Monday, September 26, 2011
As a private piano teacher, and former school music teacher, I've heard a lot of kids complain. They have complained about having a new assignment, a quiz, theory homework, not getting to sing the warm up they want, wishing music class lasted longer, wanting class to be shorter, having to stand up, playing scales, learning a difficult piece, learning a piece they think is too easy, siting by someone they don't want to, the weather, their lunch, their current position in line, etc., etc......I've heard the phrase, "I don't feel like it" countless times. So, why is it that when a student complains about piano lessons, which they invariably do at some point, do parents feel like they have to take action and quickly get them out of lessons? What's wrong with listening to the complaint of the day, providing empathy ("I'm sorry to hear that."), and then saying, "I'm sure things will get better"? (which they invariably do!). Students who complain about school aren't allowed to quit school because they are momentarily frustrated. Kids shouldn't be allowed to go on a junk food only diet just because they complained about eating their vegetables. The point is, kids will complain about everything. EVERYTHING! I think it would be sad to keep them from learning and reaping the life long benefits of a musical education just because they complained.
Monday, September 5, 2011
The book that I most frequently recommend to my friends, students, and tuning clients for becoming a savvy piano shopper, is now free online! The Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer by Larry Fine (formerly published as The Piano Book) is updated twice a year and can be found at pianobuyer.com. The many articles in this book should be required reading for all pianists, but this book is especially useful for those that intend to purchase a piano.