Any kid can develop interest in the piano if you are willing to wait for the moment when they take over.
Then, they can move forward under their own steam, and are willing to sit through all the fumbling and uncertainty as they scale the Himalyan peak that is the piano.
I’ll say in addition that you are fairly certain of failure if you don’t tailor the curriculum to each child.
The worst mistake piano teachers make is to adopt the “one-size-fits-all” method.
But teachers use these ancient piano methods (Faber, Alfred, Hal Leonard, Mel Bay, Bastien, John Thompson) because they were taught this way, and can think of nothing else to stimulate their students.
I can guarantee you that these books will do nothing to develop your child’s interest in the piano.
There is, after all nothing new in piano teaching, right?
For my money, if I as a piano teacher cannot develop a child’s interest in the piano, any child with humble abilities, then I am a failure. But it is so easy to succeed! All you have to do is lower the bar until you find the child’s “comfort zone” and then proceed slowly into the normal curriculum as the child’s abilities and interest dictate.
Isn’t it a better outcome to have kids try music at the piano and like it, especially when these same kids, when taught by the old methods, would run screaming from the room, branded a “failure” by their disciplinarian, dogmatic piano teachers?
It seems a no-brainer: let each child enjoy playing according to their abilities, and yet the piano teaching establishment is very quick to brand most kids “failures” at the piano, and run them out the door, never to enjoy the instrument and never to even want to try again, which is understandable given the humiliation that most kids suffer at the hands of the dogmatists.
There is a great moment waiting for you if you are patient enough with a child. This is the moment they come to you and say, “I want to play that song that goes…”
From that moment on, you have an avid student, and if you allow them to develop interest at their own pace, you will have a future hobbyist who will enjoy tinkering with tunes their entire life.
Isn’t that we are really after?
The world doesn’t want any more piano virtuosi: there are no major classical radio stations, no artist’s careers and no record companies or record deals to support them. The classical piano music business is as dead as John Kennedy.
America has become the province of Nintendo, Disney and Las Vegas, the culture of thousands of years stripped away to make profits for these giant corporations who could care less what interest your child takes in anything except their products.
Surely you can be patient enough to wait for your child to say, “I want to play that song that goes…“
Copyright 2008 Walden Pond Press
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