So, here are a few thoughts for the parents of little or big kiddos (or anyone, really) who are thinking about undertaking the joys and challenges of learning the piano.
1. Piano is probably the most important instrument for a child in western civilization to learn.
2. No other instrument trains children in so many areas of musical activity - (reading in more than one clef, counting rhythm while playing, using hands and feet to play, learning alphabetical note names and finger numbers, being able to sing while playing, etc, etc.), yet is so playable at a young age.
4. Other instruments that are popular like guitar and drums have merit, but are best introduced after the child has actually learned how to read music and keep time in piano study.
5. There will be difficult days ahead (but don't fear!!). The enthusiasm (which usually appears around ages 5-8), will fade and you will find yourself coaxing an uninterested child into doing their practicing. But, I can't tell you how many people I've heard say to me, "I wish my parents had made me keep going with piano when I wanted to quit." We will have to coax our children in many worthwhile endeavors, and this should be one of them.
6. It is worth the monetary investment. Don't shy away from private teacher costs. If it presents a true hardship, some teachers will help work something out.
7. Don't be deterred if your child responds with, "Piano lessons?? I don't want to take piano lessons!" This happened just a few months ago as a mom was signing up her young son for lessons. I looked at him and said. "WHAT? Don't you know that the piano is the greatest, and mightiest of ALL the instruments? It's the LION of the instruments!" To which his eyes got huge and sparkly and he gave me a shy smile. :-) Be firm and enthusiastic (and pray for a like-minded teacher!).
So, there are some thoughts as you ponder whether it's worth it. I'll give you 2 seconds to figure out what my opinion is. :-)
Part two of this post will be about signs of readiness for starting lessons.
What were your experiences with piano?
What do you think about the importance of children learning to play?