“I’m thinking about quitting piano lessons.” Have you ever heard your child say this sentence to you? I have had parents say things to me like “my child wants to quit piano and I don’t want them to”, or “if I let them quit they will regret it one day”, or even “how to I get them to practice more”. Have you ever said these things to your child’s piano teacher or just thought them in your head?
I started piano lessons at the age of 6. I always enjoyed learning how to play and loved to see how fast I could get through the method books. As the years went on, I phased out of the method books and started learning more music theory and harder repertoire. This also required me to practice more. Instead of practicing 20-30 minutes a day, I was told to start practicing an hour a day. After doing my homework and being tired from school, I just wanted to relax. I was getting older and wanted to watch TV or do anything else besides practice the piano really. Piano started to feel more like a chore instead of something I enjoyed doing. This was really nobody’s fault. It just happened. So at the age of 11 I quit piano lessons. Then, about a year later, I decided I was ready to take lessons again, so I got back into them.
The desire to take piano lessons needs to come from the child not the parent.
Here’s the deal. If your child wants to quit piano lessons, or you are seeing a lack of desire, or they aren’t as passionate about it as they once were, please do not force them to take lessons. I cannot tell you the number of students I had who would work on the same song week after week or would spend half of their lesson talking about where they would rather be. Either your child will grow passionate about something else and you will be able to help that desire and interest grow, or they will take a break from lessons and will come back to it when THEY are ready. Please do not beat yourself up if your child loses the interest in piano lessons. Parents…it is not your fault. You could be the most encouraging, loving, and uplifting parent, but if the desire for that child is not there, it’s not there.
“But what if they become an adult and regret not taking a music lesson?”
Well, here is my answer to that. Either they will take lessons when they are an adult or they will already have a passion for something else at that point. Everyone is not good at everything. I tried playing basketball and was terrible at it. I don’t remember looking back now wishing I had stuck with it. I am also a terrible drawer. This is something I can say with complete confidence I have no skill at. Piano lessons are not for everyone and that’s ok.
If your child is in piano lessons and you can tell they have a natural talent and are just being lazy, this is a whole different can of worms.
The child might just need a positive push to succeed. As parents, it’s ok to give your children the push they need to succeed if you know piano is their passion. You are the parent and know your child better than anyone. If you get a little push back from the child that’s ok too. Sometimes, being in lessons does become tedious and tiring, but all the hard work that your child puts into it will pay off. The first time they learn a favorite song, or are able to play a song from memory, or are confident enough to play in front of a crowd, all the hours of practice will be worth it.
Every child is different.
Either they are passionate and should keep going strong, have lost interest and need to take a little break for a while, or show no desire and want to quit. Some students thrive in a traditional piano lesson and surpass even the teachers expectations and this is fantastic.
Has your child ever used the words “I want to quit piano?” What was the outcome of that conversation?
If you are a parent, student, or teacher who wants to learn more about music, connect with other musicians, or wants to post their latest videos of what they’ve been working on, I would love for you to join my Facebook group Music Education Connection. Collaborate, learn from each other, and grow new friendships. This is a place to receive encouragement, positive feedback, and to ask questions.