Are you a parent of a child who just doesn’t seem enthusiastic about taking their piano lessons anymore? Do you often ask yourself “Should I let my child quit piano”?
Many parents struggle with how to keep their child interested in piano lessons. There are multiple factors affecting each individual situation, but we can give you some advice based on our long time experience as piano teachers working with hundreds and hundreds of children.
First and foremost, please believe us when we say: there are no children in the world who are always excited about their piano lessons.
Most children resist practicing piano, just as they they do not feel happy all the time doing math, writing, or science homework. These are difficult disciplines to learn, and children usually have their own ideas of what they want to do with their time! As adults, we know that children will not become well rounded and educated humans without these core disciplines.
Taking music lessons is not usually a core discipline, but it gives your child just as much of a boost in brain development as math or reading. Is it easy to get this boost? Not at all. Learning a musical instrument requires full mental concentration, patience, and discipline to become progressively better. Children do not innately posses these qualities. They must be developed.
In order for these skills to develop, it is important to encourage your child so that they know that they can achieve difficult goals with patience and diligence. That said; it’s OK if your child is resisting practicing piano occasionally. That means you have a child who is developing normally!
Interest and progress as far as playing the piano cannot be depicted as a straight equal line on a graph.
If we try to create a chart expressing the students’ progress in playing the piano, then it would look like a series of plateaus gradually moving from lower to higher and back. It’s never just a straight line getting better little by little every day. Instead, children have to work hard on understanding new musical concepts and using them in new pieces, all of which takes time for the new neural connections to form in the brain.
Students often feel discouraged when they feel they are not getting better and “not getting it” during this phase of growth. Eventually, when all the new pieces click together, it feels like a breakthrough and students fire up to the next level/plateau. It’s completely normal that children don’t feel consistently happy at the beginning and in the middle of learning new piece. When they can fluently play the piece, they feel very enthusiastic and proud of themselves.
So how can you, as a parent or caregiver, help your children to get through the dips in their interest in piano and the desire to quit piano?
This is not an unsolvable problem. You can do it!