First of all, EVERYONE LOVES MUSIC! Don’t you? Did you or someone you know have a bad experience with piano lessons? Are you holding on to your personal bias? Why?
If you’re that parent, please let me help you. Find the best teacher you can, with the best qualifications and a track record of success. Take the time to meet the teacher and honestly express all your concerns. Remember that the teacher likely knows other teachers, the best piano technicians, and will be an excellent resource when it comes to buying your first piano. Let your child get a good sense of the teacher. Maybe you can even talk to some students or parents of the teacher’s current students to find out a bit more about the overall experience. How long do the students stay in lessons? As a bench-mark, my students on average stay at least 10 years. On an aside, noteworthy is that exceptional girls are curiously the most likely to be pulled out of lessons.
You might think, how hard can it be to teach a beginner. Won’t any nice piano teacher teaching beginners do until we find out if my child likes it? We just want our child to have fun! Are you looking for a music-loving baby-sitter or a teacher?
The most critical stage of learning is right at the start. This is when attitudes are formed and physical habits are developed. There is nothing more sad than seeing a child enter a studio that already has had a bad experience and is confused, poorly informed and has developed physical habits that now have to be re-conditioned to insure healthy playing is possible. At this point, an expert will be required for sure to sort out the issues. The longer it took to create the mess, the longer it will take to sort it out.
If you’re thinking that by “going cheap” you are going to save money just in case your child doesn’t like piano lessons, your game plan is actually expensive. It’s the issue of cheap versus quality. What you will do "going cheap" is waste money paying for lessons that will set the stage for disaster. Perhaps you will even pull your child out of lessons out of frustration. Given that it takes many years to learn how to play, the likelihood of retention of any skills is nil.
If you want to make a good investment, my recommendation is, consider your priorities. Perhaps re-balancing the allocation of your financial resources or waiting a year and saving your money until you are able to commit to providing valuable education that sets the stage for a lifetime of enjoyable, healthy piano playing is a better idea.
Learning how to play piano is SO much more than wiggling fingers, reading dots and symbols and making sound every day. Did you know that the students learn how to solve difficult problems; gain greater awareness of their bodies and control of their thoughts; develop skills which can be transferred to all other subjects; and learn empathy and other critical, highly desirable, sophisticated communication skills - that they learn to listen and hear? Most importantly, the piano teacher may be the only adult who actually truly listens to your child without distraction and makes them feel heard.
Yesterday, I went to visit an 84-year- old friend who had moved into a new condo. She struggles with a poor knee. One of the first things she showed me was her new Yamaha piano. Her piano will always be her best friend. She will never be alone. She is happy.
Happiness is the healthy piano player.
© Copyright 2018 by Heidi Peters, heidipetersmusic.com, Winnipeg, Canada. All rights reserved.