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Topic Options
#1244883 - 08/06/09 04:35 PM slightly OT – Require Lessons??
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1456
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
My 10yr daughter took violin lessons for almost 2 years. Her teacher was (is) awesome and my daughter was doing fairly well (when she applied herself). Unfortunately early spring her teacher informed us she would no longer be giving lessons, indefinitely, and recommended some teachers.
My daughter asked for a break before starting with a new teacher which I agreed to. After a few weeks off she said that she didn’t want to take violin lessons anymore. She also reminded me that I told her if she ever wanted to stop I would let her and would not be upset or disappointed.
I did tell her that 2 years ago, my philosophy being I did not want to force music lessons on her as to avoid negative connotations. But my attitude has changed after seeing her potential and I am considering making her take lessons (any instrument) until at least 12 or 13 years old.

Any suggestions, experience, thoughts??


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#1244890 - 08/06/09 04:42 PM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: Triryche]
Ebony and Ivory Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/05
Posts: 1179
Loc: Minnesota
I told my own boys that they had to take something. I let them pick what (oops 2 ended up on the drums grrr!), but they knew it was part of their education, just like homework and it was non-negotiable. I made them pick a sport too, just something they knew they had to do.

As far as teaching, it's not a lot of fun to teach a kid that doesn't want to be there, but I found that if they're given enough choices they can usually find something they don't hate lol.

Oh yeah, they will always remember that kind of stuff you say, won't they wink
It is better to be kind than to be right.

Professional private piano teacher since 1994.

#1244960 - 08/06/09 06:58 PM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
musiclady Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/19/05
Posts: 431
Loc: Toronto, Canada
If I had kids I would make them take lessons until at least a solid intermediate level, usually around Royal Conservatory of Music Grade 6 minimum. And then in some exam systems students can earn high school credits for completing certain exams. (a couple of my students are really motivated by this option!)

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

#1244969 - 08/06/09 07:08 PM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: musiclady]
Minniemay Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/09
Posts: 1702
Loc: CA
Have you had a discussion about WHY she doesn't want to continue? Perhaps she's afraid of switching teachers, or that she isn't good enough, or maybe she's just enjoying more free time. You never know.

You do have something to lose here, imo. You would be going back on your word. But you have much to gain in opening up a conversation with her. You can probably convince her to study again, but because you gave her the choice, I think you have to let her choose again.
B.A., Piano, Piano Pegagogy, Music Ed.
M.M., Piano

#1244984 - 08/06/09 07:17 PM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: Ebony and Ivory]
currawong Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/15/07
Posts: 6162
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Ebony and Ivory
I let them pick what (oops 2 ended up on the drums grrr!)
ha ha ha! - sorry, I shouldn't laugh at your pain smile
Du holde Kunst...

#1244992 - 08/06/09 07:24 PM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: Minniemay]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
I did what Ebony&Ivory did - any instrument they wanted, but once they started they weren't allowed to mention quitting (or fight me about practicing) for three years. After that, it would be their choice whether to continue or not. Both my sons started on piano; my daughter started on violin. (All continued long after 3 years were up.)

But since you did promise to let her quit, I think you have to follow through. But if she were my daughter, I would probably talk long and hard, and try to talk her into a compromise -- Find a new teacher and take for one more year. If she hates it, then she can quit and you won't say anything. I think I'd argue that you want to make sure she isn't quitting because she's afraid of the new teacher.

But I wouldn't force her. She is at an age when girls especially begin to resent all that alone time practicing, just when social life becomes so important. You don't want to set her up for resentment, and she won't progress if she doesn't like it anyway. Trust me, there will be bigger deals ahead that you want to save your ammo for!
piano teacher

#1245025 - 08/06/09 08:23 PM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: Lollipop]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15483
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I hear more adults tell me that they either had lessons as a child as quit and regretted it ever since, or they regret never having lessons as a child. Most children don't know what they want, and they will quit when anything gets hard. I bet most would quit school if you let them. Learning how to stick through something through the hard work and seeing positive results is an invaluable life lesson.

If she doesn't want to start up violin again, encourage her to do something. If she decides to do something, then get her to agree to do it for a certain number of years, maybe 5 or 6. My parents made an agreement with me as a child who begged for piano lessons that if I started, I'd have to stay with it for 10 years. I'm so glad they made me keep my word. smile
private piano/voice teacher FT

#1245122 - 08/06/09 10:50 PM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: Morodiene]
Triryche Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 1456
Loc: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Thanks for the replies!!
I have been talking to her about it for over a month, and the only thing that kept me from making her start back up sooner was the fact that I originally said she had the option.
I don't think she is afraid of another teacher, she claims she's bored with it, but yet she wants to keep the violin, which is on a rent to own agreement.
She is well aware of my intentions to have her learn to read music proficiently before quitting, so if she wishes to peruse music as an adult, at least she would not be starting from scratch. I also explained how I wish I had lessons as a child. And I try my best to explain to her that the more difficult the lessons become, the greater the reward is.
When she was still in lessons and was wanting to quit because they were getting to be challenging, I brought up the subject with her teacher. Her teacher said she did not have an option, her mother made her take lessons, and for a few years she dreaded it, but said she was very grateful for that.

The only thing holding me back is the fact that I originally gave her the option.
I guess for now I will try my best to convince her to continue.

Thanks again!!

#1245127 - 08/06/09 11:07 PM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: Triryche]
toejamfutbol Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/04/09
Posts: 124
Loc: MI
I loathed few things more than taking piano lessons when I was a kid, but my mother made me and all of my siblings do it until we were 13, then we could quit if we wanted to.

Now I wish she had forced us to keep doing it for longer! I am so thankful that she kept us at it, even though we didn't like it at the time.

Just one person's testimony... smile
"Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured and far away." -Thoreau

#1245140 - 08/06/09 11:43 PM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: toejamfutbol]
Susan K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/09
Posts: 192
Loc: Central California

Two thoughts:

1) It's after the first two years, when learning becomes "serious" and actually hard. The first two years were pretty easy and after that, I had to work on pieces that I couldn't master in a week. I remember being really reluctant to play past that awkward stage when I have some skill, but not enough to feel comfortable learning. I would have quit if my mother had let me. But she didn't. Also, fractions were a snap to learn in the fourth and fifth grade. (Though 10 year olds are now learning algebra...)

2) Role models help a lot. If you can take her to a string quartet concert or enroll her in a children's orchestra (depending on where you live), she might want to continue.

A good friend's daughter was 5' 10" in 7th grade and was really a good basketball player, but didn't really want to play because she was having a hard enough time being 5' 10" when all the boys around her were 5' 2". My friend took her to watch the practice of the Georgia Tech girls and she became very enthusiastic. She now in 9th grade (6'2") takes private group lessons and scrimmages with 17 and 18 year old boys.

If your daughter is the only one taking music lessons, it could feel like an albatross. Also, sometimes it could be as simple as someone at school making fun to her because she plays. I remember a friend telling me that my hands looked like spiders when I played and it really upset me. Who wanted to have spider hands?


#1245198 - 08/07/09 03:05 AM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: Susan K.]
Roxy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/19/08
Posts: 478
Loc: Whittier, Calif
I agree with Minniemay, why does she want to stop lessons. Usually students don't dislike music they dislike the discipline that goes with it. Sometimes changing teachers helps, or instruments, but quiting is never the answer. There are far too many adults out there that ask their parents why didn't you make me continue? I told my three sons, when they were ready to go to college I didn't want them turning to me and asking me why didn't you keep me at it and prepare me so that I had choices. I would rather have them be able to have the choice of going on or trying something else because by that time they would be hopefully mature enough to make a wise decision, and by that I don't mean they had to major in music. The years of discipline and expression are always worth the effort and fight. Preparing one for all kinds of things in life, from how to study schoolwork to job interviews, how to react under pressure and not fall apart, having an outlet to one's emotions so that one doesn't feel like there is no where to turn. By the way Ebony one of my sons also took up the drums, AGGGhh not to mention the guitar and flute while continuing the piano. He actually gave me a new appreciation of some intricate drumming techniques. But then reading music and rhythms was a plus.

#1245220 - 08/07/09 06:19 AM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: Roxy]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
But you promised!
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.

#1245293 - 08/07/09 10:44 AM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Susan K. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/03/09
Posts: 192
Loc: Central California
My mother's response (in the same voice she used to make us eat vegetables -- which I now love): Too bad. It's good for you. laugh

#1245369 - 08/07/09 01:24 PM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: Susan K.]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4534
If you told her she could quit, then
you have to let her quit. Apparently,
she takes you at your word, which
suggests that you've been diligent
about keeping your word with her,
and that this means something to you.
If you don't keep your word this
time, then she will no longer take
you at your word, and this apparently
would bother you a lot.

#1245377 - 08/07/09 01:34 PM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: Gyro]
Gyro Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/24/05
Posts: 4534
There is the further implication that
you want a family situation where everyone
can be taken at their word. Apparently,
you've been diligent about this, and
everyone can be taken at their word,
but if you start to not keep your
word, then everything unravels.

#1245439 - 08/07/09 03:42 PM Re: slightly OT – Require Lessons?? [Re: Gyro]
verania5 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/24/08
Posts: 386
Loc: Michigan
If I have kids, they would be required to take lessons until they come of age (18 in my book). I also loathed practising piano at the time, but wish fervently I kept at it after 12. I'm now 3 years returned - all that wasted time...


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