This is the #1 or at least on of the top 3 things I hear from adults looking to take music lessons. They took piano or guitar or some instrument when they were younger and quit. 20-30 years later, they are calling me on the phone regretting it.
I was in that exact same boat.
I took piano lessons when I was about 10 years old and I took lessons for maybe 2 years before I threw in the towel. And my parents let me. Why?
Maybe my parents felt:
- Frustrated that I wasn’t practicing
- Fed up with trying to drag me to music lessons
- Like they were wasting their money and I wasn’t getting anything out of it.
As an adult, I can totally relate to that and can understand why my parents would feel that way. And as an adult, I wish my parents would have encouraged me to continue with my piano lessons because I WAS getting something out of it. Even with very little to no practice, every week I was making progress. So much so that I would participate in recitals and performances. I wasn’t a Mozart, but I was doing something that made me feel good about myself.
As an adult, I wish my parents had encouraged me to keep going with my piano lessons. It taught that when things get tough, you give up.
Well, like most of my adult students, I came back to the piano 20 years later.
I really felt like I should know how to play the instrument because I realized later in life that I actually really did like it. Such a beautiful sound and such emotion.
If I had only kept at it as a child, I would probably be very good at the piano by now.
While I can understand the frustration parents can have with children who do not practice as often as we would like, there are so many benefits to music lessons.
We teach children to be successful in life through music lessons. We teach children about persistence, dedication, and hard work. Skills that will as them a lifetime.
As music teachers, we understand that 90%-95% of our students will pursue careers outside of music. We know the majority of our students will not apply to Berklee and become professional musicians.
Our goals as music teachers is to:
- Provide a creative outlet for students
- Encourage self expression and build self-esteem
- Teach students that hard work results in success
- Show students how setting and reaching goals creates motivation
- Provide opportunities to confront stage freight (public speaking anyone?)
I have personally benefited from music lessons as a child. I believe that is what made me so confident in myself and helped to shape the person I am today.
While the goal for every child is to learn and love music, I encourage parents to see the real life lessons we teach our student in music lessons. That winners never quit, and quitters never win. That when things get tough, we can push through and come out come out on top all the better.