YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR CHILD ENJOY THE PIANO
Believe it or
not, it's not encouraging them to practice. Of course, you
have to practice, but with a child, it's better to foster the
illusion that you are playing, rather than working, at it.
If you have
serious expectations of a child at the piano, so they will of
themselves. While that all sounds good on paper, in actuality
your lofty expectations may be setting your child up for a huge
sense of failure.
Why? Because to
the average child, even to the exceptional child, the piano is
the most complex thing they have ever encountered, far more
difficult than any video game yet devised. Think of the piano as
the Mount Everest of physical and mental dexterity.
psychology of children, it's important to show them both the
mountaintop they are thinking of eventually climbing, and the
small hill they may have to climb today.
teachers make the mistake of setting goals too high at first.
reasonable first goal at the piano should be getting a child to
love it. Without that, there is nowhere to go.
I don't care if it takes me a year, that's my only goal
positive feeling, the child can begin a leisurely exploration of
something that brings them joy with every encounter. If the
teacher is not consciously designing such a joyful experience at
every early lesson, they are cheating the child. The teacher's
curriculum is irrelevant unless it is absorbed willingly by the
work. Guilt doesn't work. Both of these produce resentment,
and eventually hatred of the piano. The child is left helpless,
unable to hate Mom for insisting on piano lessons, unable to
express rage at the boring teacher. No wonder they quit.
have the right piano teacher, what you can do to help is to give
the teacher that year, or however long it takes, to get the
child interested in the piano. This takes time and almost
simply, if your child does not practice the piano, they have not
been given a reason to do so.
Force is not a
reason. Guilt is not a reason. Love is the only reason a child
plays the piano willingly.
If you as a
parent are impatient, it will be more difficult for the teacher
to be so. That's not in the child's interest.
First find a
way to convince the child that the piano is a task worth
engaging themselves with, and then proceed to make a plan for
If the child
goes slower than expected, so be it.
If the child
goes at a snail's pace, so be it.
What matters is
your child's experience of the piano, and it better be a
positive one, or it will be very short.