Over this past year or so, we’ve had some increasing issues with Asher no longer wanting to play the piano. Especially during the last school year, we had a LOT of days that he would really push back against practicing and even going to lessons. We started to hear the words “I’m going to quit” or “I don’t like playing the piano” more and more. Sometimes there were tears and shouts about it.
His teacher, who he’s been with since he was 5, tried every trick in her bag to re-engage him, excite him, whatever she could. Wasn’t working. I kept “forcing” him to practice at home, because, well, we are paying for the lessons and I really don’t want him to quit! Honestly, I also didn’t completely trust his 9-10 year old judgment on making this big decision.
It’s such a tricky thing… I mean, I love to play the piano and have played all my life. I think it’s highly valuable and I really, really want the boys to play instruments and appreciate music. HOWEVER….there’s always that nagging question…..”just because I love the piano, does that mean the boys automatically will (or have to) too??” I mean, they are individuals, entitled to their own interests. It’s so hard as a parent to know when to push or when to step back!
That being said: I know for a fact that many kids go through stages where music seems “boring” or “unappealing”, only to later turn a corner as they get older and find a whole new appreciation for it as teenagers or adults. I would hate to let him quit and have us all regret it later! I have met many adults that, when they learn I play the piano, have said, “Ohhhh….I played the piano when I was little. I wish my parents hadn’t let me quit!!!”
Long story short, after some discussion, we decided with the input of his teacher that we would switch Asher to a different teacher. His teacher agreed that maybe a change could be good for him, light a new spark, if you will. Asher liked his old teacher a lot but they were just starting to butt heads a little bit on some things I think and Asher often seemed frustrated. We needed to switch it up.
Yesterday afternoon, Asher had his first lesson with a new teacher (from the same music school, but a newly hired teacher). She is older, but I can tell she is very experienced and awesome with kids- warm and kind.
|Asher playing “Piano Man” for his new teacher, showing her what he can do!
Right away I loved the way she spoke to Asher and he responded to her instantly. She seems very interesting, creative and confident. Additionally, she is a published composer- and while composing is not something I have ever gotten into personally, I can actually really see that side of music appealing to Asher (he is quite artistic/ creative himself).
They spent a big part of the first lesson working on putting together a made-up piece about the boys’ hamsters. 😊 Asher LOVED it and was happy and engaged, talkative and excited the whole time.
I know all lessons can’t be like that- you still have to teach the skills and the scales and theory and all of that- but I feel like it was a huge step in the right direction for him!! I’m sure there is a bit of novelty factor going on here too, but after the lesson he said emphatically, “I want to keep taking lessons with HER!!”
Fingers crossed that we can keep pushing through this plateau here and emerge stronger on the other side! He has come so far and really plays quite beautifully now, when he wants to. 😉
Do you play any instruments?? Did you ever quit any instruments? Any regrets??
I am grateful for hot showers, towels and bathrobes! I took a hot shower yesterday evening and stepped out and just said, “Ahhhhh.” 😊 I’m grateful also for fluffy towels to dry off with and my warm bathrobe to wrap up in afterwards.