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Old 01-18-2019, 08:07 PM
9 posts, read 1,907 times
Reputation: 31


Originally Posted by carnivalday View Post
What a great idea, keep forcing a kid to do something she hates instead of cultivating what she would like to do.

Way to go.
Bingo. Never, EVER force a kid to do something they don't enjoy or have lost interest in-if you do, the kid will resent you. I was extremely talented in music when I was growing up-I was either first chair or first row in band practically every single year, which I accomplished without even bothering to practice. However, I was equally good at sports-but I wasn't allowed to go out for basketball because my parents didn't like sports. (They thought if they didn't let me go out for basketball, I'd just forget about sports and pursue what THEY were interested in.) So when I finished high school, everyone just assumed I would join the band when I enrolled in college-but I shocked everyone by walking away from music and washing my hands of it. I had one single activity shoved down my throat to the point that it suffocated me, and I wasn't allowed to do anything else-so I got burned out. 34 years later, I still don't get any enjoyment out of music. So if a kid has lost interest in something, definitely do not force them to continue because you will only frustrate them.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:20 PM
Location: interior Alaska
4,076 posts, read 3,075,238 times
Reputation: 12296
Crying the whole way home from a lesson is pretty OTT for just not feeling like studying piano any longer, though. I'd be wondering whether something happened at the lesson, or if something's going on in her life more generally to cause her undue anxiety.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:22 PM
9,296 posts, read 12,180,990 times
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I can't imagine any normal child actually who is gifted musically, actually "enjoying" lessons. It's just not something that people who are creative are going to be into, unless they are unique and also have discipline. Lessons are sometimes better for people who have a milder interest in music, but are disciplined as well.

I took piano lessons for a year as a child, after my parents had noticed my interest in music. But the lessons were completely dead to me. It probably didn't help that I took them from a church lady who was not very enthusiastic. Most of her students were older and she thought I was just an immature kid. I remember she would ask me to take off my baseball cap or things like that. I was immature, of course. But I was also just very bored with that entire approach to music. After a year of doing them I almost broke down in the car when my mom was driving me to my next lesson. I had to put a stop to it. My mom bought me a more contemporary piano book. But the music was actually pretty damn complex for a complete beginner. It was depressing.

I didn't get into music again for several years, I didn't even enjoy LISTENING to music for several years after that. And I did it my own way when I finally did.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:38 PM
Location: San Antonio
3,277 posts, read 9,455,723 times
Reputation: 4996
My parents forced me to play an instrument I didn't want to play. I had a huge impact on my childhood. I resent it to this day, and I'm in my 40s. I'm convinced my childhood would have been better without this instrument. And, I don't remember how to play, or how to read music, so it has ZERO lasting positive impact on my life. I have zero appreciate for the instrument, even as an adult.
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Old 01-18-2019, 10:07 PM
10,712 posts, read 7,811,932 times
Reputation: 19083
There must be a compromise. Maybe she could volunteer to play at a retirement home once a week instead of lessons. If she sees the joy she can bring to others she might see the piano differently.
Or she can choose another instrument.
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Old Yesterday, 03:32 AM
Status: "Warm heart, cold logic." (set 1 day ago)
Location: Here and now.
11,393 posts, read 3,190,265 times
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Originally Posted by DashRiprock View Post
Our 10 year old daughter has been taking piano lessons since 2nd grade (currently in 5th grade). Her former teacher who she had connected with moved over the summer and we let her take a semester off to focus on sports. We've found a new teacher but she's giving us a lot of pushback about restarting piano.

We had the first lesson with the new teacher yesterday and she cried all the way home. She said the teacher was fine, she just didn't want to take piano any more and begged us not to make her continue. We've gone through phases before where she gets discouraged and whines about it, but this was different. For whatever reason, she genuinely seems to hate piano now and wants to be done with it.

She's a very bright kid, extremely well behaved and hardly ever gives us any trouble. She's one of those kids who does well in school without really trying, so we constantly look for ways to challenge her. She has some talent for piano and had just gotten to the point with her old teacher where the drudgery aspects were starting to come together in the form of her playing real songs by memory. I hate to see her throw that all away now.

Anyway, how hard do you push in a situation like this? Do we just say "sorry, you need to stick with this" or do we back off and hope she'll come back to it some day on her own time (which I doubt will happen)? I'm very concerned that if we force this on her she's going to develop some resentments that will manifest themselves elsewhere.

Is there some way you can gently encourage her to tell you why she feels as she does?

I took piano lessons from ages seven to twelve, and then quit. Years later, I wished I had not, but I'm not convinced that being forced to continue would have let to a lifetime of playing, either.

One thing you could do, as I am sure you must have a piano in your home, is to let her treat playing as just an enjoyable pastime, without the pressure of lessons. Keep the piano. Leave music - books and sheet, particularly of songs she likes - available. It's funny, but after I quit my lessons, I did still sometimes play, but I usually only did it when my parents were out of the house. If she has the basics, she may continue to learn on her own, or at the least, retain what she has learned, if she really wants to, and then discover she wants to take lessons again later.

If your primary goal is simply to keep her interested in music, let me ask: has she shown interest in any other instruments? In singing?

I think the first thing you need to do is find out why she wants to quit in the first place, but without grilling her.
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Old Yesterday, 03:41 AM
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
10,082 posts, read 8,264,702 times
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Two of my kids learned to play instruments - violin and clarinet. We supported this, but didn't push it. Both eventually quit after several years, becoming fairly accomplished. The fact that my kids were curious about different activities didn't bother me. I just went with the flow. My daughter went through so many activities/educations, clarinet, acting, dancing, singing, horseback riding, learning Chinese, a teaching education, rock climbing, and finally an MBA. I supported them all. She finally settled on the last two. She is happy and so am I.
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Old Yesterday, 10:23 AM
167 posts, read 80,465 times
Reputation: 227
Thank you to everyone for your feedback. It's given me a lot to think about.

In response to some of the questions that have come up -

- She's not a prodigy, and she's not the next (insert famous pianist here), but she does have talent for the instrument and I really hate to see that go to waste. I guess I'm trying to decide whether this is one of those rough spots we need to get through, or if the pushback is such that it's going to cause lasting damage to continue. I know this isn't a perfect analogy and I'll likely get attacked for even suggesting this, but I doubt anyone would allow a kid give up on, say, math just because they lost interest one day and declared they didn't want to do it anymore. The point is that kids get discouraged and lose interest in pretty much everything - if you didn't push them at least occasionally they'd never do anything on their own. The trick, I think, is where to draw the line and why. I just don't know if this is a line worth drawing.

- I'm very sure nothing in particular happened during the lesson that caused the meltdown. She had been complaining for a while that she didn't want to do lessons any more, but I thought (hoped?) it was largely because she had developed such a great rapport with her former teacher and was pretty upset when she moved. I assumed, perhaps wrongly, that she would develop a similar rapport with someone else, but maybe not.

- She actually did ask us a while back if she could learn to play the ukulele, of all things. I'm not sure where she got that idea, but we agreed and started her on lessons a couple of weeks ago which so far she's enjoying. Whether that has anything to do with anything, I don't know, but I would also add that between the ukulele lessons and some academic competitions she's preparing for, she's got quite a lot on her plate right now. It's nothing she can't handle, I don't think, but maybe she's stressed because of that (she would never admit it if she was, she's that kind of kid). The academic competitions are in March so maybe I should drop the piano for now and revisit it when those are done.

Thanks again for all the comments. They are very helpful.
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Old Yesterday, 10:35 AM
5,233 posts, read 2,363,947 times
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As is most endeavors. ....when the student is ready...the teacher will come.

I disliked school in 1st grade. Every course. It was the teacher .

Come 2nd grade...a teacher with genuine concern and dedication to get us waywards on track was achieved.

Does it physically hurt her to play? What are her reasonings besides the vague....I just hate it. There is a culprit. ..find that and transcend it. Not to say that she'll return to that music....it will though get her to accept her shortcomings. ..which we each have. Maybe for her...this is one that she is willing to adapt to as a 'not my thing anymore'
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Old Yesterday, 10:43 AM
Location: N of citrus, S of decent corn
35,546 posts, read 43,773,021 times
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In your situation, with a daughter who is able to have a logical discussion, I would lay out the reasons why you would like her to continue.....how her years of lessons were at the point where it was coming together, and how nobody likes change, so the new teacher might be causing her to rebell, etc. Also, Id have her picture being a grown up who is able to play the piano, and if she will be grateful that her parents made her persevere.

Give her a few days to think about it, and if she still wants to take a break from it, I would let her. She has the basics and can pick it up again later, if she wants.
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