I wrote a blog previously on the subject of “forcing” a child to take piano (or any instrument) lessons. The conclusion I made was a resounding…YES! Today’s blog is an interview from an adult that was forced to take piano lessons as a child. Her name is Emily. She called me a while back to sign up HER daughter for piano and violin lessons. She told me her story and I asked if I could interview her. Here are my questions and the answers she gave me.
Kathi: “How old were you when you started piano lessons and how long did you take them?”
Emily: “I started at age 5. I took through junior or senior year of high school.”
Kathi: “Do you remember if you had shows signs of interest in piano before your mom set it up?”
Emily: “No, I do not recall having an interest in playing. I think she just saw me banging around on the piano and the notion came to her that either I could possibly be interested or I just needed to learn to play. Music/singing has always run in our family, so I think she hoped to continue the tradition. Which is why I also want to encourage my daughters as well.”
Kathi: “Did your piano teacher make it fun to learn?”
Emily: “I had two teachers, a beginning teacher and once I advanced I was taught by a different person. In both cases, although my teachers were very nice, I do not recall it being ‘fun’. I actually found the process of learning music to be less than exciting. I think, for me, the thrill was once the accomplishment of learning a complicated piece of music came.”
Kathi: “Did your piano teacher offer you a clear, easy to follow, step by step approach?”
Emily: “I think both teachers offered great teaching styles. I always trained with both music theory books and sheet music together, and the approach used was useful.”
Kathi: “Did you feel you understood everything taught to you?”
Emily: “No, I didn’t truly understand music theory the way I wish I could have. I am big on the ‘why’ piece to anything and understanding that better would have greatly increased my skills. However, I think most children wouldn’t necessarily find theory and fundamentals that interesting, so it was mostly my age that played a role.”
Kathi: “If you did have questions, did you feel comfortable asking your teacher?”
Emily: “Yes, I did.”
Kathi “If you DID ask questions, did she answer in a clear way that you understood?”
Emily: “Yes, they would answer them clearly.”
Kathi: “You mentioned hating the lessons. As an adult looking back, can you describe exactly why you hated it?”
Emily: “I felt it was boring. I didn’t have the appreciation and maturity that I have now. In the same way most kids do not find school work fun. But I understand as an adult why the lessons they learned in school were so important.”
Kathi: “Are you happy now that you took lessons all through the years, so you can play for enjoyment now?”
Emily: “I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I continued to learn music. I am over the moon about sticking with and having that skill set as an adult. I can’t explain why I stuck through the agonizing lessons for all those years, maybe because subconsciously I knew it was beneficial for me and that one day it would pay off. I give the credit to my mom for never giving up on me even though I know it was sometimes such a hardship on her. I think just knowing your child helps. Knowing that music ran in our family and that each generation has a choice to continue it or not plays a role in my case. Also knowing that if you come from a family that isn’t musically inclined, the legacy can always being somewhere.” ?
I’m happy that Emily stuck with the lessons and is now paying off for her. She has a richer life as an adult because of it. At Melody Music Studios, we offer fun yet professional music and voice lessons. We offer tailored lessons with an easy to follow approach, so the student fully understands. And if the student understands what is being taught, he or she will enjoy learning music! Sign up you and your child today and experience the joy of making beautiful music for a lifetime!