BASED PIANO TEACHING
When a piano
teacher's tool of last (or first) resort is to make the child
feel ashamed for not learning, I call it "shame based piano
Do any of these
statements sound familiar?
"But your mom
is paying for lessons."
get it faster than you."
applies these policies to children should try working in a gas
station, for you may be more suited to that line of work.
No child I have
ever met anywhere responded to guilt with anything other than
shame. Do you honestly think such statements will make the child
When does shame
equal a motivation to work? Only when there is fear involved.
The only reason
a child "practices," or at least repeats a song a few times,
is that they like the song, and get pleasure from playing it. If
children "practice" the piano for any reason other than
pleasure, you're creating a robot. Robot behavior is for
committed cadets, who know what they are in for with repetitious
Until you set
up the basic piano lesson transaction as "play the piano, have
some fun," you will never get anywhere with any child at the
piano. That is the "dues" the piano teacher must pay to gain
access to the child's mind. A mind filled with fear and guilt
will not absorb the magic of music.
teaching works well with professional musical artists in
competitive conservatory or professional situations, not with
six year-olds. Professionals are used to such manipulation.
Children are defenseless against it.
Lastly, if the
child does not practice, and you still wish to open the doors of
music to that child, you have two choices:
them to play and practice at the lesson under your
benevolent eye so that the child gets the idea that they
should go have fun on their own with the piano. If you don't show them how to have fun in the lesson, they will
be lost the instant you leave the room. Give them fun tools,
bits of songs, passages, riffs, anything that gets them to
want to play the piano.
refer to whether they have practiced or not. In all
likelihood, they haven't. If you expect that they haven't
practiced, and never get
mad, you at least have a jumping off place to try to launch
them next time.
Never give up.
Never show disappointment. Everything is "par for the