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Re: Being forced to play piano.
TimR #2022953 01/28/13 05:28 PM
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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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Re: Being forced to play piano.
keystring #2022961 01/28/13 05:47 PM
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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?


gotta go practice
Re: Being forced to play piano.
TimR #2022962 01/28/13 05:49 PM
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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".

Last edited by keystring; 01/28/13 07:01 PM.
Re: Being forced to play piano.
TimR #2022971 01/28/13 05:59 PM
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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?

Re: Being forced to play piano.
TimR #2022973 01/28/13 06:01 PM
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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.

Re: Being forced to play piano.
SamXu #2022978 01/28/13 06:03 PM
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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)

Re: Being forced to play piano.
MaggieGirl #2022987 01/28/13 06:23 PM
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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.


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Re: Being forced to play piano.
MaggieGirl #2022990 01/28/13 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by MaggieGirl

a just turned 9 year old with a bratty attitude

Do you know this child?

Re: Being forced to play piano.
keystring #2022991 01/28/13 06:33 PM
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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.

Re: Being forced to play piano.
SamXu #2022995 01/28/13 06:36 PM
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An older brother is talking about his little sister. None of us knows this child.

Re: Being forced to play piano.
keystring #2022998 01/28/13 06:40 PM
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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?

Re: Being forced to play piano.
SamXu #2023005 01/28/13 06:57 PM
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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.....


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Re: Being forced to play piano.
SamXu #2023008 01/28/13 07:15 PM
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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.


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Re: Being forced to play piano.
SamXu #2023028 01/28/13 08:34 PM
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This child has been taking piano lessons for 4 years.

Re: Being forced to play piano.
SamXu #2023032 01/28/13 08:40 PM
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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.


Last edited by Michael_99; 01/28/13 08:40 PM.
Re: Being forced to play piano.
Chris H. #2023061 01/28/13 09:26 PM
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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.

Re: Being forced to play piano.
Michael_99 #2023069 01/28/13 09:44 PM
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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?


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Re: Being forced to play piano.
John v.d.Brook #2023082 01/28/13 10:05 PM
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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.


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Re: Being forced to play piano.
SamXu #2023129 01/28/13 11:50 PM
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"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...

Re: Being forced to play piano.
childofparadise2002 #2023147 01/29/13 12:41 AM
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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.


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