Should Parents Force Kids To Take Piano?
Should parents force kids to take piano lessons? You should read the heartrending emails sent by kids whose parents force piano lessons. If the teacher was a brilliant Svengali who could get any kid to play and enjoy it, the answer is yes, you should force your kids. That's the only scenario in which force might be used. If, on the other hand, the teacher is the average type, a bore going from one page to the next in the old or new texts, then the answer is definitely no, don't use force. Kids hate the mindless repetition that the conventional teacher insists upon, and this is almost always the source of their desire to quit.
Most Piano Teachers Are Dogmatists
The brilliant Svengali piano teacher (see above) is very hard to find. The latter, the page-to-page boring pedant, is what almost every piano teacher is. Given the industry statistics, your child has a 1 in 10 chance of playing the piano and enjoying the experience if they start with the dogmatists and disciplinarians. Those are very bad odds, especially if you pay $20 to $80 a week for the privilege of watching your child turn their back on the piano. Step back for a moment and ask yourself what you really want from your child and the piano.
What Type Of Teacher Do I Want?
You probably want the teacher with the highest credentials, right? You might think that assures you of a quality musical education for your child. But the best conventional piano teacher will only try to indoctrinate your child with the ABC's of the piano, because that's how they were taught. They cannot conceive of any other way. The ABC's are fine, but the ABC's of the piano are infinitely more complex than the alphabet. We're not even counting the daunting physical elements.
Conventional Lessons Are A Straitjacket
Send your child to a conventional piano teacher and they'll treat your child as if they were headed to Carnegie Hall. This dogmatism will turn off any normal child who is not remarkably gifted at the piano in the first place. And if your child cannot understand this outdated curriculum, it's the child's fault. The teacher says, "He doesn't practice. He doesn't listen. Why, it's almost like he doesn't want to learn the piano!" Ignorance with these teachers reigns supreme, and you are paying for it.
Find A Teacher Who Understands Kids
Thus, with your reasonable goal in mind, set out to find a teacher who matches your child's needs. If your child is talented and already accomplished, by all means seek out the highest conventional qualifications. But, if your child is a normal six year old in America in 2019, think again. These kids have tremendous creativity. But the teacher must be clever enough to find ways to have the child adopt the curriculum as their own. If you force it, or use a curriculum that bores them, it will be over very quickly.