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Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Pianist in the Family

Friday night, my great-nephew, Carson, participated in a piano recital; and I shot this short video clip of his recital piece.



Carson will be ten years old in a few months. He began taking piano lessons when he was about seven. His piano teacher uses the Suzuki method of teaching, in which the child learns to play by listening and repetition, much the same way the child learned to talk. They begin with small steps, building the child's confidence and giving him a sense of success and enjoyment of his accomplishment. Note reading is postponed until the student is established on the instrument.

I was pretty skeptical of it when I first learned that the student wasn't taught to read music until later. But I've seen the method work well with Carson. It makes me envious that I wasn't exposed to this kind of teaching when I was trying to learn the piano as a child, although I don't think I would have done as well as Carson is doing, even if the Suzuki method had been used on me. I think there's a little natural ability floating around in this boy that wasn't present in his great-aunt.

13 comments:

  1. Second attempt at leaving a comment:
    His fingers seem to be quite nimble and his rhythm is excellent! Very impressive for such a young beginner. I'm sure you're a very proud aunt. :)

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  2. Wow---he did a great job, Linda... I took many years of piano ---so I recognize good talent. VERY nice.. Love the way he plays with his mouth open.. That is concentration!!!! ha.... AND--he did a fabulous job of noting the difference in the soft places as opposed to the loud ones... NEAT.... Very very nice.... Thanks for sharing. Hope he keeps going!!!

    Have a great Memorial Day weekend.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  3. Great job, Carson! We are big fans of insisting that children take music lessons. Those that have a special talent can find it, and those that don't have a special talent for it...get an education they can file under, "Things I know but may not use every day...like algebra, how to make a fire, and how to make fudge." I'm sure this young man falls into that first category, though...the special talent one!~

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  4. That was beautiful and aren't you smart for thinking to videotape it! A great keepsake!

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  5. You guys are the greatest. With all your kind comments, you're making this proud aunt even prouder of her nephew.

    Elizabeth - First, thanks for persisting until your comment came through. Your praise of Carson's ability means a lot, especially considering your own amazing talent.

    Betsy - Thanks so much. He seems to love it, so I think he'll stay with it.

    Deb - Carson's parents seem to take the approach of encouraging their three boys to pursue anything in which they show an interest. It keeps them hopping, getting each to his various events, but it's helping each boy to find his own niche.

    Ruth - Thanks so much. I think so, too. :)

    Cheryl - Thank you. I've tried still shots in the past, but the video is much more satisfying. :)

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  6. Linda -- I imagine you could tell when we had dinner with you before the concert that we didn't envy you going to a piano recital I guess because we pictured listening to kids painfully and slowly trying to remember the notes, but I am reallllly impressed! I would have enjoyed hearing him play too. I agree that if this method had been around when I was little, I might have enjoyed my piano lessons too -- and actually ended up being able to play! Good job, Carson for the excellent playing and Aunt Linda for the video!

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  7. I like it when children explore the arts.As a child all my friends taking piano wished for something else where I wished I had lessons.

    Steve

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  8. Sandra - Carson was 8th on a program that featured 37 recital pieces. He and his parents and brothers and grandparents left when Carson was finished, but Doug and I were enjoying ourselves and stayed to the end. Of the 37 performances, only six were on the piano. The rest were all on the violin. But all were enjoyable. I think there's something to this Suzuki method.

    Steve - It's never too late to take those piano lessons. :)

    Grayquill - Thank you for e-mailing me your comment. Like you, others have mentioned having a problem with Blogger commenting. I really appreciate your going the extra mile and sending me an e-mail with your kind remarks.

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  9. This boy has talent - what a cutie! My sister is a music teacher, and three of my four play several instuments, it is a proven fact music stretches the brain cells in every direction!

    Oh dear, blogger is playing up - it's refusing to post me as Shrinky (hmph)!

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  10. Thank you so kindly, Shrinky. I have no doubt about the truth of your sister's allegation about the stretching of the brain cells.

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  11. The boy sure does have talent. How proud you and the rest of his family must be. It's such a gift to be musically inclined.

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  12. Thanks, Hilary. We are all very proud of him. And maybe just a little jealous of his gift. :)

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