Monday, August 25, 2008

The piano lesson debate

Todd has been taking piano lessons since 2nd grade, Kenna since 1st and it's time to start up again after summer break. Last year I struggled to find a balance with this issue and so I'm hoping someone can give me some advice.

Piano Lessons. To take or not to take???

Here are the things constantly rolling through my brain:

  • We loooove our teacher. She makes it fun and offers the right amount of external reward for practicing and performance.

  • Both kids are 'smart' enough to learn and play decently but musical talent doesn't register on either's list of strengths.

  • I am not as attentive to scheduling practice time as I need to be. Sometimes we end up with 1 or 2 practices before lessons instead of 5 or 6 like we should.

  • Getting them to practice can be a fight since it's not as regular a requirement as it should be (my fault) but why do I think that they would WANT to do anything that doesn't involve quantity sugar consumption or computer games? Do they WANT to unload the dishwasher? NO. Should learning to playing the piano feel like a chore? Maybe...for a while until you figure out the benefits.

  • Not practicing means that they don't perform as well and so they don't feel the intrinsic motivation of success.

  • For the qualifications of our teacher, our relationship with her, etc., piano lessons are a true VALUE but I don't want to pay for anything that makes me fight with my kids.

  • Overscheduling is sometimges an issue. Homework, Piano, Sports, Art, Scouts, Activity Days. It gets to be a lot even for just two kids.

What to do? What to do? I want my kids to know how to play the piano. I wish that I played better and well remember my mother telling me I would! Give me some advice you Ann Landers types. :-)

4 comments:

Jdunn said...

I took piano lessons for a few years and learned to read basic music. I didn't always practice or love going, but I'm glad I did. I love being able to read music...it even helped with learning guitar. And I always wish I would have taken piano lessons longer so I could be able to pick up almost anything and play it effortlessly.

Not sure if that's the advice you wanted...just thought I'd share my experience. :)

Atkin Family said...

I say if you think the end result is good for them, and you have the energy, then do it! I say keep kids as busy as you can in a variety of different hobbies, social activities, and interests. That's my take on it! Q

Amy and Brad said...

I don't know, but when you figure it out enlighten us, okay? We'll have 3 in lessons this Fall.

Kristen Gregson said...

I think learning to play the piano is a great talent to have...one they will use throughout their lives. I took for 12 years and am SO GLAD my mom made me continue to take even through high school ( I had lessons at 6:30 a.m.) I have Kennedy and Taiden in lessons but my dilemma is the cost. $120 for 2 kids (just for piano) ain't in the budget. So, their teacher was willing to let them alternate weeks for lessons. That way, they still have to practice but have 2 weeks to get their songs learned. It also helps that they don't have another lesson to go to EVERY week. Some teachers won't do the ever other week thing, but luckily does. Granted, their overall progress may be a little slower, but I don't care that they don't become a concert pianist. Just a thought.