One Year After the Tiger Mother: The Way We Talk About Parenting Will Never Be the Same

Exit the Year of the Tiger. Actually, 2011 was officially the Year of the Rabbit… but you wouldn’t know it from the talk about Tiger Moms and Butterfly Moms and Wolf Dads, and the multitudes of cross-bred animal analogies that were spawned from Amy Chua’s book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which was released right before the last Chinese New Year. Many Asian Americans would prefer that whole catch phrase would just go away, but the parenting landscape will never be the same. And you know what?...more
I thought Amy Chua's book was very entertaining - my son (14) also read it and was laughing out ... more

How playing an instrument changes your brain

I've been planning to put both my kids (4 and 6) in piano lessons but have been waiting for school to start up again. But after reading this article (which just reinforces what I already knew), I'm eager to get them in TODAY.The study, which was done in Italy, found that:1. people with NO musical background who completed just 2 weeks of "exercise on a piano" changed their brains significantly2. ambidextrous training increased coordination and "balanced action" between the two brain hemispheres...more
interesting article - but I would be careful of reading too much into the experiments. While our ... more

Piano Lessons For Twos and Threes?

I'm an independent piano teacher, and in the last couple of months, I’ve had a few inquiries from parents who were seeking traditional piano lessons for children 2 and 3 years old. First of all, kudos to these parents! They recognize the value of musical study and want to offer their children an early exposure to music instruction. I’m happy that they contacted me, even though I did not accept them as private piano students. Some teachers do accept students at this young age, and some are quite successful, but my personal preference is to start students at age 6 or maybe in exceptional situations at age 5. However, I want to be encouraging to these parents and to offer some information that will help them as they consider what path to follow. In many cases, I think they may not know exactly what I mean when I say that I offer traditional piano study. They just know that their child enjoys music and they want to provide her with every advantage. Sometimes, when I suggest a program such as Musikgarten or Kindermusik, I get the distinct impression that they consider those to be merely play experiences. On the contrary, I believe that these and other early childhood music programs are excellent at providing an early foundation for piano study. Here are some things to consider....more
This is a really helpful and well-written post. I completely  agree that for  99.9% of 2 and 3 ... more