Too Early?

I have a student who’s in grade six (I assume that she’s 11 or 12 years old – I’ve never asked), and she’s just started to play the flute (so far, we’ve developped the Bb and F major scales). In her last lesson, she asked me to teach her “Lester Jumps or something like that…” so I played the melody to “Lester Leaps In” and she perked up right away and exclaimed “that’s the one!”

I wrote out the melody and gave it to her. We spent the rest of the lesson firming up the rhythm (she can play the notes consistently) and I sent her home. Her homework for the next lesson – memorize the tune.

I’m very excited that a student that is young has taken an interest in the music that I love. I’ve asked several other music teachers in the area what they think in regards to her age, experience and their teaching methods. I have gotten too basic responses – “too early” or “go for it!”

So, I ask teachers (in all subjects), parents and anyone else who has an opinion a few questions –

If a young student shows interest in a subject, do you acknowledge it?
If not, are you stiffling their creativity in any way?


2 thoughts on “Too Early?

  1. I think, if the student shows interest and exhibits excitement towards the prospect of learning the tune, not teaching them that is a great disservice to them. You have to balance the things you have to teach them with the things they want to learn. Otherwise, they will lose interest in the instruments or music as a whole! I say go for it!

  2. Go for it! And way to go Richard!!!Having been in a similar situation to your student I started with Royal Conservatory clarinet lessons and HATED the exam process. I told my teacher that I'm playing in a pit orchestra and he did the best thing for me personally and musically. He told me to bring two different reed books for Hello Dolly and Anything Goes. We canned most of the Conservatory syllabus played together and he based our lessons on the musicals. With the Conservatory approach I would have quit long ago. I'm still very active in music because of him. I am eternally grateful!Your student is lucky to have you as her teacher, Richard. – E 🙂

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