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Subject: Re: How early is too early?

Brian MacColl
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Date Posted: 11:19:23 09/26/02 Thu
In reply to: Piping Dad 's message, "How early is too early?" on 10:13:24 12/04/01 Tue

At this point, his finger size is probably the biggest issue in regards as to when to get him going on the chanter. If his fingers are long enough, get him started on the children's PC. I know a lot of people talk about children's attention spans and how they get bored quickly...yada, yada, yada. That child will keep with it as long as he feels he is spending time with you. Don't make it seem like practice or learning to him, make it seem like it's part of the day where he and his dad hang out and spend time together. The child will look forward to practicing because it means more time with you, his dad. And if he's too small for the PC yet, then include him in everything. Show him how to hemp, how to work a chanter reed, how to tie-in a bag...anything. He may not care or even remember it all, but he'll remember he had a good time with his dad. And when he gets older, all his memories about the bagpipe will be good ones, and subconciously he'll want to play just because something inside of him feels good about it.


>I have a five year old son and he sticks to me like
>glue whenever I play...he loves the bagpipes. I want
>to teach him but at what age do you start? He
>expresses a real interest and asks me a thousand
>questions whenever I play, but is he too young to get
>a chanter in his hands and begin going over the scale?
> My concern is that he's too young and he'll look at
>it like a toy, not a musical instrument. Anyone out
>there have any advice or been through this with their

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[> Subject: Re: How early is too early?

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Date Posted: 17:52:36 10/10/02 Thu

My two cents. I've taught a lot of folks over the years. I won't even say I'm the greatest teacher. I think I've been effective and have taught youngsters as well as some seniors.
I've found that kids under about 10 have a tougher row to hoe. There's an element of Piaget-type maturity that's needed. Plus...I'm a bit of a perfectionist. I want them to learn to do it right and do it well. That often takes a little more dedication than you find out of the younger folks.
But then again...you want to encourage them somehow.

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