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Finding a great first music teacher

CupOfTea 07 Jan 18 - 02:20 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 07 Jan 18 - 08:38 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jan 18 - 12:00 AM
Stanron 08 Jan 18 - 09:33 AM
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Subject: Finding a great first music teacher
From: CupOfTea
Date: 07 Jan 18 - 02:20 PM

Was watching the wee children of a friend wiggling about in church today. They were on a holiday visit home. Remembering they lived in Chicago, I was enthusing about the programs at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Dad was interested in getting them into lessons, but since I saw them last, they'd moved again to Seattle. (Enviably, just up the road from where the Folklife Festival is)

So how do parents find a good introductionary music teacher or program that will give them the joy of making music, not a chore or competition? Particularly in a new location, without an extensive music network in place, what are good signs to look for in a teacher? Mom is a classic violinist (spare time for a doctor) and dad plays folk guitar and banjo, also very spare time. I've not been a parent, but have watched close friends' children both embrace or shun music, after lessons. What makes the difference besides the child?

Joanne in Cleveland

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Subject: RE: Finding a great first music teacher
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 07 Jan 18 - 08:38 PM

Watch the children.
Talk to local parents.

I went through four/five piano teachers before Harold/Maude hit.

Hold, firmly hold the child to a schedule. Hold firmly to accuracy.

Somewhere, after five years ( aka 10,000 hours ) they will carry the "gift" to the next generation.


realize it they become "hooked"....

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Subject: RE: Finding a great first music teacher
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jan 18 - 12:00 AM

I think the most important quality in a music teacher, is an engaging personality that will give a young performer confidence.

We had embarrassingly awful music at church until about 2005, when we on the parish council decided to do a nationwide search for a good music director. We interviewed ten applicants, from Florida to California. They were all competent musicians, but we fell in love with a vivacious woman who lived just 75 miles from us. And then she did her audition, we hired her fight away. Jean's been with us 12 years now, and we still love her.

I think that her secret weapon, is that she flirts. She flirts with 9-yr-old girls in the children's choir, and she flirts with old men like me in the adult choir. And we're all mesmerized and all think she's our best friend and biggest fan, so we'll all do anything she wants.

It's most noticeable with the 9-yr-old girls, though. They sing with confidence, enthusiasm, and real beauty. Heck, even some 6-yr-old singers sound terrific under Jean's direction. Jean formed a community children's choir with up to 95 members. They sound terrific, and they're so proud of themselves.


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Subject: RE: Finding a great first music teacher
From: Stanron
Date: 08 Jan 18 - 09:33 AM

I understand that this may not be what you want to hear, but the best musical education would be hearing mum and dad play stuff around the house. Particularly if others are invited round to join in. A kind of 'home session' where the kids are allowed (definitely not forced) to sit in is the perfect environment for them to learn music. If, in that environment, they don't bite then they are not destined to be musicians. If it does and instruments are left handing around kids will pick up playing on their own if they want to and if the home sessions are fun they will want to.

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