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Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
PatG #3000918 07/10/20 02:07 AM
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Originally Posted by PatG
The teacher gave me 4 different songs she thought the granddaughter would like to play and put notes and fingering in them as necessary. It's been a couple of weeks and she hasn't even tried one. Keeps playing the same stuff she learned a year ago just to get her time in.

If all she has to do is get her time in, and playing last year's pieces will do, why would she bother doing anything else? It sounds like a boring chore.

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Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
PatG #3001045 07/10/20 10:06 AM
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I was the only one in my family that had an interest in music. I was the obnoxious kid in the church fellowship hall banging out my Guild and recital pieces for fun.

Then, at age 13, a close family member died, we moved, and piano fell by the wayside.

A few years later, I saw a sign in the school cafeteria about an accompanist needed for one of the choirs. I auditioned, got the part, but never practiced at home. Came to school early, or took lunch time to practice.

Finally got a teacher again and prepared piano auditions for college.

It took some one (the choir) needing me, to get me to play again. I needed a purpose.
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For the OP, let her take a break, however long that might be. Keep exposing her to music venues. Marching Band, orchestra, choir, would LOVE having a student that can read music already!! Composing is a way for teens to express themselves.

Anyway,

I read an article once about teaching the next generation- the current student's future children will benefit by having a parent that understands.


Learning as I teach.
Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
PatG #3001183 07/10/20 02:37 PM
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Let her quit for now. Music is not an academic exercise. If somebody has an interest in music, he/she would spend hours at it. She may pick up piano at a later date and a lot of older adults do. This is up to her to decide.

A few years ago I met a young man who quit the Yamaha music program. Mom learned alongside the child for a few years. The parents found the kid was more interested in cooking and may become a professional chef so the music lessons ended. Even after a few recitals for the parents was not enough to make him more interested in music.

Learning new songs doesn't mean someone needs a teacher all the time. I'm in adult group class and enrolled in the Fall & Spring sessions. I can read music sufficiently well to learn new songs on my own during the summer break.

Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
PatG #3003500 07/16/20 08:52 PM
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You should let your kid quit.

I wouldn't let my kid quit.

Make of that what you will...

Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
PatG #3003503 07/16/20 09:11 PM
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By way of example: I am working from home this summer due to Covid and this is the schedule for the 12 and 8 year old

Minimum 30 mins piano practice (8 y o far exceeds this)
Minimum 20 mins practice for 12 y o's other instrument
30 mins math
30 mins reading in English
15 mins reading in French
15 mins music theory
Watch 1 French TV show
20-30 mins writing/journaling
Minimum 2 h (throughout the day) drawing, crafts, coding, creative writing, composing music, making beats, movie making, more music practice, more reading etc
Pick 3 chores from a list
We all get at least 1 hour of exercise together - running/swimming/biking

The rest of the day is theirs for video games, online chatting with friends, now starting to see friends in real time, playing outside, going in the pool etc.

None of it is optional - piano no more so than exercise, chores or math.

Last edited by joplinlover; 07/16/20 09:15 PM.
Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
joplinlover #3003539 07/17/20 01:54 AM
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Originally Posted by joplinlover
By way of example: I am working from home this summer due to Covid and this is the schedule for the 12 and 8 year old

Minimum 30 mins piano practice (8 y o far exceeds this)
Minimum 20 mins practice for 12 y o's other instrument
30 mins math
30 mins reading in English
15 mins reading in French.......

The student in question has been doing piano for 7 years, and has wanted to quit piano since 2 years. Is that the same situation?

Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
keystring #3003546 07/17/20 02:14 AM
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If they had been doing math for 7 years and wanted to quit math for 2 years, would it be the same? "Wanting to quit" doesn't influence what minors under my roof are expected to do with their time.

Fully recognize this is not a style of parenting many will be comfortable with. If you aren't raising their kid this way then let them quit. My answer to the question "should we let her quit?" is no, you SHOULDN'T, but go ahead and do it if it bothers you that the kid wants to quit, is complaining, you aren't able to get them to practice properly and the rest of what was in the post.

7 years of piano doesn't mean anything in itself - some kids will make huge progress in that time and be playing at a pretty good level and some kids will have been spinning their wheels in that time. My friend's daughter took piano through most of elementary school, so for 6 or 7 years, and only got to grade 1, and then, yes, quit. And my friend was thrilled that they "got as high as grade 1" before they quit. (I said not a word.) So I guess if that's the situation, you either quit or get a new teacher/approach. If the kid is playing well and making progress then why would they quit?

Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
PatG #3003558 07/17/20 03:01 AM
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It’s amazing to me that parents seem to want to force their children to take piano lessons, but don’t seem to force their children into taking other lessons such as golf, Art or tennis. As much as we all here love the piano, it is not for everyone. Why not just help your child to find the niche that is right for them?


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

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Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
PatG #3003572 07/17/20 04:44 AM
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If she's wanted to quit for 2 years+ and hasn't really changed her tune in that time, then definitely it's time to let her stop. As many others have said. she can come back to it later if she wants to and her experience to date will stand to her.


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Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
dogperson #3003608 07/17/20 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
It’s amazing to me that parents seem to want to force their children to take piano lessons, but don’t seem to force their children into taking other lessons such as golf, Art or tennis. As much as we all here love the piano, it is not for everyone. Why not just help your child to find the niche that is right for them?

My experience is that many kids are required by their parents to participate in dance, sports, cultural, and religious activities that don't particularly interest them.


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Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
dogperson #3003611 07/17/20 08:39 AM
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My kids have to take swimming, at least one sport, and they take various cultural and religious activities and have to be in at least one club at school.

They don't get to pick only what interests them. That's how people end up with kids who only play video games.

Kids' interest about things waxes and wanes, especially in the teen years. It's not a good barometer.

Most parents, if they are not completely negligent, make their kids do at least SOME things they don't want to. Ie. if a kid hates school and doesn't want to go, they still make them go. Now if you are doing your job as a parent and they are truly unhappy at school, you will talk to the school, change schools if you have to, homeschool if you have to, but you recognize that finishing high school in one way or another should not be an option.

The debate here is whether piano is as essential as math and reading. If you see it as a vital part of a kid's education then no, they shouldn't be able to quit just because they don't like it, but you may need to talk to them about why they say they want to quit and see if you need to talk to the teacher, change the method being used, switch teachers etc. The kid should feel they have some say in and ownership of their own education so it isn't just something imposed on them, but also understand that it's a mandatory part of their education.

If you think piano is an optional thing the kid should only do if it's fun and they like it or they are great at it, then once they don't want to do it anymore, let them quit.

Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
joplinlover #3003615 07/17/20 09:14 AM
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Originally Posted by joplinlover
My kids have to take swimming, at least one sport, and they take various cultural and religious activities and have to be in at least one club at school.

They don't get to pick only what interests them. That's how people end up with kids who only play video games.

Kids' interest about things waxes and wanes, especially in the teen years. It's not a good barometer.
Are you talking generally, or about the OP's kid?

She is 13, has had 7 years of non-stop lessons, and has wanted to stop for the past two years.

That's long enough, and she's old enough.

Incidentally, that should also apply to stuff like religious studies and sports and arts (and even cookery) - none of which are needed to get on in life, unlike math and other school subjects. (Activity yes, but not specific sports.)

In fact, I'd say that five years enough for a parent to impose anything of that sort on their children.

BTW, where I came from, learning a musical instrument is considered part of a child's education, for those families that can afford it. That's why everyone does grade exams, and all teachers are expected to follow the syllabus, not whatever they feel like teaching.

But five years is generally considered - by parents and teachers - long enough for a child to decide if they want to continue with lessons, whether it's painting, football.....or playing the piano. After all, stopping lessons doesn't mean that the piano is immediately got rid of - the child can continue playing whatever, and whenever he wants, just as he can continue playing football after he's stopped having coaching.

And almost all kids will stop music lessons after Grade 8 (- which can mean as few as four years for some talented ones), unless they want to continue on to diploma level, and/or make music their career.


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
PatG #3003647 07/17/20 11:21 AM
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Speaking as a teacher, I would feel really bad if I knew one of my students had wanted to quit for two years but was forced to continue lessons by a parent.


Austin Rogers, PhD
Music Teacher in Cedar Park, TX
Baldwin SD-10 Concert Grand "Kuroneko"
Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
PatG #3003801 07/17/20 08:57 PM
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I was one of those who was "forced" by mom to continue. I put it in quotes because I really wasn't actively resisting lessons and learning. I was actually making decent progress, despite a crappy upright and probably a whole lot of ADHD. But I complained that I didn't want to continue. An adult has to determine if the complaints are part of the usual adolescent game with parents, or if the complaints really reflect a deep-seated an honest resistance to being pushed to do something hard that requires consistent effort.

In my case, my mother made the correct call to "push," and sweetened the deal with a new starter grand piano.

Having said this, we really have no information to help the OP confront this issue. All we have are our own little anecdotes and experiences. I would not generalize from my experience and try to offer any advice here.

Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
PatG #3003987 07/18/20 01:25 PM
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For me, there is an opportunity cost attached to demanding a child takes piano. Every minute at the piano is one fewer minute that they can do what really interests them.

I wish more kids took private woodworking classes, sewing classes, and science classes.

Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
PatG #3004037 07/18/20 04:07 PM
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Fair enough if the kid actually has another interest that is productive. But for a lot of kids, every minute they are not at the piano is one more minute they can play video games, chat online or otherwise sit on their butts...

Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
Candywoman #3004052 07/18/20 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Candywoman
For me, there is an opportunity cost attached to demanding a child takes piano. Every minute at the piano is one fewer minute that they can do what really interests them.

I wish more kids took private woodworking classes, sewing classes, and science classes.

Thumbs up!

Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
PatG #3004102 07/18/20 06:57 PM
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I think at the very least it’s a conversation. It could be the teacher, it could be the method. I know for me as a kid I lost motivation when I realized the girl who lived behind me was so much better than I was and could play songs I wished I could play.

Maybe she’d like to learn improv, or jazz or more pop songs or learn how to compose? There is more to piano than what most teachers offer. Some of my first teachers weren’t very flexible. One finally let me play Disney songs and viola! I was now willing to play the boring method books and dozen a day exercises, so I could play a tune from The Aristocats. LOL

I’m not sure what the answer is, but it sounds from just the post and I’m sure you didn’t write everything in the post, that a conversation has to be had. I mean why let her “not practice what she should” then wonder why she loses motivation when she is not accomplishing what she wants?

Devils advocate here, not trying to offend just food for thought...
At 13 she could also know the lessons are money that could be spent elsewhere. She may have heard Dad say I wish grandma gave us the money she throws away at piano for ... XXX Maybe she thinks Dad is mad at her, or she feels guilty?? AGain just ideas. Obviously, I don’t know, but I think a few questions need to be answered before a decision can be made. First, does she really hate piano, or is there a reason why she doesn’t like it? Would she rather not play the same instrument and songs her brother plays?

I may be reading into it, but sounds like maybe you’d rather not deal with her not wanting to play either, if a new teacher costs more and is too far away. So she has to deal with this teacher or quit, not much of a choice. What happened two years ago?

Don’t answer me, talk to her. smile I hope you find a happy solution for both of you, and the brother. And let’s hope he doesn’t want drums. LOL

Last edited by Silverati 7; 07/18/20 06:59 PM.
Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
PatG #3011230 08/07/20 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by PatG
I have a 13 yr old granddaughter who lives in my home and has wanted to quit piano for over two years. But her mother doesn't want her to. I started teaching her when she was about 6 and later decided that she needs a "real" teacher. I also take piano lessons from the same teacher. I sit in the room when she has her lesson so I know what she needs to work on and how well she has practiced. I seldom say anything when she is practicing except occasionally to slow down. I've asked her how she likes the teacher in different ways and a different times and that does not seem to be the issue. She just doesn't want to play. She hardly ever just sits down a play for the enjoyment of it. She only practices the allotted time she has to. I think many times she is just going through the motions of practicing but not REALLY practicing.
Her mom and I know the importance of playing a musical instrument. She is pretty artistic and can spend hours drawing, painting or whatever.
As I pay for the lessons I do have a say in the decision. Should I try a different teacher just to see if someone else could motivate her? I know the current one has tried. As I live in a very rural area there are not very many to choose from and I would probably have to travel twice the distance and pay more for the lessons. Should we just continue as is? She also has an eleven year old brother that takes lessons from me that wants to quit too. And I can't afford to send him to a teacher. If she quits, brother will want to quit even more. Any words of wisdom from other teachers?

I would take that piano lesson money and use it for art lessons if that is her passion. JMHO.


First Lesson Oct. 17, 2017. Now working on Faber Piano Adventures 3B Lesson, T&A, Performance, Theory and Faber FunTime Ragtime & Marches. Kawai MP11SE. My Sound Cloud Piano recordings
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Re: Should we let her quit piano lessons
Chili_Time #3011415 08/08/20 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Stubbie
As for the 'punishment' being having to take lessons from you: no way should you agree to that. Decline with all your might.
+++1. It's very important.


I think a passion for music already manifests at this age. If she likes melodic music and she's always in her headphones or that kind of music is always audible from her room, then it may be worth to try to change teacher as a last resort, otherwise
Originally Posted by Chili_Time
I would take that piano lesson money and use it for art lessons if that is her passion. JMHO.
+1

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