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Old 01-20-2019, 05:54 PM
 
2,014 posts, read 1,224,895 times
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Childhood is a time to try a lot of things and figure out what you like, not to be shoehorned into one discipline the entire time. You already said she's started ukelele lessons (a quite popular instrument right now, actually!), so she's still doing music.

At 10 years old, she should have an idea about things that interest her (like the ukelele): art, sports, writing poetry, computer programming, etc.

Since she already has the basis for music and piano playing, maybe you could get a keyboard for her if you don't already have a piano or such at home, and suggest she might like to try her favorite songs with sheet music, or holiday tunes if you celebrate anything. Or she can wow you with her ukelele skills.

Let her explore and try lots of things so she learns about herself. I can't imagine forcing my kids to do something that makes them cry like that after they've already tried it for quite a while...

How many hobbies do you still practice from 3 years ago? Do you ever have new interests?
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
7,954 posts, read 2,522,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowsnow View Post
My parents forced me to play the piano so consequently, I hated it with a passion. A teacher suggested to them that I had some musical talent and I should explore it. My parents asked what instrument I wanted to learn and I told them the guitar, or the violin. Portable, small, and not too expensive. Reasonable. So of course they ran right out and bought a piano. After years of lessons I got to the point where I could play anything. But I never got any joy from it.

I don't think it's ever a good idea to force a child to play a musical instrument.

I was put in a similar position at age 8. I was given no option but to learn to play an instrument and somehow that became a full-sized accordion. Worse than a piano, because you have to carry it with you. Also, it is the least popular and respected instrument in the United States. So I endured 5 years of lessons, hating having to go each week with intensity and feeling relief after it was over for another 7 days. I also disliked being called-on to frequently play before guests at home, at school and at various events.

But when I was 13, I said no more and refused to touch it again. I was so happy to get that thing out of my life and spend my time out playing sports with the neighborhood kids. But if they'd let me play the xylophone as I wanted, I would likely have pursued it with enthusiasm. The matching of the instrument to the nature and wishes of the child is crucial.

My deep interest and latent talent in music was sabotaged by the heavy-handed imposition of that despised instrument on me, by my parents. But many years later, I have obtained a metal-keyed glockenspiel (a smaller instrument of the same type as xylophones, marimbas, vibraphones and others). I am really enjoying learning how to play it and do a lot of improvising, without following any notation or established melodies. It's amazing how you have these rhythms inside you and can unlock them, with practice. I'm now working on a version of playing it as though it was a drum-----lots of possibilities.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:16 PM
 
Location: interior Alaska
4,115 posts, read 3,096,762 times
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Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
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?
I used to play French horn professionally, so you're a bit off target, there.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis, East Side
897 posts, read 436,665 times
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Originally Posted by Frostnip View Post
I used to play French horn professionally, so you're a bit off target, there.
Well, congratulations on being such a prodigy that you can't fathom other people's frustration.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:51 PM
 
5,130 posts, read 6,887,538 times
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My parents' philosophy was always that we could decide not to do something again, but we were never allowed to quit part-way though. That doesn't exactly apply at this point in this case, but I think it does provide a good general rule. If she signs up for an activity that has a season, etc., just teach her up front she is expected to follow through to the end of that term/season, but after that if she doesn't want to do it again, that's just fine. Since this is not something she seemed to sign up for herself, I'd let it go.

Maybe she feels overextended doing school and sports and piano. But for sure if she feels forced into something she doesn't want to do the outcome it hardly ever good.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:55 PM
 
Location: interior Alaska
4,115 posts, read 3,096,762 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheerbliss View Post
Well, congratulations on being such a prodigy that you can't fathom other people's frustration.
Working through frustration is a healthy thing for children and adolescents to learn to do. Music isn't the only venue to learn that, but it's a good one. It's one thing if a kid is quitting because they have little to no interest in the activity and would rather do something else - fair enough - but quitting because it's difficult is not something I personally would encourage.
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:13 AM
 
Location: Dallas TX
14,654 posts, read 21,043,462 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 did an article on an accomplished violinist. He was very talented and his parents recognized it. They pushed him to continue, even when he wanted to quit. He is thankful for that now and would not have been successful without their encouragement. Thus my original post, if she is very talented, she may need that push.
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Old 01-21-2019, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Texas
3,805 posts, read 3,006,928 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McDonald View Post
I was put in a similar position at age 8. I was given no option but to learn to play an instrument and somehow that became a full-sized accordion.
In the Summer before I entered 6th grade, we had to register for all our classes, and a musical instrument was a requirement. My parents called me at my grandparents house in the Ozarks where I was spending the summer and told me the only 2 options left were guitar and trumpet, so I said I wanted to do trumpet. They told me that since we happened to have a small guitar at home, that's what I would be doing. Why even ask me?
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Old 01-21-2019, 09:39 PM
 
Location: Texas
7,640 posts, read 2,874,956 times
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Ask her what she would rather do instead of piano. See if there is something else artistic or a sport that she would prefer to take lessons in. Don't keep forcing piano.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:58 PM
 
170 posts, read 82,463 times
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After a very helpful discussion with the teacher, we pulled her out of piano today.

Thanks to everyone for the advice.
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