Piano Lessons for 8 yr old

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

I am totally clueless as to any of this. My 8 DD wants piano lessons.
What do I look for in an instructor? I would have to do the lessons in MY home, do most teachers do that or not? What would be a fair price for a lesson?
How much should she practice outside of lessons?
How often should the lessons be?
ect ect.
Are there different learning methods? How do I know who to use?
help!? Please!
oh, do you think 8 is too young? I don;t want to start something she won't stick with. She is learning to play guitar with her dad.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

8 is a perfect age to start this.
Many teachers will teach in your home.
I don't know what the going rate is.
She should practice every day if she is serious.
Lessons I would say weekly at least. And since she is young, she might want to start with half hour lessons, increasing to an hour if she sticks with it.

You know what is fun? Learning with her....

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

learning with her LOL

I can barely chew gum and walk at the same time, so uncoordinated, I think I will stick to digging holes !!

Thanks for the tips. I appreciate it!
How long do lessons last? I mean like 2 or 3 years? 4 or 5? How long until she would be done with lessons? I am just looking at this in long term, as in $!
I know it is not something she can do for a year and then be done with it, ?

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

My DS had lessons at about that age and did it for about 6 years until he was fed up with it.
If she is massively talented and wants to continue, she could be taking lessons all thoughout her school years and even beyond, but for now I would say - take it as it comes. Just a few years of the discipline of piano lessons is very good for the brain development!

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

what do you mean fed up? He couldn't learn it? or just got tired of doing it?
I hope she doesn't put a lot of time in it, and never be any good at it?

My grandmother said something about learning by chords, and that is faster than learning by notes... ??
I have no idea what that means. I don't even know what a chord IS and I couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I think any kid can learn to play as long as they're willing to practice. Just like anything some people have more natural talent than others and will pick it up faster, but if she's willing to put in time practicing then she should be able to get reasonably good at it. The trouble is lots of kids have short attention spans and won't be willing to put in the time practicing, or get frustrated when they don't sound like a concert pianist after two weeks of lessons so if your daughter is like that then she will probably get tired of it pretty quickly. But if she's the sort who sticks with things then she could stay interested in it for a lot longer.

As far as chords vs notes...if your daughter may have a real interest in music then I think it would be valuable for her to learn the notes and how to read music, I think if she just learns chords then she won't develop as much skill in reading music which could limit her in the future. But if you think she's going to lose interest quickly then chords might be fine. I know they teach guitar by chords but I didn't know they did that for piano as well--guess things have changed since I was a kid taking music lessons! It may depend also on the teacher you get, I imagine each teacher has their own way of doing things so some teachers may only teach one way or the other.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

At age 14 his interests shifted. He could have been very good, had perfect pitch and everything, but just didn't want to put in the hours.
I agree she should learn to read notes.

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

I had friends in college who were excellant piano players and began giving lessons for extra cash to get through college and beyond. You might see if there is a college nearby (I know you said you live in a small town) and see if anyone is a music major or interested in lessons. I've no idea what my friends were charging but I'd imagine like all classes it isn't cheap...babysitters here get $6-10 an hour and I'd imagine an instructor who visits your home would require more than that????? But a college student might give you a better deal---or if you are church going there is usually someone there who plays who might be interested in teaching piano. Good luck!

Mid-Michigan, MI(Zone 5b)

My 12 year old daughter has been taking piano lessons since she was 5. She has one 30 minute lesson a week ($12 a lesson). She practices for 30 minutes a day, 5-7 days a week.

We found the best way to practice was in 10 minute increments. 10 minutes in the morning, after school and before bed.

Her piano teacher is the music minister at church and he will do in home lessons. We opt for lessons at school (she goes to a parochial school) since I work nights. He is the second teacher she's had, her first teacher was very nice, but DD progressed past her teacher's skills. Does that makes sense? I know what I'm trying to say.. lol.

(Zone 7a)

Learning to play the piano in childhoold has been shown to augment the capacity of the brain to function in math and science. There is a bundle of nerves that connects the two hemispheres of the brain that has been shown to actually increase for those who have this experience in childhood.

So, if your DD loses interest in the piano somewhere along the road, she will be left with increased brain functioning that will surely be an asset for life. (Maybe later in life, she'll come back to it...?)

ps - Keyboard experience is invaluable to the pursuit of any instrument, or voice or conducting or composing or improvising or just appreciating music. In fact, a good teacher will be introducing your child to all of those facets - the piano is much more than just reading notes, as valuable as that is.

Hopefully, the appreciation of music will not only last a lifetime, but will be one of those interests in which something new is always just over the horizon.

Did you know that the rock musician, Frank Zappa, had a background in classical music at our local Peabody?

The benefits of studying piano can have quite a ripple effect throughout a lifetime. I'd say that, for a proper skinflint, the study of the piano is quite a bargain :)

(Zone 6b)

When I started my oldest daughter in piano lessons, I asked the man at the music store this question. "How do people achieve their goals to really be good at piano? What is the secret?" He said "Change teachers". I was shocked at that answer. He went on to explain that you might have one teacher and seem to be doing well for a few years, but then all of a sudden, things don't seem to be going well. He said, "Just change teachers". He said it doesn't mean the other teacher was not good, or anything was really wrong, but you can sometimes get in a rut and need a change.

Well, I followed that man's advice and both of my daughters took lessons through high school. Both play very well. When we started the rate here were $7 for 1/2 hr per week, and the last year we paid $17 for an hr per week. Rates are probably different in every area.

Call around and ask the people in the music stores, would be my suggestion. Find out who is good with children. I don't know about teachers coming to your home, I always took my daughters to their homes.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

I'm sure some teachers would be willing to come to your home (assuming you have a piano of course!) but it might be cheaper if you're willing to go to their house--if they come to yours, their lesson cost will probably be higher because it's taking more of their time, plus gas mileage, etc.

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

well I have to find someone to come here as my son is disabled and I would not be able to drop her off.
The other thing is maybe she could do it during the day, while son is at school, she would be able to do that because we are planning to home school starting in July.
The thing is now, with DH job, it looks like we won't be able to do it. I just don't know when things will pick up or IF they will for quite a while. So we will probably have to hold off. :(

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

You could always consider a trade? Perhaps your garden is the talk of the neighborhood, or you have some other craft or skill to offer. It may seem a long shot----your knowledge for the piano teacher----but just perhaps, in this economy, they'd be willing to consider your offer. Maybe someone near you knows how to play but doesn't teach, it'd be a start.

Natchitoches, LA(Zone 8a)

There is an abundance of potential teachers here. I would sure send you some if I could get them in an envelope. The piano department at Northwestern State University (http://www.nsula.edu), along with the "teachers college" turns out a significant number of students who want to become teachers of piano.

With my background in student housing, one of the best ways to get a talented student to do your bidding is to offer good home cooked meals. And with fresh veggies from a garden, many would fall over themselves to teach your child the techniques of piano with the offer of fresh fried green tomatoes and grilled olive oil and Herbs des Provence eggplant. Heck, I'll learn piano and teach it to your DD if you'll do that.

And don't hesitate to contact a campus where music is taught to teaching students and ask them what would be a good method for your daughter. I certainly like the idea of changing teachers over time. Doing so brings new ideas, techniques and styles that will challenge a student and introduce them to new things.

And thanks for giving this opportunity to you child. She may grow up some day and inspire others like Horowitz did in my time. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75ZAOwgzoAE&feature=player_embedded

Houston, United States(Zone 9b)

Scott, excellant ideas!

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

The nearest campus around here is one hour away from me. We mostly have extension classes here, and that sort of thing.

I thought about trading house keeping or something, but like I said, I can't really get out of the house much. That's why I took up gardening, I can stay home and do it. I don't really have time to do any more than I already do anyway, my plate is pretty full right now.

Virginia Beach, VA

Both my children took piano lessons and used to bring them to the teachers home till I met a teacher who came to the house. This was years ago and now they are both married and live far. Our daughter took lessons for 10 + years and when she comes on vacation she still plays with the same piano we bought for our 2 children, She also took voice. It was expensive then but I do not know what the current rate now.I took lessons for a while but I never had time to practice and so my teacher told me she does not need my money and so i quit. i think I had 20 + leassons and it was 1 hour then. That was the recommended time then. Good luck and so did you find a teacher? Bellieg

springfield area, MO(Zone 5b)

No we are dropping the idea for now. My dh is now only working 3 days a week and might be laid off in a month :(
so now I am more worried about where we will live lol
not piano!

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