Parents, don’t use piano lessons to teach your child that life is difficult. Piano lessons are for learning music.
A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from a parent lamenting that their child was discouraged in the piano lessons he’s taking from another teacher.
We talked for a while and I made the point that even though this is distressingly common in music lessons, it doesn’t have to be this way and it shouldn’t be this way.
Of course students, whether kids or adults, become discouraged when music teachers use lessons to talk about music rather than engaging students with music.
It could be that the teacher is just teaching the way they were taught. Or that conservatories don’t train piano majors to teach well. But regardless of where the blame lies, parents can take action to get things on the right track.
Before we finished the phone conversation, the parent expressed a desire to leave him in the lessons he’s taking, because he needs to learn that life is difficult. And she believes he’ll grow by persevering in this difficult lesson.
Parents, don’t use piano lessons to teach your child that life is difficult. This is wrong for a million reasons. Here’s the child, minding his own business going to music lessons which he reasonably thinks are for learning music.
Instead, he’s learning to associate music with a negative experience. He’s not learning music at all. He’s learning about how the world doesn’t work for him. And that’s a lesson that will teach itself when the time comes. That is not a lesson caregivers should force prematurely, as it’s exactly opposite from what “caring” means.
I’m not saying every single lesson is going to be a mountaintop joyous experience. But if you or your child are not consistently engaged with music in lessons, in an affirming way, then that situation is not working.
At an absolute minimum, lessons at all levels must include singing and moving. If they don’t, you can supplement them with my course Play and Sing in Harmony, an inviting way to learn sophisticated musical skills at the piano.
Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/boy-holding-his-head-while-playing-the-piano-8520473/