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Review of “Music Lessons Teach Discipline and Dedication”

Hi Everyone,

Today I will reviewing the article “Music Lessons Teach Discipline and Dedication” by Top Ten Reviews. This article details why piano lessons may have a positive effect towards children’s views on discipline and dedication.

Dedication of Piano Practice

The article states that in order to improve at any skill, a person must commit to a regularly scheduled training session for a specific amount of time. In a child’s life, this is often not introduced until music lessons. The article notes that this practice, is what sets the blueprints to attitudes towards higher education and career when it comes to discipline. Along with discipline, comes the ability to focus on one task at a time, and learn delayed gratification.

A Personal Account

As someone who went through 16 years of piano lessons, I thoroughly resonate with these. While I also clearly remember the struggle of maintaining regular practice times, as well as discourse with my parents who enforced it, I also understand that it was that 1 hour practice everyday that led me to play the piano at an advanced level. If I practiced one hour every day, that means I practiced a total of 7 hours in a week. To reflect, I now realize that I am likely to improve at anything  I spend 7 hours a week doing. If I wanted to improve on my health, I know that spending 1 hour everyday working on my health would have long-term effect. If I wanted to improve on my speaking, I know that spending 1 hour everyday practicing speaking would help induce improvement.

This practice has leaked over to other areas of my life. In University, this ability helped break large tasks in manageable chunk. I found this to be way more effective than cramming the night before the due date. In my work, I know that all quality work requires time and attention.

The article does not speak about the benefits of lower stress due to discipline. By consistently work on improving and building projects, I experience less anxiety over procrastination, deadlines, and lack of progress.

While piano lessons are not the only way for a child to build discipline and focus, it certaintly is one of the more fun ones.

 

Take lessons with Eric here
Learn more about Eric’s piano lessons here.

 

 


Going Slow

Going slow is both the best tool a music student can have, and a student’s worst nightmare. Every student wants to play at lightning speed. Like the rest of us, little piano students want to get right into the fun and exciting parts, without having prepared correctly first. However, as the music gets progressively harder, they are quickly met with the frustration that their fingers can’t coordinate their rhythm and notes at their usual fast speed.

At this point, every teacher would suggest for their students to play slowly to adjust to all the difficult passages; just like how our driving instructor asked us to drive slowly when we first were learning. Or when our parents told us to slow down when we talk, because they can not understand what we are saying.

Slowing down allows the students to take in the information and examine the details of the music. By reducing their speed, they become more aware of what each finger is doing, therefore building a stronger understanding on how to execute the passage.

Here are 3 tips for parents to help piano students slow down!

       

    1.  Don’t equate slow with bad, and fast with good.  All music can sped up or slowed down for a variety of effects. Let the student know that playing fast can be great, but let them know that playing slow sounds great too. Don’t make playing fast the ultimate goal.
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    3.  Ask them to count out loud. Most students will have to adjust to being able to count out loud, and play at the same time. This is a terribly tricky skill but incredibly valuable. Once they can count out loud, and play at the same time, it means they have truly understood the rhythm of the passage we’re working on. Count with them!
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    5. Play along with them. Students (especially young students) can have a skewed sense of time (Don’t we all!). 30 seconds of playing can feel like 5 minutes to them. It is very common for the students to play at lightning speed and think that they played slower than usual. Play along with them in the low or high register to keep them on track. If you are not a piano player yourself, simply play a C in a steady beat with them to act as a metronome.

 
Take lessons with Eric here.


Why I Teach: Teaching Piano

Why I Teach

When I began learning piano 17 years ago, I had no intention of becoming a piano teacher.  Of course, I was 7 at the time and was making no decisions on my career at that age. Today, teaching piano and studying piano pedagogy and music education has become my everyday life.  So why the change?

My Roots in Performing

I began my music journey by wanting to be a performer, although I was painfully shy in every aspect of my life. I saw a segment on TV broadcasting pianist Yundi Li’s performance and was mesmerized by the command he held over the audience with a single spotlight and a piano. No words were needed for him to express himself, when the music effortlessly spoke for him. This performance inspired me to want to become a performer, and so I asked my parents for piano lessons. For the next 13 years, I continuously engaged in performances. I performed piano pieces at recitals, competed at local competitions, and joined local talent shows. Aside from piano, I began playing the guitar and ukulele, and began singing at local gigs and fundraisers.

Performing gave me a voice, even when I was too shy to say my piece. It let me express myself, when I didn’t have the words to do so.  To this day, I cherish performing, even though it still makes my heart pound with nerves every time. When I am on the stage, I remember that I have the ability to create, to be brave, and to share.

The Turn to Teaching

I teach, because all musicians are students, and all musicians are teachers. I learn from my students every time we have a lesson, because they inspire me to think of new ways to explain musical concepts like rhythm and phrasing. I learn from my students when I see them become inspired, and I see what a difference in their playing that can make. While I have been trained for many years in music, I do not think I am at the finish line yet. I am merely another student of the great world of music, trying to tap more into what makes music so enjoyable, so emotional, and so effective. Being a teacher has been a great way to improve myself as a musician.

 

I teach, because it is a way of keeping music alive, in a time when the fine arts are put on a back burner. Of course, there will be artists creating works and sharing them towards the audience, but most musicians will begin by having someone guide and inspire them. I hope to be that teacher that inspires their students to become artists, to become emotionally aware, and to live a more meaningful life because they can communicate with music. It is the best way I can think of to contribute back to my community.

 

Learn more about Eric’s piano lessons Here

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