Monday, September 26, 2011

Kids will complain

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.


  1. At least they're not complaining about having nothing to do. We just signed up our 3-year old for the Church Choir and he's so excited. No complaining yet except for his lack of m&m's. I have 2 very musical kids, one sings and the baby dances and from a non-musical background, I definitely want to see my kids excel and enjoy it (minus the inevitable complaining).

  2. You said it Robyn! We crazy new parents read entirely too much Oprah, Dr. Phil, and any other pseudo or true expert that comes along to tell us how to parent. Parents (myself included) need to toughen up a bit, listen to our kids, but also guide them to make strong decisions for themselves. Just the other day our son, Isaac, wanted to quit soccer. He has only been playing 3 weeks, so my husband simply said: If you think you need to quit...that is fine. We will not stop you. But, you will need to go and tell the coach that you have decided to quit the team. You would not BELIEVE the change of heart once he realized we would not be bailing him out ;)! Being a parent is a challenge. Being a kid is a challenge. Both teams have to bite the bullet to obtain the glory ;)!