Friday, February 20, 2009

Would You Let Her Quit?

Have you ever talked to someone who said, "I really regret all those years I took piano lessons."

I doubt it. I know I never have.

I always hear people saying, "I really regret that I stopped taking piano lessons."

McKinley started piano lessons at the age of 4. She had been sitting at the piano for a few months picking out songs. Nothing fancy, just Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Mary Had A Little Lamb. She has always done well. But I have threatened to glue her to the piano bench on more then one occasion. She HATES to practice! HATES it! For the last two years we have forced her to continue. Okay, maybe forced is a bad word. We've just told her that she'll be doing it. I don't have to drag her out of the car at the teachers house or anything. Well, not every time.

Even though she complains she's good.

I know, I know...I'm her mom. I have to say that.

But stay with me. A friend at school played a song for McKinley a few weeks ago that she really liked. She watched the friend and came home and played the song for me. Played it for me! She didn't have any music. Just her memory. It was beautiful. She told me she also liked it but felt like it needed a key change. A key change!! She has since taught herself another really difficult one. I just personally think that she should stop the lessons!

The first one is the song as she figured it out. The second one is the oh so necessary key change.

Listen to the videos and tell me what you honestly think. Should she be allowed to quit??

video video

11 comments:

Julie said...

Wow! I've always just been a lurker, but... Yes, let her quit. She's learned the basics ++++, my belief is if she likes/loves the piano she's more likely to come back to it, play around on it and ask for more lessons at a later date if she's not forced. My daughter took piano for quite a few years but decided she wanted to "take a break" when she was about 11. She's now 16 and about 6 months ago picked up an old guitar we had laying around, is teaching herself to play from the internet and decided to take guitar next year in High School. Once the basics are there, let them follow their heart, it's more likely to stick.

sportzmom said...

Absolutely not!!!! She's very talented. I do feel your pain and actually, if the battle becomes too big, I would let her quit. I would make her wait a little while longer though to make sure that she's really unhappy playing. (She sure doesn't look unhappy in the videos!)

I've always wanted to learn to play the piano and I wish my parents had made me take lessons. It's still on my list of things to do...

Kelly said...

I'm not sure..but she plays beautifully!!!That's a hard decision...she sounds great...
I know, I'm no help ;o)

jean said...

Tough call... I HATED to practice and was 'forced' to take piano lessons from K-9 grades. I only got good enough to be the accompanist for Middle School choir, and probably b/c there wasn't anyone else that could play! I miss it sometimes now, but that foundation opened up WORLDS of opportunity for me in HS - I think I ended up playing a total of SEVEN different instruments. I guess that's where my 'real' talent was. Could she become an accompanist for a choir, whether at school or church or a community choir? That might keep her interested enough to at least keep playing for awhile longer while not feeling like she's being 'forced'.

Donetta said...

Steph, we went through the same thing with Kayla when she was a little younger - she wanted to quit because she was tired of practicing. I think the key is to know if it's just the practicing that's tiring or does she not enjoy playing the piano? It's one thing if she truly does not like playing the piano but totally another if she just doesn't want to do the work right now. I would encourage you to have her stick with it. That's what we did for Kayla and about a year later she thanked me for not letting her quit. :) She just goes through phases and sometimes she gets tired of it but she eventually enjoys it again. I think our girls must be very similar in this way. I've told Kayla that she is way too gifted musically to give up on it. Plus, music is what she wants to major in when she goes to college so she needs to stick with it! ;)

I have to add that when I watched the video I cracked up laughing because Kayla found that song online and learned it right away too! There is a place to download it for free if you're interested - that's what Kayla did. Just e-mail me if you want the web address.

Donetta said...

by the way, did you do that with a video camera or a regular camera with a video feature? I've wanted to post stuff from my video camera but I don't know how. Do you?? :)

Heather said...

She does play beautifully. . . It's probably not a fight I'd continue. It's not a necessity for survival in the world. It's not a moral nor ethical issue. It is nice to know how to play, and if she wants to play as an adult, there are still many, many years she has to improve while paying for her own lessons :). My parents let me quit (finally) when I was 16, and I really don't regret it. I don't play much, and I still don't enjoy practicing. :)

Robin said...

Wow! She is talented! I would say don't let her quit. But maybe you could find a way to make lessons better for her, like let her pick what music to work on. If she hates classical find something else that will still keep her playing and learning. I think she will thank you later for making her stick to it. I wanted to quit band in 9th grade, but my dad made me go and I am forever thankful he did.

This parenting thing isn't easy, is it?

Coachdad said...

That was great... and no! She was awesome. You must be so proud. I would be!

miruspeg said...

I do like her "change of key" version best....lovely song.

My parents let me quit taking piano lessons when I was 14 and I do regret it. Apparently I was quite a good pianist.

My suggestion would be to keep up the lessons especially as she can play by ear as well as read music. Or if she doesn't take lessons, make sure she plays the piano regularly.

Unfortunately playing the piano is not like riding a bike....we do forget how to play.

Hugs
Peggy

Jeremy and Melanie said...

I was wanting to start Jacee in lessons when we get back to T-town, but didn't know if it was too early. But I guess she will be about the same age McKinley was. I need to talk to Janis (or you) if you know anyone in the area that will give lessons at that age...