Philosopher, Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"That which we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly."
Wouldn't it be nice if our children would happily run to the piano and joyfully practice each day, thrilling to the SOUND OF MUSIC filling the house and putting smiles on the faces of pridefully glowing parents? IT ISN'T ALWAYS GONNA HAPPEN! It will, at first, since there is always a honeymoon phase while everything is new, the teacher and child get acquainted, the music is fresh. But just like a marriage, things will settle into a routine, and practicing technique and learning notes becomes, shall we say, less than fun. It NEVER was that much fun for me, at least. It is, in the final analysis, HARD WORK TO ACQUIRE A DIFFICULT SKILL THAT IF EASY, EVERYONE WOULD BE DOING. What is fun, however, is the result of practicing. PLAYING THE PIANO IS FUN! That is why they call it playing.
KIDS DON'T QUIT PIANO, PARENTS DO!
It is our job as parents to stay with and be steadfast supporters of our children especially during the difficult times and make sure they continue to see the "pot of gold" over the horizon. These periods are inevitable, and we as parents must do everything we can to see that they work through them. Perhaps the greatest lesson your child can take from piano study is this: "The more work it takes to do something well, the greater the self-satisfaction for having achieved it." Most children I see end up not taking piano because the parents have given up; they may say they want to quit, but most of the time, they are saying they want to quit that piece, they want to go a different direction, they need a different approach, because I guarantee you almost all the time they want to play piano, regardless of how loudly they protest. Perhaps the saddest lesson a child can learn is that when the going got tough, the were allowed to quit. I have NEVER heard an adult tell me that they were so glad their parents let them quit piano. Have you?
MUSIC STUDY LEADS TO A BETTER SOCIETY
I've heard it said that the Greatest Generation was one of sacrifice, of saving, of investing and building for the future while the Baby Boomers was about borrowing and spending away the future. If culture does anything for a society, it broadens our understanding of the human experience. It creates the ability to empathize. Simply put, if you or your child has studied piano and then hears a pianist play a great piece of music well, how much more will you or they appreciate the human effort it took to bring that piece to life---to write that piece. Only then could they understand the sacrifice of the parents who nurtured the talent or that of the pianist or composer or society that fostered a climate for such talent to thrive. Who knows---maybe culture can lead to better citizens.