What Type Of Pianist Will Your Child Be?
What type of pianist will your child be? The genius? The plodder? The dabbler? The late bloomer? I don’t consider any child a failure at the piano. If a child learns to play Jingle Bells with their index finger, and that is all they ever learn, they are a success in their own way.
Let’s examine this hypothetical Jingle Bells child and see what we can observe. First of all, we assume that the child has had the best possible teaching. If they've had a bad teacher, they will likely have taken only a few lessons and then quit.
Put All The Skills Together
The child’s piano playing can be no better than the sum of the skills required. The idea of “the sum of skills” is important. It demonstrates how many skills go into playing the piano. Many of these skills are social and mental, and have nothing to do with wiggling your fingers.
Thus, a child who has good dexterity and abstract pattern recognition skills may be hampered by a social deficiency, such as hyperactivity, or some personality problem. And the more complex the problems a child has, the more difficult it is to find a path that leads them to the music they need and want.
Every Song Can Be A Victory
A small accomplishment such as playing a favorite song is quite a victory. It may be all they take away from the entire piano experience. There is always a chance they may try again as an adult, especially if they were not treated like a failure at the first, childhood attempt.
At the opposite end of the scale are children who have all the physical dexterity required, and are capable of moderate work habits. They may not practice every day, but their parents find them going to the piano as they would to one of their toys.
They play for a while and then moving on to something else. In general, the younger the child, the less dexterity they have, and the less work habits they have. Piano may be the first subject in which someone asks them to repeat a failed act again and again without negative frustration, like a video game.
What Do The Parents Expect?
Thus, you must bring your expectations as a parent into line with the reality of your child. Very few children ever learn to play very well. But every child benefits from trying to play music at their own level. Children who flourish at the piano are at the right time in their lives.
Timing is everything. The teacher and the child must be matched well. As long as the teacher does not treat the child as a failure, there is always the chance the child will try again later.
Look For A Teacher Who Specializes In Kids
Search for a child-friendly specialist. If your child’s piano teacher went to Julliard, it is still no guarantee that they will have any common sense regarding children. In fact, the opposite is most likely true. Conservatory graduates tend to teach like their tradition, which is designed only for the very top of the top class of cadets.
This method of teaching is in no way child-friendly. it is competitive, stressful indoctrination and should be avoided like the plague. Students tend to be like their teachers. Look for someone who truly understands children and who is a good pianist. If they don’t like kids, or don’t play, stay away.