One of the things I am most thankful to be here in the Philippines is to be able to afford enrichment activities for kids, especially piano lessons. When Ethan was around 4.6 yo, I enrolled him in Yamaha Music (Aliso Viejo, California)for group piano lessons. Although he loves music, he has a hard time sitting still and pay attention to the teacher. Although Yamaha’s group lesson is fun for young kids, having a hyperactive boy in the class is not ideal. We did it for 4 months and we both gave up. The maturity is not there yet and I didn’t have the patience 🙂
A year later, we introduced piano again hoping to get different results. Piano lesson in the Philippines is different — you can have the benefit of having a 1:1 lesson for a fraction of a cost in the States. So, why not get one? We signed up at Lyric music studio at SM Bacoor in February for twice a week 1 hour lesson. However, most of the teachers are young and still in college. But its not a big deal for us. It will work best, we thought, if it will be with a young teacher knowing Ethan’s preference for a more playful approach. Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6-7pm we are at SM. I dropped him off while I do my groceries. Unlike Yamaha or Suzuki Method, parents are not involved. He goes in and out. But I observed that he spends more time playing and talking with the teacher than the actual lesson. Lately, he refused to go saying that the lesson is hard when in fact the piano book he was using a year ago is more advanced that the one he is using now. In short, he wasn’t challenged, so motivation is zero at this time. I asked for a different teacher, a Suzuki trained piano teacher but there was none. The Suzuki school is an hour drive from where we live and its not worth it. Three months into the program, I pulled him out.
I agonized about it for a week — should we quit piano again and revisit in the next few months? But I was worried that If we stop now, we’ll just abandon piano altogether. For few days, I looked online for private suzuki trained teacher around us but I can’t find one. Luckily, one guy answered my ad and was informed that he does home service and went to UST conservatory of Music, which is a good school. He also had experienced working with small kids using Suzuki Method abroad (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suzuki_method).
Now we are back on track. E had his first lesson yesterday and that was the most productive of all the lessons he had. He was engaged and learning. Obviously, the teacher knows how to work with him. One thing learned from all this — don’t settle for mediocrity and don’t just give up!
I still have my doubts, but I’m hoping that this time, it will work! 🙂