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Music is fun!

The piano is often recommended for children who are interested in music as the first stages of the piano are easier to master than some other musical instruments.

Mastering the piano takes many years but the reasonably quick results that children can achieve on the piano is often a good recipe for lasting involvement with music.

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Piano lessons are gifts parents can give to help their children do better in school, increase their self esteem, and add a bit of music to their lives.
What is the best age to start?
All children are different in their rates of development, and the right age for one student may be too young for another. It is important that students have good literacy and numeracy skills before beginning piano lessons, and ideally, some experience of class-based music making. I am happy to carry out a musical assessment to find out if your child may be ready to begin piano lessons. The most important thing is that your child enjoys music and has an interest in learning to play the piano!
How long should my child practise?
This depends on the age and experience of the student, but as a general rule, small amounts of regular practice is better than cramming in one longer session. I will always give clear instructions to students on the material to be practised and what targets I would like them to achieve during the week. It's important that students enjoy playing the piano in between lessons
What about mum (or dad)?
I strongly recommend that the parent sits in on the lessons. (up to 8-10 years old). This is so that they can develop their own understanding about the Dogs and Birds approach and be able to help the child with regular practice between lessons. Only 5-10 minutes a day practice is required for young children but regular practice really does make a big difference to the child’s progress.
What type of practice is needed?
There are many different activities available for use in each lesson. Practice exercises will be written in the child’s practice book and I recommend that 3 of these are chosen each day – perhaps 2 pieces and 1 rhythm or ear-training activity – or some composition or improvisation (all of which are introduced from the start). That way the practice can be different each day. It is important that short practice sessions are undertaken each day and I encourage it to become part of the child’s regular routine.
What about progression?
All children progress differently. Throughout the child’s musical education, my focus is on all-round musicianship and ensuring that the child develops a strong sense of pulse and pitch recognition as well as being technically proficient at the piano. In this way, the child will develop their musical self-confidence and have huge amounts of fun in the process.
Is learning the piano easy?
Yes and no! One of the reasons for the continued popularity of the piano is that it is easier than most other instruments in the earlier stages to play the correct notes and make a reasonably nice sound. String, wind and brass instruments are more difficult to control at first. On the other hand, because we can play full harmonies on the piano (limited or impossible on non-keyboard instruments) the texture of piano music is more complex than for other instruments, which creates its own challenges. Moreover, as we make progress and refine our sound, we have to work hard to overcome the fact that the piano is a percussion instrument, meaning that each note starts to fade once we have played it. This remains a challenge even for concert pianists, but the best of them are almost magicians at linking the sounds together seamlessly. Overall, however, the piano remains probably the most approachable, versatile and rewarding instrument your child could play. The fact that more people take up the piano than any other standard classical instrument speaks for itself.

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