My children have been taking piano lessons since August. DJ is 8 now, and Zee is turning 6 next week. So they are in different places as far as being able to read music and understand fingering, etc. The piano teacher is a lovely Russian woman, about the age of my mom. She is the right combo of strict and empathic, so when she tells them they're doing something wrong, nobody cries. She can be pretty intense, though! She thinks DJ is the bees' knees (as do most teachers of any kind). Zee has tried her patience on more than one occasion, and after the last lesson she told me "She is so moody! Like a woman!" Ok, so it's not just me, then.
In the last few weeks, Zee has finally started to get it. She is wanting to practice more, and is proud of her own accomplishments. It is fun to watch. She needs help practicing because her songs are getting more challenging, and the theory work is tough, especially for someone who is just learning to read. But, she does not want me to help her. Ever. Not even a little bit. I'm the only one in the house that can now show her the theory (except her brother, and he's sooo not going there), and she fights me on every turn. Suddenly she doesn't remember what letter comes after C, she can't tell me any notes, and she absolutely refuses to put the right fingers on the keys! She tries to pull some of this with Mrs. Teacher, who will have none of it. I hear Zee make a mistake, and get frustrated, Mrs. Teacher follows with "I KNOW Zee, I don't like it either!"
DJ, on the other hand, can sight read almost anything she gives him now, and his lessons keep getting longer and longer. She had him at it for 45 minutes this week (we pay for a 30 minute lesson). She has told me several times "He is perfection!" He really seems to enjoy playing as well. I hope he didn't inherit my lazy streak, though. I was good at sight reading, then didn't want to practice to perfect the songs. That was hard...
It's not easy to get my own time on the piano these days, but they have sat down to listen to me play a few times. I think it's good for them to see the music, and understand that just because they've learned all the notes, they certainly haven't learned all there is to know about piano.