Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

What age did you start piano lessons?


Recommended Posts

So you started taking lessons at what age?

My sister & I started at age 9&10.

The piano teacher would whack us on the fingers if we didn't play the notes right.

With that kind of teaching we both went to a different instrument. My sister went to the Hawaiian Guitar and I played violin.

I love violin, but I sure wish I had taken more piano lessons, but not with that teacher. I feel piano is harder to learn than violin.

What age and what experience did you have?

millicent

Link to post
Share on other sites

I started formal lessons at the age of about 6; however, because I had an older sister that played piano (she started at 5 years old), I was always surrounded with music. I really think it's important to start music with children very early in life. I teach both the piano and violin and specialize in teaching music to young children. There is a good Canadian program out there called "Music for Young Children" that starts young ones in music class at 3 years old. And they love it!

As to my first experience with music teachers, it wasn't entirely positive! My first teacher had previously taught music in the public schools and had the reputation of throwing a music stand at the children. She whacked my fingers, and was not at all patient. I used to bring her presents every week to try and "get her in a good mood." I lived in fear!!! (perhaps an overstatement smile.gif)

But then I had a wonderful teacher who was a good player herself, and a generous, kind, and encouraging woman.

I now have a serious Russian teacher that is very strict and it took me five years to get used to her (I used to cry in lesson). But now we get along. In reflection, it is more than difficult to find someone who is a really good musician AND a good teacher at the same time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, This is anna and my friend Vicky who's also a musician.

Hi everyone. Well, I started playing the piano in grade 6 (but I learnt the organ from grade 2) and then started the violin in year 7.

( Just the same as me only i started piano in grade 5) - Anna

Back to me, well, me and Anna both learnt violin from a russian teacher (igor - what a name!) and at first we were both scared and thought he was crazy, but we now have come such a long way and learnt soooooo much that we couldn't live without him! (Well, we could but we probably wouldn't get another funky violin teacher where we live - in the sticks in Australia), but anyway, back to your question, i think anyone at any age can learn music. (Yeah, I agree) and as long as you are enjoying what you are doing that's all that matters. From the youngest child learning to clap in rhythm to the most professional playing the rach 3 anyone can love the fine art of MUSIC!!! (Well said, anna) - Well, what a psycho teacher to hit you on the hands.....we HAD a psycho teacher for piano, but she was really mean about eisteddfods etc. And always put me and anna against each other sooooooo much, and it was really freaky but now we've got a MUCH better one....he's so funky. Anways, I think if you find a good teacher (however rare) then STICK WITH HIM/HER!!! You may not come across another in a great hurry!!! (Vicky)

Bye !!!(Anna and Vicky)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I started taking piano lessons at 4 years old, and I enjoyed it and strongly recommend it. Because I learned music at an early age, I knew how how to read music, and alot of music theory. I also started playing flute and violin. Violin is my principal instrument, but I still take time to play piano, and I would never give it up.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I started taking piano lessons when I was about 6, but was never serious about it till I was 14. I would rarely practice more than bare minimum to learn the assigned pieces (means I practiced VERY little, for some reason, I was always a good sightreader right from the beginning). Then a set of 78s played by Alfred Cortot did a trick to me. I suddenly had a crush on piano and practiced much more seriously and almost thought about majoring in piano. I also started violin around 14, so I had to divide my time to practice both demanding instruments. Eventually my main emphasis shifted to violin, but I still love playing piano (especially Chopin's Mazurkas) and occasionally do some professional accompanying for singers and violinists.

About piano being more difficult to learn than violin. Since I play both and have been teaching both instruments, I can tell one thing. Beginning piano students are more listenable than beginning violin students. A cat can walk on a keyboard and the piano still produce a sound that resembles a piano (of course to make the piano sounds divine like the way Horowitz or Cortot does takes incredible control!), whereas a beginning violin student often produces the infamous "scratchy, screechy" noises.

Mastering any musical instruments take considerable effort and talent. I don't think mastering one instrument is easier than the others.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I started taking piano lessons when I was 5, and I hated it. My piano teacher was not mean, she just put a lot of pressure on her students, even the ones who were 5 years old. We were expected to memorize 2-4 page solos for formal recitals, and I was 5! I remember during one lesson she was going through everything i did wrong and I burst into tears cause I couldn't take it anymore. Needless to say, i quit the second my parents let me, which wasn't until 6th grade. However, my experience with piano did not keep me away from music. In fifth grade I took up the flute which I love dearly, and I am currently making an attempt at learning the violin. I am however greatful for those years of piano, because the biggest problem the students in the school band have is that they never really learned how to read music. They simply write in all of the notes. Sometimes i even wonder about taking up piano again, i mean we do happen to have 2 pianos which aren't being used. I just remember how much i hated it though. O well, i've got my hands full trying to learn the violin right now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't mean to make it sound like the pressure came from memorizing the 2-4 page solos, it wasn't that they were long, it was that i was never told what i did right, but that the teacher would tell me what i did wrong over and over again, though she was only trying to let me know so it could be fixed. And then, I would have to get up in front of 200 people and play this song that i had been told for the past 2 months, everything was wrong with.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I started taking lessons about 2 months ago, and I'm 14. I've played clarinet for 4 years, and a little recorder that I've taught myself. I was never serious about music until this year, and I regret it. It's a lot harder to try to catch up in band now that I realize the importance than it would have been if I had been smart from the beginning. But I love playing piano and want to progress as fast as I can.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I've been playing the piano since I could reach the keys, but I've never been a "natural"! I would agree that a piano start gives any child an edge - as to play with both hands in that particular way trains the brain to think more automatically than writing the individual notes under the stave. I also play the trumpet and I found a remarkable number of teachers allow the "fingering" to be written in with no attempt at learning to read it. mad.gif My singing students get frustrated with me when I insist they learn to play at least the line they are singing - even if they have no real wish to play the piano. One girl in particular was horrified to discover that, although she has an incredible singing voice, this basic piano and theory became part of her training!! She's still with me, so she can't have been that upset. smile.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

I started piano lessons at about 12, did that for three weeks, then stopped. My cousin taught me (step by step) how to play "Für Elise" (the easy part). I later taught myself the two middle sections of the piece by spelling my way through the notes. At age 24, I got a really nice digital piano (a Yamaha P-100 from 1989). They don't make them anymore and the P-150 and P-200 are not as good in my opinion. Amazing that they havn't done better in those 11 years since 1989.. I have yet to find something better that is not a real piano.. my wife likes when I put on headphones when I practice.. oh well, different story.

In the two years from 24 to 26 (I'm 26 now) I have learned A LOT. I can now play the "Minute Waltz", "Alla Turca", some Bach, beethoven and lots of other pieces (also part of the "Fantasy Impromptu" by Chopin. I regret very much that I didn't train more when I was younger - but I still find myself getting better and better very quickly, proving that it's never too late. smile.gif I will probably never play the Rachmaninov Concertos but I will get _somewhere_. I'm now taking lesson and practising 30 to 60 minutes a day. Correct training is everything. smile.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't playing until I was 21. I had always asked my parents for piano lessons, but they insisted that they'd buy a piano, and then three months later I'd give it up and they'd be stuck. Well, upon adulthood I finally started learning, and I've stuck with it for nearly sixteen years now.

My very first piece was the first movement of Beethoven's moonlight sonata. And I had to teach myself everything. Never had a teacher, so I don't know much about music theory and can't play scales, but I can play what I like.

-bd

Link to post
Share on other sites

I started formal lessons at about 10 though like one of the participants, I began playing as soon as I could reach the keyboard and my mother taught me to read music at age 5. I took lessons till I was about 16 and then like so many teens, packed it in, though I continued to love music.

well, after 30 years of no lessons, I decided to start again 3 years ago. In two years of concentrated effort, I took the Grade 8 Royal Conservatory exam and did reasonably well. I am now working on Gr. 9 and gr 3 theory. And I love it. As another respondant said, it is never too late to start or to start over!

Sharon

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

I taught myself to play the piano at age 7 or 8 when my sister gave me a 'teach yourself' book that was meant for adults. I started by playing VERY simplified versions of 'ode to joy' and 'love me tender' smile.gif

We had this huge old clunk of a piano in our house and no one ever played it except for me. I kept on trying to learn songs by myself until I was about 11, then I took lessons for a couple years by a strict old lady who was very rigid and precise in her form of teaching. I also took voice lessons from her. I quit just a couple months ago (I'm 16 now) and I am grateful that I learned the classical basics of piano from her, but I didnt enjoy lessons because of her strictness that took away my style of playing. My parents bought me a very nice piano about a year ago because they enjoy listening to me play so much, and I now play music for myself and I think I've rediscovered how much I enjoy playing piano! I play every day for hours and I play a variety of music, from difficult classical music to pop music, to my own little compositions. I also listen to songs and play by ear, sometimes. I think one of the most important things I've learned about playing the piano is that you don't always have to play the music EXACTLY how it is written. To be a good musician you have to put in some of your own style and make it your own! That's one of the things I didnt like about taking lessons. My piano teacher would get mad and tell me I was playing wrong when I added my own style, even if it sounded good.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I started at about 6, and did pretty well. When we moved a few years later, I never hooked up with a new piano teacher, and started violin instead. But by that time other kids had been playing longer than I. I caught up eventually, but now I'm so-so kind of good but not great at both instruments. Maybe that's because I don't practice as much as I should...

smile.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

I started at 4 1/2. I guess I've had a pretty standard history of learning the piano. I've had good teachers all the way. None ever slapped me or over-criticize or anything. In the middle of this (when I was about 8-10 I think) I quit for 2 years because my family moved and we couldn't bring the piano along. Now I'm almost finished my diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music (last exam Aug.17).

Like any other normal "conservatory"-styled students, I started with scales and simple pieces, moved on to Hannon, Czerny, and now tackling the major works my Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin. I'm surprised how many people here started the piano by themselves, with no lessons. Good for you!

After my diploma exam is finished I'm planning to start learning the violin, which will have to be independently (no lessons). I started flute a few years ago, also no lessons, and the string bass a few months ago. I'm also going to sing in a (rather demanding) choir. I'm so excited . . . my life will be filled with music!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I started piano at seven or eight, but my teacher also used to whack me over the knuckles, and I hated it. I never practiced, and I remember trying to hide behind the sofa to avoid going to lessons. So I gave up after about six weeks.

When I was eleven I heard someone my age playing Fur Elise (although not very well) and I suddenly thought: "I want to do that!". So I went home and opened the lid of the piano, and tried working it out. Then I got the sheet music and drove everyone nuts because it was the only thing I could play. I taught myself for about a year, and several people told me that I ought to get a teacher.

Unfortunately I got a really bad teacher. I mean, he was terrible. I would sit down, play what I had been practising for that week, and he would then spend the rest of the time reciting anecdotes from his past, and then take five pounds off me for the lesson. I was with him for about a year or so.

Then I changed teachers, and my present teacher's really good. I am going in for Grade 7 (associated board) this December, which I couldn't have done without her. I just wish so much I could have started with her when I was eight years old.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

I started piano when I was 6, & began teaching myself violin 4 yrs ago (only now can I manage to press on the exact right spots for the notes) I think both instruments are equally hard, but for beginners I guess the piano sounds aesthetically more pleasing.

I think teachers who teach really yound kids should make sure they get their technique right (& make the exercises fun too), cos since I never practised those boring Hanon exercises (now I love Czerny a lot more), my fingers struggled as they got higher in grades. But I'm doing diploma this Dec, so wish me luck! smile.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

I was 42 when I started formal lessons. I taught myself for a while, but have made accelerated progress since lessons have begun. After 3 years, I am an advanced student...the problem with starting at 42 is there are so many pieces to learn, and so little time. I'll never get to play much of the repetoire, and I must be very careful about the pieces I choose to learn.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I read something really interesting in a book on psychology to do with this subject. It said that there is a huge advantage of, and it used as an example, a seven-year-old taking up the violin over someone of an older age. This has basically to do with the way the brain is organising information on how to use the fingers, which is done during childhood. Does anyone know any other advantages of starting young?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Like many of you, I also taught myself to play the piano. I was fortunate enough to grow up around a piano and was able to teach myself by just playing around, picking out melodies. I don't personally have children, but the experience that I have had with kids in music is that there is no set age for any child to start lessons of any kind. You have to gauge the maturity and "want" of a child in order to get them started. I think that encouragement is excellent, but force should NEVER be used. Good luck!

Christy

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...