12 years old and playing Bruch
I came across this article, which stated that every average child can play Bruch violin concerto at 12, when started at 6 years old: https://murphymusicacademy.org/theblog/playingbruchby12
Having a good teacher, support from parents and dedicated practices everybody is capable to play Bruch after 6-7 years practicing.
I'm not a teacher, just a mom with a kid that loves to play violin, but to me it sounds like not true. A talented kid who works hard: yes, that one can play Bruch by 12. But the others? I don't think so. But maybe I'm completaly wrong.
I'm very quirious about your thoughts about this.
A 12 year old playing Bruch in its entirely to a high standard is a prodigy that had an excellent teacher, very dedicated to only violin, and very sound parenting. Prodigies are few and far between. I read the article and see it as only a sales pitch trying to appeal to tiger moms. Why use Perlman playing Bruch as an example and not a 12 year old? Things like this do more harm then good.
That sounds quite valid to me, though some may play it far better than others.
Timothy covered it pretty well.
Digging into the details of that post, the assertion is that the average kid
I would say that that is true, if everything goes right. But you are going to need a lot of parent support and an excellent teacher, among other things.
Can we please take a moment to appreciate the pure hilarity of this business? Their motto is "there is no pleasure in mediocrity." And this article starts with "Kids are smart. Or, at least, they aren’t THAT dumb."
Just remember, if your child (or you, for that matter), is not the BEST at their chosen hobby and competitive at some kind of "professional" level, then the hobby must be jettisoned for fear of embarrassment when someone else's child shows a higher level of skill than yours.
I think "average" in this case is a kid of normal IQ, normal physiology, and upper-middle-class parents who can afford an excellent teacher and provide a home environment that is conducive to regular, structured, productive practice.
Lydia, I assume by "normal IQ" you mean average IQ, correct (as in, around 100 IQ)?
Agree with Erik 100%.
"Average" in the article refers to average innate abilities including IQ, EQ, physical coordination, musicality, tone recognition etc. This is in contrast to environmental factors such as a good teacher and supportive parents. He argues that a child with average innate abilities can learn Bruch in 6 years given a beneficial environment. The question is how beneficial the environment needs to be. He surely believes he is a good teacher, but how much does he need from parents to make an "average" child play Bruch at 12? The article asks parents to guarantee practice time. Is that enough?
To play the Bruch at Any age is not average. About 10 % who start lessons will make it that far. 1 % will achieve professional quality.
Regardless of all the nonsense about "Bruch level", I'm a little suspicious of the Murphy Music Academy which appears to operate from two private addresses in Michigan. The faculty comprises nobody but "The Founder", Tobiah Murphy himself who seems to have difficulty signing his name and doesn't own to any teaching or playing qualifications. In his "How practicing works" blog he goes into some detail about why oil and water don't mix, and how this knowledge revolutionized how he washes dishes, which I suspect is his chief area of expertise. The following psychobabble about the subconscious mind should be enough to put any prospective client on full alert. Then you might skim "Educational Institutions should guarantee their work" which contains the following rant
Erik, that's correct. I'm separating the notion of "talent" (inborn traits) from environment. The right environment is rare and honestly, pretty much the result of unfettered upper-middle-class privilege (or EXTREMELY determined parents).
@Lydia - thank you, that's interesting. Murphy is taking an extreme stance against the teaching establishment, even to the extent of not declaring his own indebtedness which may be fiscal as well as musical!
Oh oh, I started a big discussion there haha. But great posts! Thank you! It was not my intention to talk about this studio. I'm just curious about the statement that an average kid can play Bruch after 6 years of practicing. Is it true or not? I know a lot of kids with the right environment, who practice every day and practice well, with great teachers who don't play Bruch at 12. But we live in Europe, and a great practice here is somewhat different than a great practice in the US or Asia. There is not a lot of pressure on kids here, so there is not a lot of pressure on practicing long hours.
A great teacher produces great results,
This comes back to my frequent theme of "opportunity cost. The "worth it" is, to me, a question of return on the investment of time and effort on the part of both student and parent, compared to other possible investments.
I wonder what Bruch the composer would think if he learned that his violin concerto had become the gold standard for the skill of a promising 12-year-old child.
@Mikki The blogger has a youtube video on how much practice time he recommends (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppgSjjqM7kk). He suggested that a "determined" student should spend at least 2 hours per day at the Suzuki book 4–6 level. That seems quite a lot for the great majority of kids at 8 or 9. With that amount of effort plus a good teacher, I guess it may actually be possible to make an average child play Bruch in 6–8 years. But would you push that hard if you perceive your child is only average in music abilities?
I'm heartily glad that my parents didn't cherish such a futile ambition as "Bruch level" for me at that age. Even when a child has greater than average music abilities, aren't there a hundred other career options apart from (better than?) music for a fruitful and fulfilled adulthood?
David: There are certainly parents that do. I can remember parents from my childhood Suzuki program whose kids I would have considered to have "average" talent, and were pushed to practice three or four hours a day. And there were kids with no special talent who
For better or for worse, many parents (myself included) consider music lessons "part of my children's education." Once they got to 5th grade or so, we expected an hour a day. The real truth is that you can often expect more of a younger child because they don't have anything else to do -- no homework, too young for "serious" sports (or perhaps disinclined toward that), etc. In other families, other things are emphasized. And in the end, what we will have is a diverse population with a range of skills, interests, knowledge, and so on. The worst thing you can do to education is homogenize it. That's why statewide "standards of learning" are so corrosive, in my view.