The Kid's Piano Army
The kid's piano army is a dream that the world returns to a time when every kid wanted to play the piano. What the world needs now is more kids playing the piano. But the piano is going the way of the typewriter. Radio killed piano. TV killed radio. Computers killed TV. Mobile killed computers.
We need a whole army of kid pianists, in fact. But no uniforms, please. This country needs more music. We need more mental stimulation and more appreciation of the great creations made for the piano. Slowly, the piano culture of Horowitz, Rubenstein, Fats Waller and Chico Marx is being eradicated.
It's as if there were a government project to eliminate the piano from our lives. There is a similar government program called Standardized Testing and it turns kids off to education. At the same time, it makes school administrators and testing companies rich.
No Music Education For You!
The poorer America gets, the less money for music, education and culture. Do you want a country in which the only activity your kids enjoy is going on Facebook? Because you're getting there very quickly. Your government is financing it. The present efforts at music education and piano do more to discourage kids from the piano than anything else. Every year, the number of kids trying the piano drops. Every year, the number of keyboards and pianos sold drops. Your all-Facebook, all-the-time world is just around the corner.
Piano Teachers Are Recruiters
In a way, we are already recruiting that kids piano army. Every piano teacher is a recruiter, every piano studio is a recruiting station. Remember that this is a voluntary army, filled with kids who regard piano as an elective pursuit. Their teachers may be serious about it, but these are kids.
Seriousness is not often one of their foremost qualities. This army needs kids who establish a lifelong interest in the piano. Then, as adults, they will buy pianos and CDs, attend the virtuoso piano recitals, and teach their kids that the piano is fun.
The Damage Piano Teachers Do
So what do these conventional piano teachers/recruiters actually do? They turn off ninety percent of the kids in the first three months. These teachers make kids hate the piano. What is the piano teacher's explanation for their behavior? "The kids weren't qualified." That's their lame excuse. Perhaps the kids were not qualified to be Horowitz. None of us are.
Kids Start With Childish Piano
But kids are qualified to begin a childish interest in the piano, that, over the years, might become a flame that could be stoked into real interest, had they lasted at piano lessons. Every three months, piano teachers destroy 90% of the possible base of future amateur pianists, all in the name of "standards" and "quality." That's why the piano industry is all but gone. Period.
From my experience, any child can be made to take an interest in the piano, mainly because the piano is interesting by itself. You just have to get the kids to discover it for themselves. Shoving sheet music down a kid's throat is the worst way to get a kid to discover the piano. We want them musically literate, of course, but not at the cost of their interest. This is just common sense.