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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
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    The Prairie
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    Default Did your parents make you take piano lessons?

    And are you glad they made you study piano or do you resent that they did?

    Son has been taking piano lessons for 4 years, he is now 9. We did Music For Young Children for 3 years until current music teacher stopped teaching MYC. He was one year away from finishing the program. We opted to continue with private lessons with this teacher instead of finding a different MYC teacher to continue with; the group lesson setting was not working for him.

    The enforcement of piano practise is starting to get to me. Some days it is like pulling teeth, some days "only" a moderate push is needed. Parental pressure is always required. Our teacher expects five day a week
    practise and frankly...I am tiring of it. Pretty sure son would quit in a heartbeat if we let him but I had it in my head that he should get his Grade 1 piano and then he could pick a different instrument if he wanted to.

    So..for those of you who wanted to quit and your parents wouldn't let you...are you glad they didn't relent or do you resent them for it?
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2009
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    4,470

    Default

    I'm glad they made me study looking back, but I did not enjoy it a the time. And if someone had told me " you will appreciate this when you're older" I would have laughed in their faces. I think part of being young is trying everything until you find something you enjoy. I did piano, ballet, gymnastics, violin and a few other activities until I landed in competitive swimming. That was pretty much the only activity that stuck up until I left for college.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2005
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    Australasia
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    1,111

    Default

    No but one of my best friends had to take piano lessons as a kid. I used to go along with her and wait while she had her lesson, and would also wait around while she did her practising at home - she had no aptitude for piano (or music in general truth be told) so it was torture!! Pretty much it was a waste of hard earned $$s.
    where am I, what day is it, am I still having a good time?



  4. #4
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    Jan. 18, 2008
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    Alberta, Canada and South Australia
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    2,682

    Default

    I took organ lessons for a few years, did practice a bit at home but not a lot. Never sure why since i did enjoy it but anyways. Same thing with French horn in junior high except i didn't have my own and it was a massive pain to lug it home on the bus so rarely did.

    Do wish i had continued with either of them. Have wanted to get back to playing something like a violin since great grand father made some nice ones and we still have a couple of them.

    A family friend had a deal with parents that he had to do piano till 18 and then he could continue or not. I'm not sure if practicing was part of that deal or not though. He was a very good player so he must have done some. lol

    P.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    39,954

    Default

    After all these years, I would say it is time to quit.

    I liked piano at the start, but liked the theory part much more than practicing senselessly, just could not sit there so long without almost going crazy.
    I was made to practice for an hour every day for years on end, since I was 5 1/2 and my mother would hit my bare bottom with her shoe, hard, when I refused to or stopped playing, until I agreed to keep playing.
    I hated every minute of it and didn't really practiced, just messed around banging on the piano very annoyed and I am sure annoyingly.
    I used to walk to the piano teacher's house and hide outside until the time was over and then walk back home and say the teacher was not home.
    Teacher was not helping saying I was so good at it.

    I loved music, music theory and wanted to play flute, but mother insisted it had to be piano and what it's worse, because "she wanted to play and didn't get to and always wished she had a chance".
    That doesn't make any sense to a kid.

    The way I liked music, a rational explanation why piano was the best instrument to learn as a basis for all music and with some adjustment on the time practicing, at least split on several short stunts a day, I would have liked it.
    As it was, forced and "just because I am the parent and get to say what and kids get to do what I say", for years on end, very stupid of a parent, I would say.

    Jeez, parents, does that make sense, to manipulate and practically have to beat a kid to do something so completely unnecessary in our lives as playing piano is, when the kid really doesn't like it and will never be that good at it if it doesn't, for YEARS on end?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 7, 2008
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Default

    I took lessons for several years when I was a kid, got reasonably good (I'm told) and then I just got sick of the whole thing - practice for an hour a day, piano lessons on Saturdays, blah.

    It was the subject of Much War in our house for some months until I somehow finally prevailed and was allowed to quit. (I honestly think they got tired of a 1 hour practice session turning into 3 hours of passive-aggressive stubbornness. I REALLY REALLY did not want to be doing it at that point.)

    Occasionally, now, I think 'hey, if I'd continued, I could...' but I can think the same thing about riding lessons, which I also had to stop for other reasons, so - life happens, things change. If it's making you miserable on an on-going basis, at some point it becomes not worth doing, even if you will want to do it again later.

    Because the thing is - I don't feel like I've really totally lost the basics I learned, and it's been quite some time since I took lessons or played frequently. So if I decided tomorrow that I wanted to start taking lessons again, I could. I've probably lost a bit of dexterity and muscle memory through lack of practice, but reading music and that sort of thing? Still kicking around in my brain. It's not like I ever WANTED to be a concert pianist or anything like that, where you HAVE to be really good by such and such age to be interesting.

    So put me down in the 'not worth the hassle' camp. I think there comes a point where it makes the kid miserable and then you're teaching more bad lessons than good in terms of mental attitude and daily life things.

    That said, I do think it's reasonable to say 'okay, if you're not taking piano then I want you to be doing something else outside of school to broaden your education' and see what the kid comes up with. Be open-minded - I would totally count going to the library and reading about Ancient Greek Military History if that was his current passion, provided he did it in an organized way and could communicate to you what he was learning. Or taking art classes or riding lessons or participating in a sport... Whatever. Something that gets him out of the house and doing something in some way different from the mental activity he gets at school.

    (Okay, maybe allow a vacation period for him to think of something. But I mean, no going from no-piano to 'sitting in his room playing video games All The Time non-stop' as his sole activity in life. )

    (Me, I went from piano, through a brief vacation period, and on to horseback riding which I LOVED - obviously, look where I'm posting - and although I couldn't 'practice' at home in the same way, it did provide that alternative social/educational experience that I think is important.)



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2009
    Location
    Virginia
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    614

    Default

    I wish I could have had piano lessons. At least it's some consolation that I was able to have riding lessons.



  8. #8
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    Sep. 1, 2006
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    2,284

    Default

    No, and I wish they had. I went on to major in voice in college, and my biggest hurdle to getting the degree was the piano proficiency. I had ZERO talent for learning the skills as an adult, and it was miserable. Just one of the things that drove me out of college and away from music as a career.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 15, 2007
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    often between a rock and hard place in Ky
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    4,824

    Default

    Mine did.. hated it. really really hated it.. I became passive aggressive about avoiding lessons too. I would leave my music book at home and not tell my mom until we got to teachers house 45 min away, I had been known to hide outside the house too if dropped off for an hour. I just couldn't sit still that long.

    I do feel I learned the basics, but I really didn't care about learning anything else. My mom also put me in lessons because it was something that SHE always had wanted to do and something about me having those "long piano fingers" whatever that is .

    I did enjoy swim team and dance lessons, and finally my mom gave up on the piano thing much to my rejoicing . I don't regret not learning it, not one minute.
    ___._/> I don't suffer from insanity.. I enjoy every
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  10. #10
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    Nov. 7, 2008
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    Pittsburgh, PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by horse-loverz View Post
    Mine did.. hated it. really really hated it.. I became passive aggressive about avoiding lessons too. I would leave my music book at home and not tell my mom until we got to teachers house 45 min away, I had been known to hide outside the house too if dropped off for an hour. I just couldn't sit still that long.
    I just have to add - when it's getting to this point (which, note, a lot of us are reporting through various methods) it is PAST time to just suck it up and say 'this isn't the right thing for the kid right now.'

    Plus, if you have a kid like me, the more you make it a battle, the less likely I am to come back sometime later and say 'hey, can I start taking lessons again? I miss it.' Because by golly I WON the battle by getting to stop, and I wasn't going to give up that ground easily by asking to start up again. (I may have been what some might call a stubborn little expletive. )



  11. #11
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    Jun. 18, 2007
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    Default

    Yes - for two years.

    Mom made it clear to all of us kids up front that we would have to take piano for two years, and after that, continuing or quitting would be entirely our choice.

    I continued. My two older brothers quit.

    I really appreciated her attitude here, giving us that musical education, ensuring that we would learn to read music, yet not giving us zero say in it if piano just didn't light our fires. From the beginning, we all knew that this was, or could be, a limited experience, not a seemingly eternal prison sentence.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2001
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    Gilbert, AZ
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    2,225

    Default

    Oh yes, I got sent to piano lessons, which my brother escaped, as usual. I was never a huge fan though (having short, stubby fingers didn't help), and would much rather have studied the flute. However, my past musical training came in useful when I started playing snare drum many years ago. We have several drumming students in our band who are unable to read even the most basic music and it makes things so much more difficult for them.



  13. #13
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    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
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    Default

    I was the OPPOSITE. My mother had been a piano teacher; ALWAYS had a grand in the house. I got a few "baby" lessons when age four or so, then NOTHING. I would ASK for lessons, ALWAYS got turned down. Got out the old lesson books and played with them.

    REALLY wish I played, now; or at least read music and had SOME knowledge of music.

    That said, I think your son has had plenty of music instruction; let him alone now.



  14. #14
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    Apr. 14, 2010
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    Deep in the Heart of Texas aka Houston
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    377

    Default

    Yes and I didn't like it as a child. But once I got to middle school/high school age I could finally play and sound good - like Fur Elise and Moonlight Sonata and really started enjoying it. My mom would set the timer for 30 mins to practice and I would sneak in to the kitchen and turn it (old school timer) forward Also we had to do competitions and had to memorize like 10 pieces of music. In school I was able to memorize very quickly which was a great help in college and I really think all that memory "training" in piano contributed.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sithly View Post
    do NOT give your 5 year old child a big bag of apples and send her out alone into a herd of 20-some horses to get mobbed. There are better ways to dispose of unwanted children.



  15. #15
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    Feb. 3, 2005
    Location
    Southern Ontario
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    887

    Default

    We always had a piano in the house, and I begged to take lessons. Of course, after starting lessons, it did become somewhat of a drag.

    I started lessons when I was in Grade 2, and continued right up until Grade 12, and ended up with having Grade 8 piano and Grade 2 theory.

    I'm glad I took lessons, but didn't force them upon my own daughter, who now regrets not having learned to play.

    There have also been educational studies that suggest students who have learned to play the piano do much better in math than their non-playing counterparts.

    I also have people comment at work on how I can use my hands very independently of each other, and I just tell them that it is because I play the piano.



  16. #16
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    Dec. 25, 2005
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    Default

    I played when I was younger, and really enjoyed it for several years. I eventually quit due to the teacher, who insisted that I do recitals and made me perfect every piece, even the ones I absolutely hated. I think I had one particular piece for something like 8 months, because she wanted it PERFECT. Even you like something in the beginning, it gets dull after playing it that many times. And I got extremely nervous for the recitals and never wanted to play for anything more than fun, so I started to resent the piano knowing I'd have to perform.

    There were times toward the end where I was forced to practice. Not sure if I appreciate that or not- I'm glad I have the musical education (and kind of wish I had continued but switched teachers, like my sisters), but at the time I really hated practicing and kind of got burnt out.



  17. #17
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    May. 8, 2004
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    4,291

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    Yes I did. At the Conservatory of Music and I hated it because I was terrified of my piano teacher. She was a starchy, tweedy, type A 40 something who was definitely not happy teaching second graders piano. I lasted two years and then begged my parents to let me quit which, thankfully, they did because it meant I could take riding lessons.



  18. #18
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    Jan. 16, 2003
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    Tennessee
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    2,909

    Default

    My mom always wanted to take piano lessons, but never had the chance. So I got stuck with the damn lessons from age 7 to about age 13. I had no musical talent, and no desire to play the piano. My teachers polietly conveyed this info to mom, and suggested she fulfill her desire in other ways, but she ignored them. I appreciate music, and have a great respect for people who can look at a sheet of music and know what the piece sounds like. But I wish mom had taken the lessons, and not me.
    It's 2014. Do you know where your old horse is?



  19. #19
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    May. 15, 2006
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    Eastern WV Panhandle
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    1,246

    Default

    BTDT, had to throw out the t-shirt because it had so many holes in it! The worst was that my mom also played, so if I messed around the wooden spoon got applied to my behind instantly. Also, there was no avoiding the lessons as my teachers as they came to the house.

    That said, the piano that was the bane of my existence in grade school now graces my living room, and I wish I had the time to practice more as I do enjoy it now. My DD is in Kindergarten and likes playing around on it, and she likes when I play. I've been giving her very basic lessons myself, and keeping them light and fun.



  20. #20
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    Sep. 30, 2007
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    2,689

    Default

    I started playing violin at age 6 (my mom's idea). I grew to hate it (as did my two brothers who also had to take music lessons). It got to the point where we all went to lessons against our will, had to practice against our will, and had to be in the orchestra against our will. There was a huge difference between someone like me and others I knew who really wanted to play. I was finally allowed to quit when I was in the 11th grade. I think it is a great idea to introduce children to music. I guess piano is easy to start with but after that, let the child have a choice in the instrument he or she wants to play. I remember when I was 13 or so I wanted to switch to flute and my mom wouldn't let me. If the kid is just hating it (not just a phase), I would let them quit.

    My fondest memories of my involvement in music were when I was in the junior high school orchestra- whenever we had a substitute teacher everyone would switch instruments- I was partial to the drums.



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