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#2052630 - 03/22/13 05:29 PM For those that quit piano lessons as a child
Gatsbee13 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 491
Loc: So Cal
This is a question for those that took piano lessons as a child for a good amount of time (beyond 1 year) and quit.. My question is: Do you wish your parents would have made you stick with it for longer or perhaps you had some autonomy in continuing for a longer time (it was your choice)?

Just curious as im wondering if it could have changed my life for the positive (or even negative) if I had stayed with it longer. I started when I was 9 and took lessons for about 3 years and quit.

As an adult, I now appreciate the value of playing a musical instrument (particularly, the piano). I think it builds a good work ethic ( to be able to sit for hours of practice). Not to mention it can relieve stress, be fun, improve concentration, and many other benefits.

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#2052633 - 03/22/13 05:38 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
outo Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/12
Posts: 528
Loc: Finland
I swiched to another instrument (and then again to another), partly because I felt I wasn't good enough with the piano. I do now believe it would have been better to continue with piano lessons, since I now understand that no other instrument fascinates me the same way, but it was my choice. It took 30+ years to realize that I need to learn the piano, even if I still am not good enough. The idea of my parents forcing me to take lessons is just too absurd to consider smile

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#2052637 - 03/22/13 05:43 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
Gatsbee13 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/03/10
Posts: 491
Loc: So Cal
its a debatable subject: whether forcing ones child to play an instrument will help them succeed at playing and be successful in general. however i have met quite a few people whose parents made them play and they turned out to be fine players.. but i don't want to get too much into that..

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#2052647 - 03/22/13 06:05 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4832
I didn't quit, but my brother and older sister quit after three years, and my youngest sister (who had the greatest musical aptitude of any of us children) quit after five years - soon after I left home to go abroad to a boarding school.

None of them regretted it. And unfortunately, I believe the simple reason was that none of them were interested in classical music. At first, my youngest sister was, when I was still at home - at the age of three, she listened to Schumann's Fantasy in C once all the way through on my Walkman, and then, when I played it a few weeks later on the piano, instantly recognized it. But she lost interest after I left home, because there was no longer anyone playing or listening to classical music, and pop music (which she gravitated towards, because all her friends listened to it) didn't sound interesting on the piano.

My cousins - who I have to thank for 'inspiring' my parents to buy a piano and starting me on lessons - were constantly encouraged/pushed by their father, who was into classical music (he recorded his entire Beethoven Piano Sonatas LP set - played by Wilhelm Backhaus - and Beethoven Symphonies/Klemperer onto cassette tape for me to listen to on my Walkman). They all reached ABRSM Grade 8 as teenagers, but have all since stopped playing. None of them - now all married with their own young children - own a piano, not even a keyboard. They too were never really into classical music.

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#2052663 - 03/22/13 06:32 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19227
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Gatsbee13
As an adult, I now appreciate the value of playing a musical instrument (particularly, the piano). I think it builds a good work ethic(to be able to sit for hours of practice). Not to mention it can relieve stress, be fun, improve concentration, and many other benefits.
There are hundreds of activities that have the above listed benefits. Building a good work ethic can be accomplished by working at almost anything. I think in terms of leisure activities children should be encouraged to pursue their interests, but why force someone to take piano lessons if they're not interested?

For every adult who regrets quitting piano as a child, I'm sure there are some who don't regret it at all. So I find the "I know adults who regret quitting piano as a child" argument extremely flawed. Is piano the only activity children shouldn't be allowed to quit or must they continue with anything they start?


Edited by pianoloverus (03/23/13 02:29 PM)

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#2052672 - 03/22/13 06:54 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
gooddog Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4777
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Gatsbee13
My question is: Do you wish your parents would have made you stick with it for longer or perhaps you had some autonomy in continuing for a longer time (it was your choice)?
It's interesting to me that you differentiate between children who took lessons because their parents wanted them to and children who took lessons because they wanted to. IMO good parents, expose their children to as many experiences as possible, encourage and push back a little when a child wants to quit, require a child to finish what they started, (e.g. the soccer season,) and finally, good parents know when it's time to back off and let a child make some decisions of their own.

Sadly, many parents forget the "push back a little" part because I've met many, many adults who quit as children and are extremely regretful.

I never quit and I think it is because my parents put the responsibility into my hands. When my parents offered to pay for piano lessons they gave me an ultimatum: "If we ever have to ask you to practice, the lessons stop." I knew they meant it. They never, ever had to ask me to practice. I did it because I loved it and I knew the decision was my own.
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#2052949 - 03/23/13 01:16 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
RonaldSteinway Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 1474
I took piano lesson when I was 7 years old. After three lessons, I quit , a few months later, I tried one more time and quit again.
However, when I hit 40, I started taking lesson again seriously until today. It has been five years now. I love it, but often got frustrated when I could not play well.

I think if the kids are not into playing piano and the parents forced them, it will be a pure torture. My older sister was forced for 3 years, she hated every minute of it, and after she quit, she never played piano anymore till today.

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#2053001 - 03/23/13 03:33 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
A Rebours Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 221
My answer is probably the opposite of "parents insisting their children play piano".

My mother studied voice and piano so we had a piano in the home. She taught me beginning piano for a couple of years and I would have loved to have "real" piano lessons. Since she taught me to read music, and the basics, as a child I always picked up music and played all through high school. I could even hold my own playing with my cousins, one who was trained in violin and the other in flute. Their father was a professional pianist for many years before he went to work at HP. He also conducted a youth orchestra. So I knew first hand what I was missing. I would have killed to have piano lessons as I was growing up. We just didn't have the extra cash at the time.

So there can be other reasons for kids to quit and wished they hadn't.

Since I have been studying as an adult I have made wonderful progress but I still would have liked to have learned as a kid.

A R
_________________________
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#2053117 - 03/23/13 07:31 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
Auntie Lynn Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/07/04
Posts: 1105
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Fact is, mes amis, there are so many re-entry opportunities out there they are hard to miss and you will probably find yourself in the same boat as a lot of other people. It's the best thing you can do for yourself other than working out...it's forever!

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#2053273 - 03/24/13 03:18 AM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Auntie Lynn]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
I was told by my parents that as an adopted child they wanted to provide food and a roof over our heads. They did that. They were good to us.

Unlike many families, we were not exposed to things except for tv, no record player. We lived in a small trailer in Northern Canada - no room for anything.

However, they helped me going to college.
As an adult, I took sailing lessons, took music lessons, learned to play basketball, ride motorcycles, took swimming lessons, played in bands, and travelled around the world.

The reason I say this is that many people have wonderful childhoods and as adults miss their childhoods and others who didn't have wonderful childhoods - and wished they had. No nobody has everything and so we have to make life what you want it to be because you can - and we don't know how long we are going to live, so you have to make every day your best.

So it doesn't matter if one quits piano lessons as kid or not because at any point of their life they can play the piano for the rest of their life!


Edited by Michael_99 (03/24/13 03:22 AM)

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#2053302 - 03/24/13 07:11 AM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7763
I took lessons for quite a while as a child, but not with a very good teacher. Eventually, in my early teens, I switched to a somewhat better, but not great teacher (that lasted for a year or so, IIRC). Due to various reasons, I decided to quit lessons. But I never really quit playing.

Later, in college, piano was a requirement for the first degree program I tried, and those lessons led to more involvement with the piano once again, for a few years.

What was the question, again? Oh, yes...you want people to talk about the effect of quitting lessons. Actually, I think quitting in my teens was the right thing for me at the time. However, that's largely because the environment was not very supportive for progress, not because of a lack of desire on my part.

Your "building a good work ethic" comment, in a funny way, doesn't apply in my case. Although I loved to play the piano for hours on end when I was young, I never learned how to practice very well. In other words, I didn't work at it much - nobody taught me how, or explained why I should. Because of that, I'd say that much depends on the quality of the guidance one receives and absorbs, rather than on simply continuing with lessons.

But I'm not really a big fan of these kinds of speculations. Life only goes in one direction on the timeline, and the "if only I had done this or that, what would have happened?" questions are not answerable. I can only act in the present, and, as it happens, I am enjoying learning how to practice more effectively now. It may be decades later than when it "should" have happened, but it's not like I can hit an "Undo" button for how my life has unfolded.

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#2053374 - 03/24/13 09:59 AM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: wr]
woodog Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 376
Loc: Bowling Green, KY
Excellent post WR.

Forrest
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#2053376 - 03/24/13 10:00 AM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: wr]
piano joy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/28/11
Posts: 807
Loc: Florida
I really, REALLY wish my parents had sat me down and asked me WHY I wanted to quit and worked at getting at the root of the problem. Which was....my teacher. B.O.R.I.N.G.
They basically hired the one who lived down the street.
I rode my bike to lessons up and down the hill...in the SNOW.
(kidding).

She taught (I feel quite certain) because she had to earn a living, not because she enjoyed, let alone loved, what she did.
In hindsight, it is so clear to me and I wonder why it wasn't as clear to my parents. Then again, they never changed the goldfish tank water and now I also realize why we had to buy new fish every other week.

p.s. Now, I have a GREAT teacher !
_________________________
I don't care too much for money. For money can't buy me love.
-the Beatles




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#2053567 - 03/24/13 04:30 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4832
I may be in a minority who believe that young children don't know what's good for them, and need guidance - which includes parents nagging them to keep practicing. Too many parents these days treat their children as young adults who know what is best for themselves, when what they really need is constant guidance. I know of one little girl who switched from piano to violin to ballet to gymnastics in the space of three years - and never kept up with any of them, because her parents just gave her what she asked for.

But I think that once you reach your early teens, you can think for yourself - and you only have yourself to blame if you quit. Parents can make a huge difference to their child sticking to piano, if they themselves play and there is always encouragement. But noone has perfect parents. And if you don't make use of, and make the most of what you've been given.......

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#2053580 - 03/24/13 04:50 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: bennevis]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19227
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: bennevis
I may be in a minority who believe that young children don't know what's good for them, and need guidance - which includes parents nagging them to keep practicing.
You statement assumes as a given that sticking with piano(or anything else)is good for them. I think it is possible to argue strongly from either side about the merits, if any, of continuing with an activity one is not enjoying.

IMO parents should encourage their children to stick with for some reasonable amount of time anything they try. What a reasonable amount of time should be determined by ongoing discussion between the parent and child. If the child is not enjoying studying the piano, the parents try to find out why and consider getting a different teacher if they want their child to continue. I see nothing wrong with dabbling in many activities.

I'd guess that just as many adults wished their parents hadn't forced them to take lessons as those that wished their parents had forced them. Of course, probably less of these people will be reading PW so one can't find out if I'm correct by polling PW members.


Edited by pianoloverus (03/24/13 04:58 PM)

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#2053597 - 03/24/13 05:20 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: pianoloverus]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4832
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: bennevis
I may be in a minority who believe that young children don't know what's good for them, and need guidance - which includes parents nagging them to keep practicing.
You statement assumes that as a given sticking with piano(or anything else)is good for them. I think it is possible to argue strongly from either side about the merits, if any, of continuing with an activity one is not enjoying.

IMO parents should encourage their children to stick with anything they try for some reasonable amount of time to be determined by ongoing discussion between the parent and child. If the child is not enjoying studying the piano, the parents should find out why and consider getting a different teacher if they want their child to continue.


Children with doting parents - certainly since the baby-boomer generation of the 1960s, and probably even more so these days - know that their parents will almost always give in to pester power, often involving manipulation ("Sarah's parents bought her a piano - why can't I have one?" etc). A piano is not a toy, to be played with for a few months (or even two years), then discarded in favor of the next new toy.

'Ongoing discussion' implies a discussion between equals - so that means a young child is the equal of his/her parents in terms of knowledge, experience, life - really?? A parent should always stay and observe for the first few lessons and the occasional lesson after that, and see if there is any problem - is there good rapport between teacher and pupil? Then change teachers if necessary. But not just because the child isn't 'enjoying the piano'.

A child may not enjoy the piano lessons simply because he/she has lost interest, and blaming the teacher is the easiest thing in the world to do.

I've lost count of the number of times I've played for others, or audiences, who aren't pianists (or consider themselves 'musical') who then come up to tell me that they actually had piano lessons when they were young, but then gave up after a year or three (because they could, and their parents indulged them), and many years later, wished they hadn't, and that their parents had been stricter with making them stick with the piano and practice.


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#2053604 - 03/24/13 05:31 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: pianoloverus]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6067
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus


IMO parents should encourage their children to stick with for some reasonable amount of time anything they try. What a reasonable amount of time should be determined by ongoing discussion between the parent and child. If the child is not enjoying studying the piano, the parents try to find out why and consider getting a different teacher if they want their child to continue. I see nothing wrong with dabbling in many activities.


Children tend to not enjoy anything in which they don't immediately succeed. If I child shows interest long enough to warrant the purchase of a piano, then I think the parent should insist on a reasonable time thereafter, not negotiate. It's a good lesson for the child to be careful what they wish for, and they may find that the extra year or so will influence their decision.
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#2053619 - 03/24/13 06:15 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
-Frycek Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/06/05
Posts: 5921
Loc: SC Mountains
I was lucky to study piano at all. I just wish my parents had taken me more seriously. I took lessons as a child because I kept banging on the neighbors' pianos and a couple of them persuaded my parents I needed lessons. My Dad got a deal on a repossessed piano. So I took lessons from very indifferent teachers from the time I was fivish till fifteen, when I rebelled and talked my mother into finding me a better teacher. I studied with her for two years and then went off to college, where I had no access to a piano. Yes, they had a music program but as I wasn't a music major I got run out of the practice rooms. My mother held onto my piano until I was in my 40's just because she didn't want to rearrange her living room and I certainly couldn't afford to buy one as I was by then supporting a disabled husband and a child. (This was in the days before cheap keyboards or it might've been a different story.) For awhile the piano just sat there, in need of a pitch raise. Then one Christmas I took out an old hymnnal and sat down at it to pick out some carols. That was all it took. I finally found myself in my fifites posessed of my old childhood piano (which was a sorry creature) and repossesed of my passion. So I'd say my parents supported me but not really enough.
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#2053648 - 03/24/13 07:09 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
Saranoya Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/13
Posts: 579
Loc: Brussels, Belgium
I've quit music lessons many, many times in my life. But so far, I've always picked things back up pretty much where I'd left off before.

I'll tell you my long and winding story, which should serve as an illustration of two main points: one, being strongly encouraged to take music lessons in no way guarantees that a child will stick with it. And two, if the compulsion to make music is there, then music will be made — with or without encouragement, with or without people who believe in you, with or without lessons, and with or without an appropriate environment.

My paternal grandmother has been playing the violin for nearly seventy years now. Her greatest ambition when she was a teenager was to go to a conservatory, and become a professional violinist. But she came from a family of eleven, and her mother died when she was barely fourteen. Her older sister was deemed unsuitable for the role of surrogate mother, because she was a bitch (this is objectively true, as far as I can tell — I've met the woman). And so, while sisters #1 and #3 both continued their education until the age of 17 and became teachers, my grandmother was pulled out of school shortly after her mother's death, and put to work taking care of the family.

To this day, my grandmother still organizes yearly concerts at her home, playing with her brother (who did become a professional classical guitarist), and as many of her children and grandchildren as she can convince to participate. She started learning viola at age 55, and piano at age 67. And she taught, or at least tried to teach, violin to any and all offspring and their spouses — up to and including the third generation.

Of her four children (plus spouses), eleven grandchildren and two (and counting) great-grandchildren, only four actually stuck with the violin long enough to have gained any level of competency on it. But, we were all immersed in musicianship from a very young age (five or younger, in most cases), and it shows. Three out of four children, six out of eleven grandchildren, and one of the great-grandchildren, plus a daughter-in-law, play one or more musical instruments today.

I, myself, am not one of the violin success stories. My sister was, and she was probably good enough to become a professional musician if she'd wanted that. But her priorities shifted early on, and she is now a professional ballet dancer instead. I never had that kind of single-minded focus. Or the talent to be anything but a hobbyist, really.

I quit violin at age five because, after nearly a year, I still hadn't quite gotten the hang of 'Twinkle, twinkle little star.' My grandmother sent me to piano lessons instead, because piano was deemed 'easier' (and that might even be true for beginners, as far as it goes). There was never any question of me stopping music lessons altogether. In my family, at that time, nobody really had any choice in the matter. If you were one of us, you were a musician. It was as simple as that.

A little under six months later, my piano teacher quit. I had not made a lot of progress in my time with her, but I had been bitten by the piano bug. For the next two years, I noodled on my own. There was no other teacher on the horizon who was willing to take a six-year-old, and anyhow, by that time my grandmother had lost interest, as I was clearly not a prodigy.

I took my second stab at piano lessons when I was old enough to turn to the 'regular' music school system with the rest of my cohort. My mother, no doubt in an effort to protect me, wrote the teacher a letter that said he shouldn't expect too much from me, as I was a child with 'limited potential' — a phrase he later wrote verbatim on my report card, which is how I know about the letter. Needless to say, nobody, including my teacher, was very encouraging to me at this point.

In December of that year, I was sent to a boarding school for disabled kids. I thought that would be the end of my music lessons, but it wasn't. A brass teacher actually came to the school twice a week to teach all comers. Which is how I learned to play Bb cornet.

So another three years went by. And at the end of my boarding school period, I was actually a halfway decent cornet player, given my level of experience. So I continued taking lessons with a brass teacher outside the boarding school for another four years, despite everyone telling me to take it easy, now that I was going back into the 'regular' system. And then, when I was fifteen and bored out of my skull at school, I once again added piano lessons to my schedule.

Things really clicked, with this third teacher. She was kind and considerate, willing to adapt her teaching to my goals, and a good enough reader of human behavior that she knew when not to push. I took lessons with her from September 2000 until May 2001, and made progress in leaps and bounds. At the end of that year, which was cut a little short because I had major surgery planned over the summer, a different teacher administered my first-ever piano exam. She graded me 93 / 100.

But, alas. By the time I came out of the hospital in October of 2001, my beloved piano teacher had retired due to health issues on her end. I tried for a while with a different teacher, but she was Russian and primarily a concert pianist, and she was really only interested in teaching people who were both extremely talented, and willing to prioritize piano over everything else in their lives. She wanted, I short, to teach only the next generation of concert pianists. Needless to say, I was not and never would be in her target audience. Plus, my life turned into a bit of a soap opera that year. Piano became the very least of my worries.

So, there you have it. Just the first sixteen years of my life, in which I was first strongly encouraged by my grandmother to play the piano, then almost actively discouraged by my teacher, and then highly self-motivated to play, until life interfered (and even then, I couldn't really stop: I started teaching myself guitar in 2002, while hospitalized).

None of the above had any influence whatsoever on my decision to take up piano lessons for the fourth time in my life this past September. If you think I was destined to play all my life, because my grandmother made sure I was already plugging away at it from a very young age, then go ask some of my cousins why they don't play anymore. If you think it was that third teacher who inspired me, you might be right — but the other three, including that Russian concert pianist who was my last teacher before the current one, may well have undone most of the good work she did in that regard.

The truth is, I play the piano because I want to play the piano. Even when I had no teacher, or not a very good one, the desire to somehow make music was still there — so I made music through whatever means I had.

It may well be true that it would have been nice for you to have gotten a little more encouragement from your family. But if you quit as a kid and now regret it, don't stick that to your parents. If you'd really wanted to continue, nothing they said or didn't say would have made much of a difference to you. And anyway, as much fun as a good 'what if' scenario can be in fiction, there's not much point in trying to second-guess real life.
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Beginner with some priors since 9/2012

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Future
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#2053668 - 03/24/13 07:45 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: bennevis]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19227
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Children with doting parents - certainly since the baby-boomer generation of the 1960s, and probably even more so these days - know that their parents will almost always give in to child pressure, often involving manipulation ("Sarah's parents bought her a piano - why can't I have one?" etc). A piano is not a toy, to be played with for a few months (or even two years), then discarded in favor of the next new toy.
Whether a child knows their parents will give in to their demands is a totally separate issue. "Doting' has negative connotations but some would just replace it by "caring" or "perceptive". The cost of the piano is a side issue also. Must a child play with any toy that costs above a certain amount of money?

Originally Posted By: bennevis
'Ongoing discussion' implies a discussion between equals - so that means a young child is the equal of his/her parents in terms of knowledge, experience, life - really??/
Not at all. I think good parents have ongoing discussions with their children about many things starting from a young age. You can replace "discussion" by "talk" if it suits you.

Originally Posted By: bennevis
A child may not enjoy the piano lessons simply because he/she has lost interest, and blaming the teacher is the easiest thing in the world to do.
I clearly didn't say the parents should blame the teacher, but said that should make sure to consider the possibility of changing teachers. If the parents are reasonably certain the teacher is not suitable, changing teachers after discussion with their child is the right thing. This should be obvious.

Originally Posted By: bennevis
I've lost count of the number of times I've played for others, or audiences, who aren't pianists (or consider themselves 'musical') who then come up to tell me that they actually had piano lessons when they were young, but then gave up after a year or three (because they could, and their parents indulged them), and many years later, wished they hadn't, and that their parents had been stricter with making them stick with the piano and practice.
Do you actually expect those that feel the opposite(that they wish they had been allowed to quit earlier and clearly some people feel that way)to come up and mention it?


Edited by pianoloverus (03/24/13 08:06 PM)

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#2053671 - 03/24/13 07:55 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Damon]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19227
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus


IMO parents should encourage their children to stick with for some reasonable amount of time anything they try. What a reasonable amount of time should be determined by ongoing discussion between the parent and child. If the child is not enjoying studying the piano, the parents try to find out why and consider getting a different teacher if they want their child to continue. I see nothing wrong with dabbling in many activities.


Children tend to not enjoy anything in which they don't immediately succeed. If I child shows interest long enough to warrant the purchase of a piano, then I think the parent should insist on a reasonable time thereafter, not negotiate. It's a good lesson for the child to be careful what they wish for, and they may find that the extra year or so will influence their decision.
What if the piano was only a few hundred dollars or was not a financial burden? Should a child be forced to play with an expensive toy for a required period of time also? Should parents understand that they should not buy an expensive piano until they know their child has a genuine interest?

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#2053730 - 03/24/13 10:39 PM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: pianoloverus]
Damon Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 6067
Loc: St. Louis area
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Originally Posted By: Damon
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus


IMO parents should encourage their children to stick with for some reasonable amount of time anything they try. What a reasonable amount of time should be determined by ongoing discussion between the parent and child. If the child is not enjoying studying the piano, the parents try to find out why and consider getting a different teacher if they want their child to continue. I see nothing wrong with dabbling in many activities.


Children tend to not enjoy anything in which they don't immediately succeed. If I child shows interest long enough to warrant the purchase of a piano, then I think the parent should insist on a reasonable time thereafter, not negotiate. It's a good lesson for the child to be careful what they wish for, and they may find that the extra year or so will influence their decision.
What if the piano was only a few hundred dollars or was not a financial burden? Should a child be forced to play with an expensive toy for a required period of time also? Should parents understand that they should not buy an expensive piano until they know their child has a genuine interest?


I wasn't fixated on the parental investment, just that children tend to not follow through on anything that is difficult, unless pushed.
_________________________
It's been scientifically proven that Horowitz sucks.

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#2053774 - 03/25/13 01:53 AM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
The issue centres on the torture of sight-reading .

When the student is very youthful, the lording parents
(with earplugs at the ready), can insist on the daily piano exercises by their woeful offspring ...
fatuously thought to be a dim replica of Wolfgang Amadeus.

Later children tend to duck the menace and head for Hawaii ... hoping that parents might have forgotten about the piano lessons lark ... even dreaming that the family house might have burnt down ...
including the ghastly shiny piano.

And yet ... to call a spade a spade (and all that rot) ... if only the sight-reading had proved a scalable Everest ... instead of a term in Purgatory.

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#2053784 - 03/25/13 02:38 AM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: pianoloverus]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4832
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think good parents have ongoing discussions with their children about many things starting from a young age. You can replace "discussion" by "talk" if it suits you.

If the parents are reasonably certain the teacher is not suitable, changing teachers after discussion with their child is the right thing. This should be obvious.


If you'd taken the trouble to read my post properly, I did say that a parent should sit in on the first few lessons, and then the odd subsequent lesson to make sure things are as they should be. If the parent can't tell when a child isn't getting on with his teacher - except when the child says he doesn't want to play piano anymore, then more fool the parent.

That is pretty obvious to everyone - except you.

So, if the child pesters his parents to get him a dog, then lose interest in caring for the dog after two months, and wants the parents to get rid of it - that's also up for discussion, is it?

As I said before, a piano is NOT a toy. And a child is NOT an adult.

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#2053800 - 03/25/13 04:04 AM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: pianoloverus]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4832
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Do you actually expect those that feel the opposite(that they wish they had been allowed to quit earlier and clearly some people feel that way)to come up and mention it?


Actually, oddly enough, no grin.

Nobody has to come to hear me massacre the classics in my usual inept manner on the piano. They come because they want to hear classical music. That means they are interested in it, and the piano. Therefore, they are a self-selecting audience.

I have sympathy for those who were made to learn the piano by pushy parents, but who never wanted to learn to play in the first place. But if they were the ones who asked their parents to get them the piano, then the parents have the right to make them practice and learn properly - at least until their teens -, having invested the money into the instrument and lessons.

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#2053805 - 03/25/13 04:31 AM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: Gatsbee13]
btb Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 4261
Loc: Pretoria South Africa
The issue centres on the torture of sight-reading .

When the student is very youthful, the lording parents
(with earplugs at the ready), can insist on the daily piano exercises by their woeful offspring ...
fatuously thought to be a dim replica of Wolfgang Amadeus.

Later children tend to duck the menace and head for Hawaii ... hoping that parents might have forgotten about the piano lessons lark ... even dreaming that the family house might have burnt down ...
including the ghastly piano.

And yet ... to call a spade a digging thing (and all that rot) ... if only the sight-reading had proved a scalable Everest ... instead of a term in Purgatory.

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#2053817 - 03/25/13 06:04 AM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: bennevis]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19227
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
I think good parents have ongoing discussions with their children about many things starting from a young age. You can replace "discussion" by "talk" if it suits you.

If the parents are reasonably certain the teacher is not suitable, changing teachers after discussion with their child is the right thing. This should be obvious.


If you'd taken the trouble to read my post properly, I did say that a parent should sit in on the first few lessons, and then the odd subsequent lesson to make sure things are as they should be.
I read your post and your latest reply has exactly nothing to do with what I quoted from your post and my reply. You said that "ongoing discussions" implied some equality between the parent and child which is not the meaning of those words.


Edited by pianoloverus (03/25/13 06:44 AM)

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#2053823 - 03/25/13 06:33 AM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: bennevis]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19227
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: bennevis
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
Do you actually expect those that feel the opposite(that they wish they had been allowed to quit earlier and clearly some people feel that way)to come up and mention it?


Actually, oddly enough, no grin.

Nobody has to come to hear me massacre the classics in my usual inept manner on the piano. They come because they want to hear classical music. That means they are interested in it, and the piano. Therefore, they are a self-selecting audience.
There could certainly be audience members who disliked being forced to take lessons as a child but who like classical music now. Have they ever come up to tell you how much they disliked being forced to take lessons? Of course not.

Mentioning audience comments about how much they wished they had been forced to take lessons as an argument for forcing children to take lessons automatically leaves out the group of adults who wish they hadn't been forced to take lessons.


Edited by pianoloverus (03/25/13 06:47 AM)

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#2053831 - 03/25/13 06:55 AM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: pianoloverus]
bennevis Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/10
Posts: 4832
Originally Posted By: pianoloverus
There could certainly e audience members who disliked being forced to take lessons as a child but who like classical music now. Have they ever come up to tell you how much they disliked being forced to take lessons? Of course not.

Using audience comments about how much they wished they had been forced to take lessons as an argument for forcing children to take lessons clearly leaves out adults who wish they hadn't been forced to take lessons. Unless, of course, you don't think people like that exist.


Odd, I was about to say that I totally agree with you (because I said exactly that), only for a message to flash up saying you'd deleted your post, which used different words to say what I said wink . Presumably you then re-read my post and switched tack (perhaps realizing you'd misunderstood what I wrote?), and changed to the present post.....

Never mind, life is too short. But I'll try to use proper English next time, as she should be spoke. A bit difficult, because English is my 4th language.

I've got Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji's Opus clavicembalisticum and Ferrucio Busoni's Piano Concerto to learn. Maybe, when I've given a five-hour performance of the Sorabji, people will come up to tell me they were bored to death by the piano, and remembered how much they disliked having piano lessons...... grin

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#2053832 - 03/25/13 07:08 AM Re: For those that quit piano lessons as a child [Re: woodog]
wr Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/07
Posts: 7763
Originally Posted By: woodog
Excellent post WR.

Forrest


Thanks.

I'm thinking I should have put something in there to say that, even if there is no "undo" in life, there is always the possibility of changing your perspective about your own history. There are many ways to shape the narrative you tell yourself about your life, and they can have powerful effects on your current state of mind, IMO.

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