Ever since, the daddy who is the musically-inclined parent of us two, has taken over the responsibility of coaching the boy and ensuring he makes reasonable progress.
I am clueless to his actual progress and simply can't pinpoint enough technical details to illustrate what and how much he has really learnt. Nothing makes much sense to me, not that I am that motivated to find out, in the first place.
I know there is progress, because E told me so, and I can see that he is now using more advanced books. But that is all that I can say. So it isn't very exciting really.
To be frank, Marcus has way too many "projects" and "conquests" that interest him, and they are all very time-consuming. He would also much rather read another book from cover-to-cover, than play a piano piece.
E is also way too relaxed, in my opinion, to enforce much discipline. As a result, the boy probably clocks less than 30 minutes of practice a week, and up to an hour max on a slightly better week. So he lacks regular piano practices and it takes much persuasion (or even coercion sometimes) before he would drag his feet anywhere near the keyboard. Not a good sign, is it?
Early this year, we briefly discussed our plans for his piano lessons. I toyed with the idea of him dropping the lessons given the signs of dwindling interest. But E insisted it will only get better in future. After all, our main objective is not for him to collect certificates (not at this age anyway) but on his acquisition of some music training, while cultivating his appreciation for the instrument.
Granted, I have read/heard of numerous young kids who were made to spend crazy amount of time learning the instrument because of their parents' insistence and growing up regretting the waste of their precious childhood time. But there are also those who grew up grateful for their parents' persistence, when they discover a true love for the instrument later.
It helps that we are not in any hurry to register Marcus for any piano exams in the near future, despite it being an accessible goal, as I have been told on several occasions by his piano teacher.
If I had to choose between him
(1) spending a solid 100 hours perfecting techniques just to acquire some certificates to frame my walls, or
(2) channeling those energy to his unstructured play time or reading or anything else that he is super passionate about,
I would choose the latter in a heartbeat.
As long as he has a strong foundation and makes good progress, he can always take the exams later and perhaps skipping some levels too.
Oddly, Marcus refuses to give up his lessons too. But then again, he isn't aware there is such a thing called EXAMS! Haha!
So the decision (for now) - the boy will continue his lessons, with the condition that the daddy commits more time and effort in coaching. And we will reassess next year, depending on his school workload.