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Old 01-20-2019, 11:14 AM
 
12,075 posts, read 16,129,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzzyRules View Post
Lessons are not really that helpful. Most people learn an instrument by just playing it for hours and hours. It is not considered practice, but effectively it is. I took piano for a year as a child but never practiced at all because I didn't have the interest at the time. I know people who learned piano the proper way as children, but then never really stuck with it as adults because they didn't have the interest.
I suppose so. I think the largest influence on my own limited skills was finally being able to acquire a decent instrument many years ago. In my case this was an acoustic 6-string dreadnought.

I always tell young wannabe acoustic guitar players they need to start with a guitar with at the least a bit of quality and good sound since the better the sound, the faster they will learn. But if quality is not possible, practice is key.
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:14 PM
 
2,315 posts, read 4,391,921 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?
Nothing is fun until you are good at it.

I'm not sure why you think that because she learned to play from 2nd grade to 5th that dropping it now is a "waste" of some kind. She's old enough to know what she enjoys and what she doesn't. It's not like she has to make a decision today and once she decides to stop taking lessons, the door is shut forever. She may come back. She may not. She may move onto another instrument and catch on to that more quickly since she has a musical foundation. Maybe she'll tire of the uke and drop it too. Kids her age pick up and put down a lot of things that don't hold their interest. The key is trying. I don't see anything wrong with dropping something that you no longer enjoy.
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:31 PM
 
4,792 posts, read 2,289,871 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?
I started classical piano lessons at age 5 and continued through to the completion of all grades and exams. I hit rough patches throughout, especially when the complexity of the music jumped a level up.

Have you considered making a deal, a compromise, of sorts. If you can get her through this rough patch, it might be enough to spark that passion in her. For example, you could offer that if she will commit to taking lessons until age 12, or for at least 2 more years, she can then choose whether to continue. Something else that might spark an interest if she can challenge herself to play something that she heard somewhere, without reading the music. She can probably already do this, but might not realize it - this is a significant experience for a musician. Maybe ask her to play a piece that she knows well, and to then improvise.
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Old 01-20-2019, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
897 posts, read 434,983 times
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In my case, it wasn't a poor instrument, it wasn't a lack of inspiration, it wasn't the teacher. It was my lack of manual dexterity. No amount of practice, lessons, inspiration, or catchy music, or a Steinway, would have helped. I couldn't get through difficult pieces without making a lot of mistakes, and piano lessons were nothing but an exercise in frustration. It was like how some fathers really, really want their small, skinny sons to succeed in football.

OP, you say your daughter isn't a prodigy; she just has "some talent." So she's not going to be a concert pianist; she's not going to get a music scholarship based on her piano playing. A musician? Maybe someday, but most play for beer money. That leaves playing for enjoyment...and your daughter isn't enjoying this.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:02 PM
 
4,792 posts, read 2,289,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
In my case, it wasn't a poor instrument, it wasn't a lack of inspiration, it wasn't the teacher. It was my lack of manual dexterity. No amount of practice, lessons, inspiration, or catchy music, or a Steinway, would have helped. I couldn't get through difficult pieces without making a lot of mistakes, and piano lessons were nothing but an exercise in frustration. It was like how some fathers really, really want their small, skinny sons to succeed in football.

OP, you say your daughter isn't a prodigy; she just has "some talent." So she's not going to be a concert pianist; she's not going to get a music scholarship based on her piano playing. A musician? Maybe someday, but most play for beer money. That leaves playing for enjoyment...and your daughter isn't enjoying this.
I had to practice 30 minutes each morning before school when I was in elementary school. I can assure you that I was always looking for ways to reduce that to 20 minutes because I would rather be doing something else. It wasn't until I was in high school and I had my first date that I turned to the piano before the date. I was nervous about the date, and playing the piano gave me a way to occupy my mind until my date arrived. Playing piano is like doing art or a sport - it's something that needs attention, is creative, and can allow the mind to quietly process other events in the background. This is why giving a child the gift of music provides lifelong value.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
897 posts, read 434,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieneke View Post
I had to practice 30 minutes each morning before school when I was in elementary school. I can assure you that I was always looking for ways to reduce that to 20 minutes because I would rather be doing something else. It wasn't until I was in high school and I had my first date that I turned to the piano before the date. I was nervous about the date, and playing the piano gave me a way to occupy my mind until my date arrived. Playing piano is like doing art or a sport - it's something that needs attention, is creative, and can allow the mind to quietly process other events in the background. This is why giving a child the gift of music provides lifelong value.
I'm glad you enjoy it. The overwhelming majority of us in this thread who were frog-marched to piano lessons have been very happy to quit and never look back.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:21 PM
 
4,792 posts, read 2,289,871 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
I'm glad you enjoy it. The overwhelming majority of us in this thread who were frog-marched to piano lessons have been very happy to quit and never look back.
I think that's the difference. Many times I did not enjoy it, but I didn't not have the choice to quit until age 14. Getting through that hump of age 10-14 is what made the difference in having a life skill or not. All those who quit because they didn't enjoy it don't know what they gave up.
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Old 01-20-2019, 01:46 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
897 posts, read 434,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lieneke View Post
I think that's the difference. Many times I did not enjoy it, but I didn't not have the choice to quit until age 14. Getting through that hump of age 10-14 is what made the difference in having a life skill or not. All those who quit because they didn't enjoy it don't know what they gave up.
I took piano lessons from age 6 to 14. Gave the piano another go in my early 20s and remembered why I quit. Just because something worked for you doesn't mean it's going to work for everybody else.

Oh, and cooking, driving, personal finance, and other things you do as an adult are life skills people need to master whether they like it or not. Playing the piano is a hobby.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:27 PM
 
Location: interior Alaska
4,113 posts, read 3,094,377 times
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I'm kinda taken aback by how dramatic some folks are about being "forced" to learn piano. I think of some of the things I had to do as a kid and good gravy, piano would have been a vacation. And I didn't even have it as rough as a lot of children do. I guess all experiences are relative to one's own context, but the idea of bellyaching decades later about having been required to plink on keys for a half hour blows my mind.
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Old 01-20-2019, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
897 posts, read 434,983 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
I'm kinda taken aback by how dramatic some folks are about being "forced" to learn piano. I think of some of the things I had to do as a kid and good gravy, piano would have been a vacation. And I didn't even have it as rough as a lot of children do. I guess all experiences are relative to one's own context, but the idea of bellyaching decades later about having been required to plink on keys for a half hour blows my mind.
I'm blown away whenever someone says they don't know anything about a subject and then proceed to give an opinion about it.

You think learning an instrument is a snap? Get a piano--people literally give them away--plink away at it a few hours a week, and with no boredom, difficulty or frustration, you'll be entertaining yourself and others with the works of the masters in four or five years.
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