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#2022561 - 01/28/13 01:48 AM Being forced to play piano.
Debbusyist Offline
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Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Well, this isn't about me (<3 piano for life) but regards my youunger sister. My parents believe that my sister should also play piano (or at least know how to) as it builds character in the form of patience and diligence (according to them). However...my lil sis absolutely hates playing piano. She finds the entire process of having to learn all the notes, get dynamics right, get touching and phrasing right, etc. a hard and boring routine. She simply hates piano (and is slightly annoyed at me for wanting to play piano of my own accord. :\).
So do you think she should continue? She's been pianoing for 4 years, always angry at the piano and always happy when she gets an A in her exams. I don't know what to do or how to help.
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

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#2022577 - 01/28/13 02:14 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
personne Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/24/12
Posts: 123
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I have an acquaintance who was forced to play piano by her parents.
She says she closed the piano lid and never opened it again as soon as she completed all exams - and years later has absolutely no passion for it.
So I guess someone can be forced to learn piano, but cannot be forced to play it smile
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#2022580 - 01/28/13 02:25 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1317
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
I'm not sure why you would be involved in this issue. Isn't this something between your sister and your parents? And realistically, isn't this something between your sister and just one parent? (Is your sister 8yo, or 18yo, or 28yo?)

In any case, it might be a good idea, if she continues, that she has a different teacher than her brother has, to avoid some of these dramas.

Do your parents play any instruments themselves, or sing?



Edited by Peter K. Mose (01/28/13 02:28 AM)

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#2022581 - 01/28/13 02:25 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: personne]
Debbusyist Offline
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Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: personne
I have an acquaintance who was forced to play piano by her parents.
She says she closed the piano lid and never opened it again as soon as she completed all exams - and years later has absolutely no passion for it.
So I guess someone can be forced to learn piano, but cannot be forced to play it smile


OH dear. I think that's what will happen to my sister. Did she ever complain about it?
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

Top
#2022582 - 01/28/13 02:25 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
No, she shouldn't carry on... Absolutely not!

I was kinda forced into piano lessons since I couldn't find the right teacher (I've changed half a dozen teachers over my studies of piano), but I never stopped caring for the piano and music itself, so it's hugely different!
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#2022588 - 01/28/13 02:34 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Nikolas]
Debbusyist Offline
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Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
No, she shouldn't carry on... Absolutely not!

I was kinda forced into piano lessons since I couldn't find the right teacher (I've changed half a dozen teachers over my studies of piano), but I never stopped caring for the piano and music itself, so it's hugely different!


But...how would you convince the parents? frown
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

Top
#2022590 - 01/28/13 02:41 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Debbusyist Offline
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Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: Peter K. Mose


Well, I'm involved as sometimes I'm asked to help my lil sis by my parents. :\ however these sessions don't go well as she never listens to me and the rare times when she does listen, she actually improves quite a lot.
Both parents are trying to help and encourage her to learn, as they never got the chance to learn (:\ typical asian parents. Always wanting their children to do what they wanted to but never got to do. Me and my family are asian btw, so no racial offense intended.) My sister is 9yo and does have a different teacher (the teacher is one of my past teachers).


Edited by Debbusyist (01/28/13 02:42 AM)
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

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#2022592 - 01/28/13 02:46 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: Debbusyist
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
No, she shouldn't carry on... Absolutely not!

I was kinda forced into piano lessons since I couldn't find the right teacher (I've changed half a dozen teachers over my studies of piano), but I never stopped caring for the piano and music itself, so it's hugely different!


But...how would you convince the parents? frown
I really don't know... I'm a professional musician, yet I've never put pressure to my kids to play the piano, or study music. The old one just does and is having great fun... :-/

Though, I think that some study subjects are not the same as others... Give them an example: Tell them that fox hunting (!!!!) is a great sport, since it combines being on a horse, sporting and regulating the fox population, being agile, being good with guns, having plenty of dogs... It's brilliant actually, since you probably will be spending time with Prince Harry in the UK! grin.

No, really, though, point is that if they think that piano/music is good for her, despite her complains, offer them other ideas, to show that even if THEY think is good for their kids, it doesn't necessarily mean it's good for her.

and remember, we're not talking about math, or spelling/dictation/social studies... We're talking about something that could be a hobby for lots of people, etc...
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#2022595 - 01/28/13 02:55 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Nikolas]
Debbusyist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Originally Posted By: Debbusyist
Originally Posted By: Nikolas



haha, fox hunting indeed. laugh

I think that's where parents who don't play instruments go wrong - they see music as maths, english, science, etc.

Should I ask my piano teacher what to do? (of course, I'd be asking it as though I didn't have much connections. Or should I just not be involved? 'shrug' I love my sister though.
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

Top
#2022601 - 01/28/13 03:07 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Nikolas Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 5221
Loc: Europe
Wait... you never got back to us about this: How old is your sister? I mean I'm guessing that when she reaches the age of 13+ (15?!??!) she will have her way no matter what. I mean up to a certain age, parents tend to disregard the kids wishes, but every month/year the kids earn their ground...
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#2022603 - 01/28/13 03:15 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
What an cruel indictment ... “my lil sis absolutely hates playing piano”
and the goodly parents make the poor child grind away at lessons for 4 years!! ...
“as it builds character in the form of patience and diligence”... what utter rot! ...
a guarantee for the child hating the piano for life!
As Piano Teacher, I can’t think of a worse torture than being forced to take lessons ... perhaps the Spanish Inquisition conspired more murderous torments for body and soul.

My heartfelt recommendation is to persuade the old folks to free the shackles on baby sister ... and let her expand her personal talents in the Wonder-World out there. Unlike yourself Debussyist, she is not cut out to play the piano and will probably later qualify as an astrophysicist or win the Nobel prize for literature ... who knows?

But talking of your own bread-and-butter list of keyboard studies ... I’ve made a few comments ... sadly not at all encouraging ... what gives me the jimjams
is how any Piano Teacher can present such a dull list (except for the Chopin 15/2)

Bach Prelude and Fugue in G minor (BkI)
As mournful as the preceding piece is gay.
Beethoven Opus 2, no. 1
LB in his infancy ... a dull work dedicated to his mentor Haydn ...
the great man has not as yet thrown off the shackles of Haydn and Mozart ...
only by Opus 13 does Beethoven show his true masterly colours.

Debussy Prelude 1 from Book II Brouillards
Doesn’t get a mention in my reference book ... the puzzle is how could you miss out
on the master piece La fille aux cheveux de lin (The Girl with the Flaxen Hair)

Messiaen Regards no. 2
I’m not big on Messiaen ... so will duck any comment (see later)
Chopin Nocturne in F# major Opus 15/2
This is a simplistic lyrical Larghetto work by Chopin which every aspiring young pianist gets under the belt ... the opening single-note outline and first introduction to block
chords provide a delightful slow-moving dip at the magic of Chopin.

Postscript
Subsequently listening to a slim Asian girl play Messiaen’s
Vingt Regards sur l’Enfant-Jesus No. 2 ... the piece
clearly searches the sonority of the Grand Piano in typical
Catholic faith Messiaen jagged jumps ... a bit harsh for my ears ... but my main concern, giving top marks to the spectacled pianist, under close scrutiny of grey-haired Asian judges, was please give a thought to fattening up the skinny young pianist.







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#2022606 - 01/28/13 03:30 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Nikolas]
Debbusyist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: Nikolas


She's 9 as of october. However, she's already getting quite an attitude.
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

Top
#2022616 - 01/28/13 03:59 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: btb]
Debbusyist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: btb


Thank you for the critique on my Amus pieces, but I don't really have much choice in the pieces (AMEB syllabus dictates what I can and can't play for Amus. >< However, I could play some of the harder pieces in the list, but 3rd time trying amus, I have to pass. :< Personal enjoyment of the pieces will come soon. ) What do you think of Brahms Ballade 3 op10? I forgot to change my sig.

------------------------------------------------------------
Back to the issue. Have you ever had a student grind past the bottleneck (place where things start getting hard)? Generally after that bottle neck, things get a lot easier. When I was my sister's age I didn't really like piano either (albeit I endured practice with more patience), but I'm hoping that she'll be able to get past this 'bottleneck'.
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

Top
#2022671 - 01/28/13 07:51 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11440
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Does she have any interest in studying a different instrument? I agree it's not for you to get involved in, but since your parents are putting you in the middle, you might as well offer them your "professional" opinion as the pianist of the household. If she has an interest in another instrument, perhaps she will agree to study that for at least X number of years. Benefits that you get from piano playing you can also get from studying other instruments, and if she doesn't love it then it's actually torture to make her do it.

I presume her teacher has tried to help her by finding music that she loves and trying to play that on the piano? If not, perhaps your sister can talk to her piano teacher about how she feels and ask if there's something she can do to make it more interesting to her.

The point is, not everyone is going to love piano (I know, it seems really odd to me) and no matter what you can't make someone love something, or even like it. Just because you're good at it doesn't mean anything. Personally, I would say let her quit piano and see if she ever returns to it. It is possible it's hard for her to like it because she's forced into doing it and when she finally has freedom to choose, she may return to it. Or perhaps she really does hate it and will never go back.


Edited by Morodiene (01/28/13 07:53 AM)
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#2022696 - 01/28/13 08:37 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 540
I've heard of so many such parents. It's not easy for them to change their mind because they are not willing to be open-minded. Maybe you could talk with them about letting your sister pick a different instrument, or maybe even pick a different (non-music) activity which she will promise to do seriously. Maybe buy your parents a book or two about how to bring up musical kids, which should usually have sections about not forcing the child, building interest, choosing the right instrument, etc. But I don't understand this piano playing builds patience and diligence idea. I think the study of any subject, if one wants to do well, builds patience and diligence.

But I'm not optimistic about you being able to change your parents mind, to be honest. Another thing to try is to support your sister, try to help her make the practice fun, pace it so that the practice is more tolerable. Maybe talk to the teacher (if the teacher is not of the same mentality as your parents) and see if the teacher can help your parents see how meaningless it is to force art on someone.

I understand the stubbornness of parents who force music lessons on their kids and I truly think that most of them have the best intentions for the kids. But it's too bad that their lack of music education themselves makes it very hard for them to accept other, less traumatic approaches.

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#2022724 - 01/28/13 09:39 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Peter K. Mose Offline
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Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1317
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
If you want to meddle/intercede, suggest to your folks that it is now time for your sister to move to another instrument, one of her own choosing. She has had 4 years of solid grounding in piano, and that's a lot. Tell them she needs to get out of your large shadow as a pianist, that this is hurting her psychologically.

Ask your parents to please recall each of their own sibling rivalries of childhood.

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#2022730 - 01/28/13 09:54 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Forstergirl Offline
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Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 57
Loc: Ontario
Perhaps she would like to sing?

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#2022851 - 01/28/13 01:42 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Morodiene]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5422
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
The point is, not everyone is going to love piano (I know, it seems really odd to me) and no matter what you can't make someone love something, or even like it.

Some parents, driven by their own childhood deprivation of piano lessons, might be too tunnel-visioned to comprehend the points you've made.
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Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2022895 - 01/28/13 02:57 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Chris H. Offline
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2846
Loc: UK.
Is she any good at it?

What sort of things is she playing?
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2022948 - 01/28/13 04:19 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Chris H.]
TimR Online   content
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Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3165
Loc: Virginia, USA
I told my kids they had to do two years of music, any kind of music, that it was a mandatory skill just like math or reading.

The older one made it through one year of piano lessons then bargained to drop piano and join the track team. The younger one made it through one year of band, then made a deal to drop band for chorus, and then the school cancelled chorus after her schedule was fixed.

The kids were smarter than Daddy, which isn't hard.

Although, I still think I was right. <g>

Years later the older one started subbing in a handbell choir - doesn't have to her notes, still reads music and counts better than the experienced ringers. The younger one now has performed in musicals, writes her own songs, and plays ukulele. Enough of that one year stuck to make a difference.
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gotta go practice

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#2022953 - 01/28/13 04:28 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
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Registered: 12/11/07
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Originally Posted By: TimR
I told my kids they had to do two years of music, any kind of music, that it was a mandatory skill just like math or reading.

The older one made it through one year of piano lessons then bargained to drop piano and join the track team. The younger one made it through one year of band, then made a deal to drop band for chorus, and then the school cancelled chorus after her schedule was fixed.

The kids were smarter than Daddy, which isn't hard.

Although, I still think I was right. <g>

Years later the older one started subbing in a handbell choir - doesn't have to her notes, still reads music and counts better than the experienced ringers. The younger one now has performed in musicals, writes her own songs, and plays ukulele. Enough of that one year stuck to make a difference.

You cannot know whether such choices created the outcome, or if outcomes happen despite choices.

One of my kids started an instrument, then asked to wait until later, so we did. He started again two years later, got top marks in music at a special high school, and then entered music in university. So you forced your kids for two years. I gave my kids total freedom. Does it prove anything?

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#2022961 - 01/28/13 04:47 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: keystring]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3165
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: TimR
I told my kids they had to do two years of music, any kind of music, that it was a mandatory skill just like math or reading.

The older one made it through one year of piano lessons then bargained to drop piano and join the track team. The younger one made it through one year of band, then made a deal to drop band for chorus, and then the school cancelled chorus after her schedule was fixed.

The kids were smarter than Daddy, which isn't hard.

Although, I still think I was right. <g>

Years later the older one started subbing in a handbell choir - doesn't have to her notes, still reads music and counts better than the experienced ringers. The younger one now has performed in musicals, writes her own songs, and plays ukulele. Enough of that one year stuck to make a difference.

So you forced your kids for two years. I gave my kids total freedom. Does it prove anything?


I attempted to force my kids, it didn't work. Hee, hee.

However, music is so difficult to pick up late in life, if given no early exposure, that I still think it made sense to treat it as just another academic subject. But not to make them work it forever.

Did you give your kids total freedom when it came to math?
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gotta go practice

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#2022962 - 01/28/13 04:49 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11575
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: TimR


Did you give your kids total freedom when it came to math?

We homeschooled. laugh
They both knew that people use math. in life, and they wanted to learn math. Young children emulate adults. Their morning subjects revolved around the three R's and this was mandatory, but there was a lot of freedom within that. When they entered high school they did more than what they were asked, and were able to weigh their decisions because they were used to make decisions. This also had positive results in adulthood.

Since you asked. smile

There are no "superior choices".


Edited by keystring (01/28/13 06:01 PM)

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#2022971 - 01/28/13 04:59 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: TimR]
The Monkeys Offline
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Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 422
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: TimR
The younger one now has performed in musicals, writes her own songs, and plays ukulele. Enough of that one year stuck to make a difference.


What year is it? Year 7?

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#2022973 - 01/28/13 05:01 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: TimR]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 540
Originally Posted By: TimR


Did you give your kids total freedom when it came to math?


I always assumed that all public schools have to offer music as part of the curriculum. At least in the schools that my kids go to, musical instrument is required for two years. So there you go. Parents don't need to force private lessons on kids, and parents don't need to give kids total freedom on math in order to justify giving kids total freedom on private music lessons.

It's really, really difficult to determine the causality of parenting decisions and the kids' outcome.

I love music, and fortunately my kids love music. So there is no conflict. But I have always been ready to let my kids quit lessons if they want to. There really are lots of worthwhile activities for kids.

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#2022978 - 01/28/13 05:03 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 471
I wouldn't force my daughter but...
a just turned 9 year old with a bratty attitude who has played since she was 4ish who gets good results on exams and is proud of her "grades" but appears to have no pride in her efforts, is a little too immature to decide she doesn't want to take piano.

As her big sib, it might be better to tell her to suck it up, try to get pleasure out of it (play popular music as well), and enjoy her progress and the process and appreciate the expense mom and dad are taking on to maintain an instrument and afford a teacher.

Bad attitudes and whining don't work for me. Those are character issues and yes, piano and guidance from mom and dad and older siblings might help!

(I am just a mom, not a teacher fwiw)

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#2022987 - 01/28/13 05:23 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: MaggieGirl]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2846
Loc: UK.
MaggieGirl, that's exactly what I was thinking.

A 9 year old really isn't mature enough to make the decision about what they should or shouldn't study.

I also think there is a world of difference between a 9 year old who has played for years, got nowhere and shows no interest or aptitude and one who is talented and plays to a reasonable standard but doesn't like it because the parents turn it into a battle.

It's not enough to tell children they must study piano because it will be good for them academically. The best way to help them is to show an interest, support and encourage them. If they think that music is important and enjoyable to you then it's more likely to work for them. And even then some will still dig their heels in. Then it's up to the adults to decide if it's all worth it.

I would suggest the parents have this conversation with the teacher.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2022990 - 01/28/13 05:31 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: MaggieGirl]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
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Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl

a just turned 9 year old with a bratty attitude

Do you know this child?

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#2022991 - 01/28/13 05:33 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: keystring]
The Monkeys Offline
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Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 422
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: MaggieGirl

a just turned 9 year old with a bratty attitude

Do you know this child?


From the OP:

Originally Posted By: Debbusyist

She's 9 as of october. However, she's already getting quite an attitude.

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#2022995 - 01/28/13 05:36 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11575
Loc: Canada
An older brother is talking about his little sister. None of us knows this child.

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#2022998 - 01/28/13 05:40 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: keystring]
The Monkeys Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/12
Posts: 422
Loc: Vancouver BC
Originally Posted By: keystring
An older brother is talking about his little sister. None of us knows this child.


So you mean no body here should be giving opinions?

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#2023005 - 01/28/13 05:57 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
pianomouse Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/12
Posts: 88
Loc: Europe
If this was my student, I would talk to the parents. The suggestion to choose another instrument is right. There has been a lot of research concerning the way how children choose their instrument. Not everyone feels attracted to every instrument. For example, I never looked at anything else than piano, but my two younger sisters would never have wanted to choose it. For both of them, it was only the violin and nothing else. According to the studies, the choice of instrument depends on the sound, the way it's played and hold, etc.

If your sister goes on with the piano, she might very soon stop it anyway and then have lost any interest at all for music.

Don't let us forget that music should be made because it's something we love. Learning an instrument should be most of all based on a deep love for music. If she is so struggling with the piano, there's certainly no space for the love of music. Instead, the struggle stands first and will, even after she may have stopped, be the only thing she remembers about her experiences with music.

I think that your sister at the age of nine is old enough to stand up by herself to her parents. I suggest she first talks to her teacher, tells him/her how she feels. Maybe her teacher can help her pick another instrument she could love so much that learning it wouldn't be such a struggle. Also, the teacher should talk to the parents. She/he is the expert here and hopefully your parents will listen to her/him.

PS: I forgot to say: Playing no instrument at all is okay, too. Isn't it most important that she does something she truly loves? This could be any kind of sports, dancing,... or fotography, or writing, or whatever.....
_________________________
The piano keys are black and white,
But they sound like a million colours in your mind.
(Katie Melua)

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#2023008 - 01/28/13 06:15 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2846
Loc: UK.
I would agree that none of us know this girl so can't possibly say what the right thing to do is. That decision lies with the parents.

About children choosing the instrument. I work in a small school where children regularly switch from one instrument to another at a whim. They get nowhere on any of them because their parents think its enough to let them choose what they want to do and how much (or little) they want to practice.

When I was 9 I nearly gave up several times. I was playing difficult music for a 9 year old and it was time consuming. My parents thankfully wouldn't let me quit because they knew it was something I was good at and would use and enjoy later in life. I'm grateful for being 'forced' to continue.

And now I teach lots of 9 year olds facing the same decision. Some of them should be allowed to quit and some shouldn't, it depends on the circumstances.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2023028 - 01/28/13 07:34 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11575
Loc: Canada
This child has been taking piano lessons for 4 years.

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#2023032 - 01/28/13 07:40 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Sometimes we don't like something because our life is out of balance. Too much of anything is no good. I have never ever heard anyone who gave up playing the piano ever saying they were glad they quit playing the piano. On the contrary, 99.9999999 percent of the people who quit, regret it for the rest of their life.

It is interesting that people don't usually say why they quit.

In our lifetime, we receive gifts, some people just don't care about that.

Your sister has the gift of a piano to play, someone paying her lessons. Most of the world would love to be in her
position.



Edited by Michael_99 (01/28/13 07:40 PM)

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#2023061 - 01/28/13 08:26 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Chris H.]
Debbusyist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: Chris H.
Is she any good at it?

What sort of things is she playing?


Currently she's playing AMEB Fifth grade pieces. She likes the pieces, but she simply doesn't enjoy practicing them, and she gets irritated at herself when she plays some notes incorrectly. TBH, I think she's progressing well (I was 10 when I did my AMEB 3rd grade. >,<). I'll discuss the matter with my parents and my sister. Ty for your opinion.

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
Does she have any interest in studying a different instrument? I agree it's not for you to get involved in,...
Originally Posted By: Morodiene
...and if she doesn't love it then it's actually torture to make her do it.

Originally Posted By: Fostergirl
Perhaps she would like to sing?

Originally Posted By: pianomouse
PS: I forgot to say: Playing no instrument at all is okay, too. Isn't it most important that she does something she truly loves? This could be any kind of sports, dancing,... or fotography, or writing, or whatever.....


In answer to these questions, there is something she likes, which I'm really hoping she'll take up seriously - Art. Right now, we're both taking art lessons as our mother saw that lil sis loves drawing (my . The art lessons are fun, which I believe makes the difference between her liking piano and art.

Originally Posted By: Michael 99
What you've said is absolutely true. If I had quit piano when I was 9, I would've regretted it so much. My parents think that if she continues, she might end up like me and enjoy piano.

Originally Posted By: childofparadise2002
But I'm not optimistic about you being able to change your parents mind, to be honest. Another thing to try is to support your sister, try to help her make the practice fun, pace it so that the practice is more tolerable. Maybe talk to the teacher (if the teacher is not of the same mentality as your parents) and see if the teacher can help your parents see how meaningless it is to force art on someone.

Originally Posted By: AZNpiano

Some parents, driven by their own childhood deprivation of piano lessons, might be too tunnel-visioned to comprehend the points you've made.

Originally Posted By: Morodiene
The point is, not everyone is going to love piano (I know, it seems really odd to me) and no matter what you can't make someone love something, or even like it. Just because you're good at it doesn't mean anything. Personally, I would say let her quit piano and see if she ever returns to it. It is possible it's hard for her to like it because she's forced into doing it and when she finally has freedom to choose, she may return to it. Or perhaps she really does hate it and will never go back.

Trying to convince my parents is like trying to build Rome in a day. I need to take a long time to convince them, as AZNpiano sad, they are quite tunnel-visioned about her taking lessons and becoming what they could never become. Giving her freedom to play piano would never happen, as they believe that constant practice reaps results. -.-

Thank you all for your opinions, they were very helpful. Might I add one more point, which although small, is a major factor in her being unable to enjoy piano and subsequently forced to practice - My little sister is afraid of difficulty and having to work very hard.

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#2023069 - 01/28/13 08:44 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Michael_99]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7311
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Originally Posted By: Michael_99
I have never ever heard anyone who gave up playing the piano ever saying they were glad they quit playing the piano. On the contrary, 99.9999999 percent of the people who quit, regret it for the rest of their life.

It is interesting that people don't usually say why they quit.

In our lifetime, we receive gifts, some people just don't care about that.

Your sister has the gift of a piano to play, someone paying her lessons. Most of the world would love to be in her
position.

I've been reading this thread with a bit of amusement. Of course, the old proverb, there is nothing new under the sun, applies. We've had this thread before, with similar answers. But what got me chuckling is that yesterday, I ran into yet one more adult who, upon learning I teach piano, stated in no uncertain terms: I wish my parents hadn't let me quit. I wish they would have forced me to practice (more). What teacher hasn't heard this a thousand times a thousand in their lifetime?
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2023082 - 01/28/13 09:05 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: John v.d.Brook]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5422
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: John v.d.Brook
I wish my parents hadn't let me quit. I wish they would have forced me to practice (more). What teacher hasn't heard this a thousand times a thousand in their lifetime?

I hear that a lot. Good and bad. Some parents are definitely trying to live vicariously through their kids.
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2023129 - 01/28/13 10:50 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
childofparadise2002 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 540
"I wish I worked harder" ... We all have perfect hindsight! Many people in this world wish they have the will power to work harder and be really good at something, but in reality very few are really willing to put in the effort when the opportunity presents. So I wouldn't take this too seriously...

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#2023147 - 01/28/13 11:41 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: childofparadise2002]
Debbusyist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: childofparadise2002
"I wish I worked harder" ... We all have perfect hindsight! Many people in this world wish they have the will power to work harder and be really good at something, but in reality very few are really willing to put in the effort when the opportunity presents. So I wouldn't take this too seriously...


Thanks for the reply. I think that she was just PMSing and being a drama queen that day when I made the thread. Right now, she's fine and dandy with practicing.
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

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#2023157 - 01/29/13 12:21 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
MaggieGirl Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/18/11
Posts: 471
It is such a gift to LEARN how to work through things that are difficult. When my daughter is frustrated with piano, she talks to her older brother and he re-phrases what she is trying to do and once the frustration level edges lower, she is more open to learning.

I think there are cycles too - when things are easy and come easily, when you have a minor roadblock, it can feel major (so they want to quit).

Just an idea, but maybe if you played some things together it might make piano more fun again.

And pretty much every kid has bratty moments. For girls though 9 is a "stage" that is hard.

Keep encouraging her to tackle things that are hard. By middle school many girls give up on things that are difficult - math, science, sports. with support at home, they are more apt to stick with it.

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#2023197 - 01/29/13 02:10 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
Sorry to croak again chaps ...
but in view of Debussyist not making much piano progress, muddling through keyboard studies of truly dusty value, and feeling the draught of unbending Asian parents ...

My advice is
1. Cut the bogus chatter about the younger sister
2. Send the parents away to visit distant relations
3. Go outside and smell the roses
4. Read a good book about Debussy (my favourite)
5. Once refreshed take a new look at a masterpiece
Chopin Nocturne in F# major op15 no2
(changed due to my technical inadequacy)

We are all here to provide assistance ... just mention
any one of your keyboard studies, and just where the
hangup lies ... and quick as a flash the cavalry will save the day.

PS Even Beethoven’s first sonata Opus 2/1 can be approached
with a constructive eye ... being of solid proportions .

What busts my gut are those buzzing insectivorous stings as at measure 1... a clue as to the influence of his mentor Papa Haydn ... but it’s not long before Beethoven starts building a repetitious small chord layout in the LH supporting a broad octave chord Theme in the RH ... as earlier said, the 2/1 series of sonatas were dedicated to Haydn.







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#2023324 - 01/29/13 08:37 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 11440
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: Debbusyist
Originally Posted By: childofparadise2002
"I wish I worked harder" ... We all have perfect hindsight! Many people in this world wish they have the will power to work harder and be really good at something, but in reality very few are really willing to put in the effort when the opportunity presents. So I wouldn't take this too seriously...


Thanks for the reply. I think that she was just PMSing and being a drama queen that day when I made the thread. Right now, she's fine and dandy with practicing.


PMSing?? At the age of 9??
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

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#2023331 - 01/29/13 08:49 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
pianomouse Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/12
Posts: 88
Loc: Europe
Morodiene, the same question crossed my mind...

Also, where's the teacher in all of this? He/she has spent four years of single lessons with the girl... don't they talk? The girl might want to play completely different music, have fun lessons...
Why does she have to pass exams?
Would a change of teacher help?
_________________________
The piano keys are black and white,
But they sound like a million colours in your mind.
(Katie Melua)

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#2023354 - 01/29/13 09:44 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2846
Loc: UK.
The need to pass exams usually comes from the parents.

However there is nothing to say that studying music for graded exams can't be fun and in my experience offering the choice of alternative music rarely makes any difference. Most music which sounds good and is enjoyable to play is also difficult to learn in the first place. If you dumb things down it doesn't become more stimulating.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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#2023572 - 01/29/13 05:38 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Morodiene]
Debbusyist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: Morodiene


PMSing?? At the age of 9??


lol not literally.
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

Top
#2023576 - 01/29/13 05:43 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: pianomouse]
Debbusyist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/10/12
Posts: 208
Loc: I'm standing upside down...
Originally Posted By: pianomouse
Morodiene, the same question crossed my mind...

Also, where's the teacher in all of this? He/she has spent four years of single lessons with the girl... don't they talk? The girl might want to play completely different music, have fun lessons...
Why does she have to pass exams?
Would a change of teacher help?


Right now, the teacher is going to give her supplementary lessons, adue to the teacher's observation that while my sister knows how to play the pieces, she doesn't take the time to perfect it. These supplementary lessons are to help her to makes those perfections eg. Dynamics, phrasing, touching, etc.
_________________________
HSC pieces:
Shostakovich Piano Concerto op 102. movement 1
Chopin 'Winter Wind' Etude
Slowly adding more on...

Top
#2023581 - 01/29/13 05:53 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
AZNpiano Online   sleepy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5422
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: Debbusyist
Right now, the teacher is going to give her supplementary lessons

I've offered that to several of my students in the past. No takers. Some parents think one 30-minute lesson per week is sufficient for Level 5. Ha!
_________________________
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

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#2023665 - 01/29/13 08:52 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: keystring]
TimR Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3165
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: TimR


Did you give your kids total freedom when it came to math?

We homeschooled. laugh
They both knew that people use math. in life, and they wanted to learn math.

Since you asked. smile


Children have a natural drive to explore some interests and will devote a huge amount of time to them. (I think this is true of most of them, anyway) This is by far the best motivation. All you have to do is get out of the way, and support their efforts.

I believe, and you are free to disagree with me, that there also exist some necessary skills that the same children will not be interested in, and that it is our job as parents to make some of those decisions for them. I required my children to take four years of math in high school. Neither of them would have done that on their own. Had they not done that, they would have disqualified themselves from 90% of today's careers. They might never have wanted those careers - and in fact neither child went on to a technical education - but they had a choice they otherwise would not have had. Similarly I required an exposure to music lessons in middle school. They dropped them later, but retained enough of the language to have some options to explore later in that realm as well.

I would also point out that peer pressure is hugely effective, and I've been impressed in the local high school that some of the talented music students were as popular as the athletes of my day. We are making some progress.

Quote:
There are no "superior choices".


No........but maybe too much specialization at an early age is not prudent? I like the well rounded student model, maybe I'm old fashioned.
_________________________
gotta go practice

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#2023675 - 01/29/13 09:10 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: TimR]
John v.d.Brook Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/18/06
Posts: 7311
Loc: Olympia, Washington, USA
Tim, you're my kind of parent! Thanks from which ever teacher your children had.
_________________________
"Those who dare to teach must never cease to learn." -- Richard Henry Dann
Full-time Private Piano Teacher offering Piano Lessons in Olympia, WA. www.mypianoteacher.com
Certified by the American College of Musicians; member NGPT, MTNA, WSMTA, OMTA

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#2023711 - 01/29/13 10:31 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: TimR]
keystring Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 11575
Loc: Canada
TimR, the things you describe is not the kind of parenting I was talking about, and the behaviours you describe are not the ones that are the result. Just because you see good results in what you do, does not mean that those of us who did differently will get bad results - or the ones you describe. You talk about specialization --- when did I ever recommend early specialization? If we as a group are open minded about different possibilities, maybe there could be some benefit to that. I'm sorry that I mentioned anything.

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#2024145 - 01/30/13 04:17 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
musiclady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 431
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Here to receive the final diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music Toronto for orchestral instruments you have to complete Level 6 Piano for the Performer's certificate and Level 8 for the Teaching one. And in a few years, teaching an instrument and/or accompanying can make far better money for a teen than say, flipping burgers. :-) And it's good to keep the options open, plus here most universities will exempt you from piano skills classes if you have say, Level 4-6 RCM. But definitely encourage study of a different instrument and popular repertoire.

Meri
_________________________
Clarinet and Piano Teacher based out of Toronto, Canada.Web: http://donmillsmusicstudio.weebly.com

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#2024213 - 01/30/13 06:28 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1779
Loc: Pennsylvania
If I were the parent that was "driving" this whole thing. I would change my approach to this.

I would explain, as best you can to a 9 year old, that my wishing for her to become somewhat skilled at playing piano is based on things she knows nothing about yet but when she does know, it may be too late to achieve it.

So, I would bargain with her.

I would arrange to have an instructor who will cooperate with me and create some sort of incentive track for my daughter whereas she gets to take a long vacation (2 months) off from piano after she is able to reach a defined level of skill ... who knows how that will be judged ... but it must be reachable in 2 - 4 months.

If you have the right relationship with your daughter, I think this could work. You cannot jam it down her throat. This is just one option. But I would be reluctant to just let her quit. You only have about 6 or 7 years left to get her to a place where she might just start enjoying it and then she will take off on her own.

Or ...NOT
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#2024218 - 01/30/13 06:39 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: keystring]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1779
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: keystring
Originally Posted By: TimR
I told my kids they had to do two years of music, any kind of music, that it was a mandatory skill just like math or reading.

The older one made it through one year of piano lessons then bargained to drop piano and join the track team. The younger one made it through one year of band, then made a deal to drop band for chorus, and then the school cancelled chorus after her schedule was fixed.

The kids were smarter than Daddy, which isn't hard.

Although, I still think I was right. <g>

Years later the older one started subbing in a handbell choir - doesn't have to her notes, still reads music and counts better than the experienced ringers. The younger one now has performed in musicals, writes her own songs, and plays ukulele. Enough of that one year stuck to make a difference.

You cannot know whether such choices created the outcome, or if outcomes happen despite choices.

One of my kids started an instrument, then asked to wait until later, so we did. He started again two years later, got top marks in music at a special high school, and then entered music in university. So you forced your kids for two years. I gave my kids total freedom. Does it prove anything?


Absolutely agree. Those are anecdotal examples. They prove nothing. I do believe, however, that the more you interact with your children and give them the sense that what they "think" matters, the more likely your children will grow up to make good decisions. That is as I said, what I believe. Even that may not be true ... just a sense.

The main thing is that they grow up with good values and learn to make good decisions. Giving them a say in things, I think, helps foster that.
_________________________
Don

My current system: Kawai ES7 + Focal CMS40 Powered Monitors, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio interface, Mackie ProFX8 Mixer, Ravenscroft275, True Keys American Grand, Ivory II American Concert D, Steinway Basic, Galaxy Vintage D, True Pianos, Pianoteq, Alicia's Keys

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#2024358 - 01/30/13 11:54 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Jonathan Baker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 281
Loc: New York City!
Originally Posted By: Debbusyist

So do you think she should continue? She's been pianoing for 4 years, always angry at the piano and always happy when she gets an A in her exams. I don't know what to do or how to help.


Before quitting I would suggest your parents find another piano teacher and definitely drop the AMEB curriculum in favor of some other repertoire selections. If the teacher is fixated on the AMEB series it is for the teacher's lazy decision making, not your sister's musical engagement with enthusiasm. In other words, give it another shot from a completely different perspective.

Your sister should have far more options in the selection of the music she learns. As it is, she is on someone else's assembly line, and who would want that?

And if music is such a high priority with your parents, why must it only be the piano? Perhaps your sister would have more fun belonging to a quality youth choir.
_________________________
Jonathan Baker
http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com/index.htm

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#2024604 - 01/31/13 11:44 AM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Debbusyist]
Peter K. Mose Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/06/12
Posts: 1317
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Great post, Jonathan. Why aren't you writing here more often?

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#2024634 - 01/31/13 12:45 PM Re: Being forced to play piano. [Re: Peter K. Mose]
Jonathan Baker Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/09/09
Posts: 281
Loc: New York City!
Thank you, Peter. I will try to drop in more often.
_________________________
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http://www.BakerPianoLessons.com/index.htm

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