“My son/daughter is interested in piano lessons. I thought I would sign up to see if he/she likes it.”
That’s a very common statement coming from a parent of a youngster interested in getting started with piano lessons. Often times, it’s an adult who is interested in engaging with lessons who has the same train of thought.
Giving some attention what is being said here just might serve as the difference between those lessons being a success or not…
Question: What would it take for this youngster (or adult) to “like it?” Does this mean that, upon a first meeting with a teacher and experiencing an hour of instruction, this person’s perspective on learning is to result in either a “yes” or a “no” in terms of whether or not a second lesson takes place? Gosh, if that was the case with every individual who enters school grade 1, how would that affect the percentage of individuals who actually reach the high school graduate level?
The truth is that there are a number of factors that can contribute to that first experience being a positive one or a negative one. Among them, the most influential one is likely to be the mind set that has been established prior to that first lesson taking place. For example, if you are the parent of a youngster taken on piano lessons for the first time, have you had a nice talk with him or her and explained that the lessons were going to serve as a vehicle for nurturing a sense of commitment over a prescribed set of time (six months, a year, etc.)? Have you decided to allow this journey to serve as both a way for your child or teenager to enhance an appreciation for music and a way in which to establish good habits when it comes to setting and achieving any goal? If the lessons are for yourself, have you taken the time to reflect on how you can utilize these lessons for reasons that go beyond the most obvious one?
Along with all of this, it makes sense to acknowledge that the rapport between a new student and the instructor certainly plays a major role in the process. Such a relationship can “make it or break it” in terms of those lessons equating to a success. However, if you allow that one experience to determine whether it’s a go or not, you’re most likely cheating yourself out of an opportunity to explore an avenue that could otherwise be truly fun and rewarding with the right teacher. That’s right… not every instructor is for every student.
Interviewing a prospective piano teacher will offer significant clues when it comes to what kind of experience you are likely in for. For example, if those lessons are being taken to explore your creative abilities at the piano and you connect with a “university-raised” teacher who has the intention of putting you through a rigorous “academic” approach to learning piano, you will most likely find that you’re “up against a brick wall.” Had you put yourself in touch with a piano teacher who was trained and devoted to nurturing your musical creativity while providing a well-balanced musical education, your experience would have been a completely different one. Click here for some guidance when it comes to choosing a piano teacher. Acknowledging these important points now can really assure you of a more positive learning experience.
It is also worth noting that, unfortunately, a certain unnecessary stigma exists when it comes to how many classically trained piano teachers view those instructors who have the ability to take on a more creative approach to giving lessons. This usually manifests as a result of the fact that many of the former lack creative skills they can transfer to students who desire to explore more creative territories. In short, a teacher cannot teach what he or she does not know. Many of these studio teachers make a living selling services that are truly limited to the learning approach they have been exposed to. While any person who endures what it takes to earn a music degree may be deserving of credit that is due for such diligence, it must be acknowledged that we live in modern times and even such a trained musician who has gone so far as to earn a Master’s degree or higher does not necessarily possess the skills that go hand in hand with a student being exposed to a well-rounded musical experience, especially if he or she has an interest in the pop or jazz idiom or even aspires to focus on learning how to be creative at that piano or keyboard even in the initial stages (yes, this is not only possible but is transpiring even as your read this).
Let’s say that you are an adult who has had some previous experience, perhaps playing pop or jazz tunes, who would like to learn more about playing chords on the piano and expressing yourself in a more creative fashion. With few exceptions, if you were to approach the average classically trained piano teacher with such goals, you might encounter a response that goes something like, “You need to learn certain rudiments before you can do that. Learn what I have to show you and that kind of playing will come later.” The author can attest to such occurrences, based on personal experience. Be informed that such a response reflects a piano teacher who is quite limited in his or her ability to help along an avenue that is unfamiliar territory.
So, getting back to those lessons being something you “like or don’t like”… there are way too many variables to consider for judgement to be placed on one experience (or a few). If you indeed have the desire to incorporate music into your life (or a youngster’s), there is truly nothing that can stand in your way of making that happen if you are to use a little discretion, ask the right questions, and make decisions that are in line with your goals.
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Posted in: Adult Piano Lessons, Choosing A Piano Teacher, Piano Lesson For Kids, Starting Piano Lessons | Tags: choosing a piano teacher, chords on the piano, finding the right piano teacher, getting started with piano lessons, improvise on piano, piano instuctor Sarasota, piano lessons for adults, piano lessons for children, piano lessons for kids, piano lessons in Sarasota, piano lessons Sarasota, Sarasota piano lessons, Sarasota piano teacher