Why Your Child Has Rejected Piano
If you wonder why your child has rejected piano, look no further than the choice of teacher. Teaching piano is an art, and some people are not good at it. Few piano teachers have any idea of child psychology, and have limited social skills. Provide an intelligent, creative patient piano teacher for your child. If they still are not interested, there are only a few reasons why this might be.
Some kids are excited at the idea of piano lessons. But they are soon disappointed to find that all those unfamiliar “songs” in their piano books are terribly boring. This is true even to the rare seven year old who understands the concept of deferred gratification. Even some very enlightened piano teachers insist that they will teach only from the standard texts, and will not use current or familiar songs.
Fake Music Kills Kid's Interest
I find that this diet of “cardboard music,” is a huge deal-killer for kids at the piano. Much better to organize your curriculum around what the child has heard, either at home or with companions. Most piano teachers haven’t the faintest idea what music a child thinks is “cool.” I have parents who won’t even show their child a Disney film. Thus the child’s knowledge of popular culture is non-existent. Instead we rely instead on nursery songs and holiday songs until we can widen their palette.
Use Familiar Songs
But you can always find something the child has heard. I suggest that you start with that familiar song. Unfortunately, most piano teachers don’t have the know-how to translate a pop song into numbers, or don’t have the time, or won’t make the effort. You must remember that it is far easier for the average piano teacher to simply move from page to page in the standard text. The "one-size-fits-all" method works great for the lazy teacher. But it is a disaster for today’s kids.
Spending a half hour with an adult giving orders and evaluating you is an intense experience for a child. It’s possible that your child and the teacher do not match temperamentally. You’d be surprised what a difference a sympathetic teacher makes to a child. A kind teacher makes a child want to work. If there is something wrong in the personality mix, don’t expect a seven year old to be able to articulate it. Kids tend to blame themselves for difficulties.
Take A Break
If your child doesn’t enjoy piano lessons, it’s better to take a break and try to figure out why it happened. It is almost always the teacher’s fault. Conventional piano teachers scare children with their unrealistic expectations. This fear is the reason kids don’t want to continue. Would you want to go every Thursday at 5pm to an unfamiliar house where an unsympathetic adult runs you through a page of piano music? And then comes their criticism of your “performance” in painful detail.
The Music Itself Is No Fun
And, if the music the child is playing is not fun in itself, the child will not be excited and want to learn. Piano is to hard to learn if you don't really want to learn it. “I thought music was fun." Then they discover that it is mostly drudgery. You need a teacher clever enough to make "this boring stuff" exciting.
Don't Blame The Child
Please don’t say the child needs to hunker down and accept discipline. These are children considering a lifelong hobby. They are not Soviet cadets fully indoctrinated and ready for sacrifice. They thought the piano looked fun, and you'd better not disappoint them, or they will walk away. That is the nature of a child.
Be A Recruiter
In essence, we are trying to recruit children into the "piano army." Don’t scare them away. Don't yell at them and make them feel guilty and uncomfortable for being themselves. Making them hate the piano experience will cut down on the number of successful cadets. We’re trying to inspire kids to try something very difficult, so the least we can do is support them in every way possible. You’d be surprised, but that support may not be the average piano teacher’s attitude toward your child. The approach of the conventional piano teacher is, “Sink or swim.” There’s always another parent willing to pay them to try again with their child. If your child’s teacher is unsympathetic, take a break and look for the right kind of teacher for your child. You’re looking for a piano teacher who is willing to let the child play music that excites them. It doesn't matter how simply the music must be arranged. Find a teacher who is willing to do the work that this custom approach requires.