THE POINT OF KID'S PIANO LESSONS IF THEY DON'T CONTINUE AS AN
who had piano lessons as a kid remarks that they hated it.
Yet, they want
their kids to try piano.
Why is that? I
think it's a testament to how attractive the piano is, even when
it's taught badly.
your child, decades from now. They think back to their piano
lessons, and if they can say to themselves, "I had fun with
piano," they are a very strong candidate for adult piano,
with a good chance of including it in their lives.
And isn't that
why you paid for all those piano lessons, so that your kids could someday include
the piano in their life? Or did you really think
they would magically become a child piano prodigy and go on to
chance do you think your child has to be one of those lucky
adults who continue piano? If their reaction to piano lessons as
a kid was negative, the chances of them continuing someday are
So unless you
want to give your child piano lessons just to say you did, it is
crucial that you engineer success by finding the right first
It also follows
that the real goal of kid's piano lessons is not really to teach
the child to play the piano perfectly, but to convince them that piano is worth
learning for them personally, in their own way.
For example, if
you browbeat a child into all the correct fingerings, all the
correct hand positions, what good is it if kids are thus
convinced they hate the piano?
It is far
better to let kids find their own individual interest level in
the piano, and then help them pursue it. If a child has above
average musical ability, it will be obvious to a good piano
Think of all
the kids who are turned off to piano unnecessarily because, at
the time they were given lessons, they couldn't manage the piano
teacher's method. These kids could all play, eventually, if they
were released from the responsibility of following the piano method
exactly and allowed to absorb the information in a way that was
more suited to them personally.
What this means
is that some kids follow directions well, and others need much
more freedom to roam. The problem is that the vast majority of
piano teachers have only one method for all students, instead of
taking the time to see what will work for an individual child.
Add to this the
average piano teacher's rigid curricular timetable ("You
must learn this by that time, or you are lazy,") and you
have set up the child's failure at the piano before they have
even had a chance to try it.
Honestly, I don't
care when a kid learns the piano in the conventional sense,
this month, next month, three years from now. My timetable is
always irrelevant for them.
concern is that the chance to pursue the piano in the future is
not taken away from kids by impatient, impersonal teaching
The world doesn't
need more concert pianists: it needs more kids who love and
appreciate the piano.