The first great piano myth is that kids must be instilled with the habits of a concert pianist from the beginning.
The truth is that this is kid’s piano, so make the piano appeal to a child. On the other hand, if you know of any kids who enjoy iron discipline, endless hours of dull repetition and almost no personal freedom, by all means refer them to the nearest conservatory.
The second great piano myth is that if kids form bad habits at the piano, these habits can never be undone.
The truth is that the only bad habit a kid can have at the piano is to not want to be seated in front of one. If you harass a child into all the proper positions and then manage to get a note or two out of them, don’t expect them to ask to play piano unless there is a threat present. Guilt never produced anything in a child other than a desire to be relieved of said guilt.
The third great piano myth is that kids are supposed to learn to read music first, and then, if your child somehow survives that decade-long process, they will magically start enjoying music and derive great pleasure from playing the piano.
The truth is that the only kids who enjoy playing the piano as adults are those that were allowed to enjoy the piano as children. You have to let kids be kids and enjoy the piano on their own level.
The fourth great myth is that your kids have to practice the piano on a daily basis, and that the child’s reaction to these practice sessions is entirely irrelevant. The conventional piano teacher’s view is that if a child does not like to practice what they are given, they are either stupid or lazy.
The truth is that kids are almost never shown how to practice, a complex process that requires professional guidance. You can’t just throw a child in a room with a Bastien piano book and then say, “Go learn it.” You have to show them exactly how to do it, and make it fun and interesting into the bargain. That’s a tall order if you’ve ever played a Bastien piano book with a child.
Kids nowadays are given the most boring exercise pieces in the beginning in the mistaken belief that endless repetition of these pieces will produce not only skill, but a desire to play music. It will do neither.
A far better method is to find the things about the piano that excite and interest the child, and only after the child has learned to enjoy the piano in some humble manner are they gently and gradually informed that they have a Himalayan Marathon of things to learn.
Show a child pianist that force will be used to instill skill, and that child may willingly play the piano once or twice.
Show a child what there is to enjoy about the piano, in terms of music making, and they will play the piano for their entire life.
Here’s a link to a piano method kids really enjoy starting: http://www.pianoiseasy2.com
Copyright 2013 John Aschenbrenner All Rights Reserved.