitable for his age. Is this true? Which is generally best to learn?

    The teacher says piano's the best base for all musical theory and crossing to other instruments, so her course naturally progresses to piano. Does this make sense?

    He doesn't show a preference for any particular instrument. I'm surprised people become masters of flute, clarinet etc. by starting around 8 yet violin seems to require starting around 3-4. I don't know about piano.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Maybe he's not physically ready to play an instrument yet. I teach (not music just primary education) this age group and for some of them their co-ordination is still undeveloped. What does HE wan't to do? He'll tell you but if he doesn't start a musical instrument straight away it's hardly a catastrophe. Most of the kids in my class struggle to put their shoes on or scratch their a*ses.
    Last edited by Merl; Nov-01-2018 at 08:12.

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    I think it's also helpful if the child has good basic reading skills and can do simple math (in addition to developing coordination as Merl pointed out)... music does require a bit of analytical thinking and I've seen students flail when they start lessons before they've mastered some of the fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic.

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    Junior Member Tikoo Tuba's Avatar
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    The littlest children enjoy piano games - like Kitten On The Keys . With this , knowledge comes from having played with every key (however randomly) . Sometimes it's fun to radically detune the piano and let them play with a wild thing for awhile . Radicle is the root . And we also have an old piano weathering nicely next to the oak tree ... ya , there's goats out there , too , who will show children how to leap up and sit on it and laugh .

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    Violin is a more easily viable professional option, should your child so desire to pursue it later. There is never a drop in demand for violinists. However, the piano is incredibly useful to learn, as it can provide a firm Foundation from which to branch into other instruments. In addition, the piano can be less doscouraging than thr violin, especially so for a young child. I would go with the Piano, and maybe have your child look into another instrument that they are interested down the road.

    The most important thing though, is that your child not be forced into one instrument or another. From my experience, it can lead to Rocky relationships later down the road.

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    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
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    I began my piano studies at age 6. After having shown an aptitude for the instrument all on my own after attending a concert of a French pianist. I freaked my sister out ... it was Mom's piano after all, and I sat down and figured out octaves and such.

    I wanted to learn to play, and there might be the key to deciding if your child should have piano lessons. I never forced my Son to take up the keyboard; he pursued music in his own manor in his own time, settling on the alto sax and other band instruments in elementary and high school.

    He has expressed an interest in the organ (which I play professionally) and I'm willing to tutor him, but first he must find the time in his schedule to practice, practice, practice and practice.

    I have never regretted the piano lessons ... studied privately on piano for 6 years, then on organ for another 6 years, and 2 more years of organ in college. I have been a professional church organist for over 57 years and still enjoy every minute of it.

    All said and done, the only thing lacking in all the years of piano and organ instruction were the necessary instructions and knowledge needed to make a living playing either one. I had to supplement my church salary with a non music related 8-5 job for 38 years.

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    Senior Member Larkenfield's Avatar
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    Knowledge of the piano is a good foundation for playing any other instrument. If he starts on violin, that’s like making the choice of instrument for him. It’s not a neutral instrument like the piano is. In the meantime, it sounds like his musical development is being pushed very fast, maybe too fast before his natural inclinations are fully developed and he knows what he wants to do. Starting him at four. Really? What’s the rush? If it were my child, I would focus more on general education and piano if he's that drawn to music. I agree with your teacher, especially if your child happens to be gifted. It sounds like he’s already accomplished a great deal. It’s possible to understand melody and harmony on the piano and to have fun making musical discoveries without being under pressure.
    Last edited by Larkenfield; Nov-08-2018 at 20:49.
    ”Art is how we decorate space; Music is how we decorate time.”

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