Pace And Children’s Piano Lessons
Lesson 17: Pace And Children’s Piano Lessons
It is thought that a child can go quickly through the rudiments of the piano if you enforce the Seven Rules of Conventional Piano Lessons:
- Kids cannot be themselves.
- The child cannot talk.
- No Laughing.
- Submit to an atmosphere of absolute attention and obedience.
- The child is subject to guilt if they do not follow the practice plan assigned to them.
- The Teacher sets the pace of the lesson. If the child falls behind, guilt is the result.
- Repetition alone is responsible for any progress the child may make.
However, a child taught using these common rules will quit long before even the fastest teacher can present the requisite concepts and get the child to master them.
Let Kids Be Kids
I know of many piano teachers who boast of high percentages of proficient seven and ten year old piano students. I’ve heard these students play the standard competitive recital pieces to death, without joy. Every once in a long while, one child stands out and plays with passion.
One “law” of the piano lesson business has never changed: A child who plays well would have done so regardless of the method or teacher. Taking credit for a good piano student is like taking credit for the beauty of a tree. It’s beautiful without you. All you can do is water it and prevent its destruction.
Too Much Discipline Creates Animosity
Of the many exceptional child pianists, there are those that are happy with their piano lesson experience and those that are not. For every proficient child that really enjoys their gift, there are ten who hate the piano and are resentful for all the hours they were forced to practice. That is a fact.
So the benchmark is a proficient child pianist that is happy with playing, not just a proficient child pianist forced to perform. Because so many of these proficient children hate the piano, that proficiency is no mark of any distinction in the real world of the piano. You have to play AND love it.
How Do We Nurture Them?
Approach lesson pacing in terms of what is visibly comfortable to the child. You may want to teach them fingering in one day if you think they are capable of it. Then, creatively repeat the skill until they demonstrate boredom with the concept. Only then will that skill be available for later use, or be able to be used in combination with another skill. The most important skill to learn first at the piano is to WANT to play the piano.
(This title comes in two versions: Printed $19.95, and eBook $9.95)
COURSE ONE: TEACHING TOOLS
COURSE TWO: TEACHING BACKGROUND
COURSE THREE: PIANO GAMES