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Itís back to school time and there are the vast amount of advertisements announcing specials on back to school supplies and private lessons.

Many parents want to make sure that their children are busy with nary a moment for free time. Not to worry there are lots of activities for the anxious parent to choose.

There are many designations to choose from: conservatories, academies & studios. There are educational talent lessons for kids age one to three.

Parents, ok mom, is usually involved learning songs, rhythm in dozens of private/group classes. Each teacher/ organization has different time, price schedules.

To buy a new upright piano you are looking at $3,800 plus tax. One of our prudent neighbours invested in a paper version of the piano key board for their son to practice on without disturbing the family harmony.

The vast majority of the teens/adults I have counselled tell me that they took piano/strings/voice/dance at one time in their lives but no longer are they involved.

I purchased a baby grand piano for my two children to practice/play when they were youngsters. Years later it looks quite imposing in the living room collecting dust.
To help you along with the decision making on when/ who and the why of enrolling into an arts program you can check out the web: "Tips-Your child and lessons."

When should my child begin lessons? The recommendation are to "be ready from early on." I wonder why they donít recommend music lessons from the moment of inception?

There is a reminder that "the parents be actively involved during practice time and attending the lessons and of course being positive. If your child knows the alphabet from A-G then they qualify for private lessons. They should be able to sit for longer then 10-15 minutes while focussing on having fun at the piano. Fun/piano/violin/practice is perhaps an oxymoron?

I still remember a little girl, George, whose parents used to make her practice. When she cried she had to practice longer . Interesting, her mom recently told me that George no longer ever plays the piano.

There are some children who play on the white keys and some on the black and then there are those that are tone dead and play in-between the cracks. I was one of the kids could never sing on key.

There is a section of Being a supportive Parent of a piano student. "Whether or not your child makes a career of music the world of music will make his or her life fuller and happier."In a some cases this statement is true.
The section: "My kid wants to quit piano!"has interesting connotations. They recommend a tit-for-tat agreement to continue the lessons in exchange for a reward. Simple, you bribe the love of your life to sit down and enjoy playing.

I am defending the rights of the poor confined youngster who has been sentenced to a form of purgatory. They are constrained from hanging out with their friends in the outdoors. The children should have a voice to decide to say no/enough.

There are some children who will enjoy pursuing private dance, music, drama instruction.

You do not have to spend your after tax dollars on lessons. For talented youngsters in London we have the St Maryís Choir School and Lester Pearson School for the Arts. Our secondary schools offer a wide range of strings/winds and choral music classes.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com