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Old Yesterday, 10:44 AM
 
35 posts, read 18,120 times
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Please - never force a child to learn a musical instrument. There's no point. You waste money and the kid is unhappy. Nobody wins.

I took guitar lessons as a child (begged my parents to let me). I stuck with it for a few years and then got bored with the teachers. There was no pressure to continue. What I learned in those lessons was not wasted.

In my early teens, my parents bought a piano for my sisters who wanted to learn. They gave up after a few months - but I took to it right away. Took a few lessons then mostly taught myself. All these years later I still play, write music and play in various bands.

The foundations I learned as a child stuck with me because I enjoyed learning and playing music. None of it went to waste.

My kids on the other hand, had no interest in music. They each played an instrument in the school band (either band or chorus was required). They all showed some natural talent (one of them especially so). They simply found other talents they wanted to develop. Music just wasn't meant to be. All I could do was encourage it.

As a musician, I cannot imagine much worse than being forced into playing/learning an instrument that I did not want to. Let the kid explore the music she wants to. Ukulele is actually pretty popular now with the younger generation. Between that and the previous piano lessons, she will (hopefully) have a solid musical foundation to build on in the future.
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Old Yesterday, 10:44 AM
 
167 posts, read 80,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
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.
Yes yes yes! This is something I've been wondering about a lot. I assume all kids - all people, really - don't "enjoy" lessons and go through these rough periods, not just piano but pretty much everything that requires learning a skill. It's hard and it's tedious and it's frustrating and there are 1000 more fun things you could be doing. How did accomplished players handle this? Were they "pushed" until they finally broke through? Do they regret being pushed, or are they thankful now?

Perhaps I need to find a piano players discussion board and pose the question. But yes, I understand perfectly what you're saying.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
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.
Thank you. I very much relate to this. I too took piano lessons for a year or so, probably around age 11 or 12 as I recall, from a church lady who used ridiculously horrible guidebooks. And of course I hated it. Maybe if it had been taught differently I might have stuck with it longer but probably not. I legitimately had no talent for it whatsoever. My left hand in particular just would not work the way it needed to for piano, and nothing I did was ever going to change that. I continued to dabble in trying to learn piano (and guitar) over the years, but it was always the same thing. My fingers just won't do what they have to do. It is what it is.

My daughter is not like that. She works it out very quickly and then plays it from memory. There is musical talent in my family but that gene skipped me and ended up in her.
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Old Yesterday, 11:11 AM
 
6,110 posts, read 3,265,133 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DashRiprock View Post
Yes yes yes! This is something I've been wondering about a lot. I assume all kids - all people, really - don't "enjoy" lessons and go through these rough periods, not just piano but pretty much everything that requires learning a skill. It's hard and it's tedious and it's frustrating and there are 1000 more fun things you could be doing. How did accomplished players handle this? Were they "pushed" until they finally broke through? Do they regret being pushed, or are they thankful now?
....
I think that's a misreading of things. Truly accomplished people aren't "pushed" but push themselves. People who are really good at something, whether it's music, math, or sports, do enjoy it so much they are willing to put up with the tedium of practice to get good at what they enjoy. My kids were more into sports and my daughters team had this saying they'd gotten from somewhere (sorry, I won't quote this right), that "no, I don't like the aching muscles and tired legs. Or practicing in the middle of summer, or the sweat, or the dirt or twice a days. But I like feeling of making that winning goal or save and so I do all other things to get that feeling and play the game." It will be the same with music or math. If they want the end result, they'll do the practice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DashRiprock View Post
...Thank you. I very much relate to this. I too took piano lessons for a year or so, probably around age 11 or 12 as I recall, from a church lady who used ridiculously horrible guidebooks. And of course I hated it. Maybe if it had been taught differently I might have stuck with it longer but probably not. I legitimately had no talent for it whatsoever. My left hand in particular just would not work the way it needed to for piano, and nothing I did was ever going to change that. I continued to dabble in trying to learn piano (and guitar) over the years, but it was always the same thing. My fingers just won't do what they have to do. It is what it is.

My daughter is not like that. She works it out very quickly and then plays it from memory. There is musical talent in my family but that gene skipped me and ended up in her.
If she doesn't like playing, does that matter? Maybe she likes soccer or math or the bongos.
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Old Yesterday, 11:11 AM
 
9,296 posts, read 12,180,990 times
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When I finally got serious I wanted to teach myself piano a few years later. But instead, one night I picked up my dad's acoustic guitar and an old folk method guitar book he had, and began teaching myself. I also took a couple of guitar lessons early on. But they weren't structured, I just learned a couple of songs.
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Old Yesterday, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
863 posts, read 413,872 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DashRiprock View Post
Yes yes yes! This is something I've been wondering about a lot. I assume all kids - all people, really - don't "enjoy" lessons and go through these rough periods, not just piano but pretty much everything that requires learning a skill. It's hard and it's tedious and it's frustrating and there are 1000 more fun things you could be doing. How did accomplished players handle this? Were they "pushed" until they finally broke through? Do they regret being pushed, or are they thankful now?

Perhaps I need to find a piano players discussion board and pose the question. But yes, I understand perfectly what you're saying.
You sound like you're looking for any excuse to shoehorn your daughter into playing the piano even though she hates it. She was crying on the way home, for goodness sake. Just stop.

Like others here, I was shuttled to piano lessons for years after I'd gotten as far as my ability would take me. Like others here, I have absolutely no desire to play it anymore.

Warren Buffett's son Peter Buffett is a professional music composer who says he quit the piano two or three times, and that his parents didn't push him or his brother or sister into anything.
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Old Yesterday, 01:35 PM
 
628 posts, read 346,853 times
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I'd set a limit:

You DON'T have to play piano. But, you do have to pick one instrument/singing and take lessons until you are 13 or whenever
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Old Yesterday, 02:27 PM
 
1,609 posts, read 670,338 times
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The way piano is taught seems backwards and self defeating to me, seems like it is stuck in a classical music mode. A friend of mine took piano lessons for several years as an adult and into retirement, playing scales, reading notes, doing finger exercises but never actually being able to play anything. I used to ask him, when will you play a blues or a rock song. He kept saying the teacher said he wasn't there yet. Finally I told him to learn three chords, C, F, G. All white keys, all easy to play. Then I gave him a list of hundereds of blues and rock songs he could sing and play with just those three chords. We started jamming together and have both played guitar and keyboard and sang and learned and recorded dozens of songs together over the past 6 years. If you want to enjoy playing the piano or guitar, learn a few chords and sing and play. Download the chords and lyrics of your favorite songs on the internet, and youtube videos of the original performances and slow them down on the computer, then gradually speed them up until you can play along with the original recordings at speed. Unless you desire to become a professional musician, that's all you need.
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Old Yesterday, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
10,775 posts, read 17,075,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
You sound like you're looking for any excuse to shoehorn your daughter into playing the piano even though she hates it. She was crying on the way home, for goodness sake. Just stop.

Like others here, I was shuttled to piano lessons for years after I'd gotten as far as my ability would take me. Like others here, I have absolutely no desire to play it anymore.

Warren Buffett's son Peter Buffett is a professional music composer who says he quit the piano two or three times, and that his parents didn't push him or his brother or sister into anything.
I read the post the same way. Let it go, let her explore her interests, she'll come back to it on her own if it's right for her.

You can guarantee that "musical gene" will be wasted if you force it. I come from a long line of talented professional musicians and I don't play anything now. How many people have to tell you the same thing?
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Old Yesterday, 05:42 PM
 
11,631 posts, read 19,979,187 times
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Quote:
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.

Thoughts?

Why does she need to play piano? If it makes her miserable let her stop. There are millions of worthwhile activities for kids. If she hates piano let her find something else.
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Old Yesterday, 06:41 PM
 
355 posts, read 101,377 times
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Push? Forget about. Pull? Maybe.

I took piano lessons for five or six years as a child. Didn't want to. My first teacher was probably pretty good, my second perhaps not, but the real key was my interest. If I had been exposed to boogie woogie at some point, I might have been more interested. I don't know whether my first teacher was even capable - jazz seemed to be what his crowd (including my uncle) was interested in. I was about forty before I had any interest in playing a piano, and not a lot then (just listening).

IMO, the key to getting a kid to play the piano is to inspire him, not to push him.
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