What should I put on the shelves first? As a teacher and as a parent: It’s a very simple question. Your child should want to learn to play piano, too.
When kids decide to go for piano or violin as their first instrument, they are often not aware that their parents had the same thought. I’m not saying parents should let their children choose. No, I am saying they should be open to it, and that parents and children should communicate about the decision.
When you hear someone make a decision about which instrument their child loves the most and why, you have to ask yourself, “If I were that child, what would I want in terms of the music-making process? What instrument would I have to learn, and what would I really like to know about that instrument? And how would you help me become a better musician, as a parent, as a teacher, and as anyone else who has been involved in this process?”
For a parent, it helps a lot if you can answer these questions for your child before they decide. It’s not just to help your child understand the reasons why (they will understand more about that later) but also to help the parent understand how their child is thinking and feeling, what it is that they are feeling, how they are feeling, their values and priorities, and the kind of person they’d like to be.
In the case of piano, the most important things for any parent to know about this choice are:
1) Your child does not need to learn piano to be a good musician. Most pianists can play classical music, and there is plenty of piano instruction for piano players.
2) This decision would be a mistake. While it is always good for parents to listen to the needs and preferences of their child and take into consideration what the child might be lacking in the music-making process, there are no guarantees. The same could be said for any musical choice, really.
3) The teacher may have other skills that he or she does not plan on incorporating into your music-making process, and it would be extremely unwise for you to be in any way controlling of those abilities.
4) It isn’t something that will take much of an investment, though. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard parents say, “I don’t have much money to invest in piano, so I made this decision with my own money.” No matter how well-meaning this might
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