Here’s how to ensure failure with your child’s piano lessons:
Get a piano teacher that uses the old 1840’s methods.
Who are you to question the teacher’s choices and methods?
When someone suggests a piano teacher that used “the old methods,” you listen to them.
Who are you to question the “experts,” even if their failure rate is 90%?
Assume that a disciplinarian teaching style would be best, and make sure that the piano teacher uses the same methods for your child that are deemed necessary for kids committed to a life as a professional musician.
Imagine what it will be like to be encased in a room for half an hour with a gruff, humorless, unbending taskmaster, issuing commands that must be obeyed but which you, as a child, only dimly understand.
Ignore your child’s reaction to the teaching, especially if the reaction is negative. The piano teacher is always right. Your child will tell you they want to quit. The experts tell you to ignore this plea, that sticking with it “builds character.” In reality, sticking with the wrong piano teacher will build your child’s hatred for the piano. Always. Failure is the result of the teacher’s attitude, not the child’s.
4. Assume that your child is lazy and untalented if they don’t want to practice the boring pieces the piano teacher supplies. That’s what most piano teachers think.
In reality, kids don’t experience failure at the piano because they are stupid, they quit because they are not properly prepared and the teacher insists on going too fast, to mention nothing of the boring music they are given to play: it really isn’t even “music,” it is exercise pieces so dull that kids hate them with a passion.
5. Concentrate on reading music only. Anyone who says that kids need to explore the piano in a simple, visual fashion first is a dangerous iconoclast. Believe it or not, this is the feeling of the musical establishment. Their attitude is not, “I will teach you to play as best you can,” it is, “Keep up with my pace or I will humiliate you.”
6. Listen to the piano teacher at all times. They have a failure rate of 90%, so why listen to anyone else? Sorry to tell you, piano teaching is a business like any other. The attitude of the non-creative, old-school piano teacher is that if YOUR child fails and ends up hating piano, who cares? There is always another six year old around the corner, and their Mom wants piano lessons from “the old school.”
7. Stick with the same piano teacher no matter what. They are professionals and know far better than you whether or not your child has any aptitude for music and the piano. The truth is that the wrong piano teacher will kill your child’s enthusiasm faster than anything.
I’ll tell you a secret. Kids don’t remember what happens in piano lessons so much as they remember how positive the general experience was, and how kind and gentle the teacher was.
Copyright 2013 Walden Pond Press
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