I think you underestimate the difficulty in engaging today’s child with the piano. Our competitors are the ipad, the internet, TV, shobiz, celebrity and a thousand other softwares, sites and technologies that hyponotize our youth.
Yet the piano is the world’s oldest “computer,” the first human attempt to digitize and simplify information. The piano keyboard made making music easier than on any other instrument, such as the violin or flute.
So why is it so hard to learn the piano?
Here are some of the problems:
- Children’s fingers are extremely weak, leading them to believe they cannot play.
- Both adults and kids struggle with the graphic language of music, an 800 year old language which is so complex that it manages to describe perfectly (if you speak the language fluently) every aspect of a piece of music. For the untrained, it is a nightmare of conflicting planes and dimensions.
- Learning the patterns of any song takes repetition, lots of it, and human brains get tired of repetition unless they are extremely motivated, such as ballet dancers, athletes and musicians.
- Adults have a tremendous advantage in learning the piano, because their brains are fully developed. Kids are trapped by the development of their brains, and their skills are dependent on their age.
Next comes personality. Some kids are not suited to old-fashioned repetitious study at the piano, and need a teacher who will bend over backwards to get the child the experience and facility they need. Sometimes they don’t get that sympathetic teacher, but rather a pedant or a slave driver.
Next consider the method used to teach the student, and the teacher. Don’t forget the statistic of 90% failure, and try to steer clear of inflated expectations. You have to select a method exactly suited to the child.
For some kids, the best method is right out of a book. For others, they need the teacher to make up a curriculum that engages and excites the child, perhaps not using a book.
All of the above difficulties are why I developed Piano By Number.
To me, there was a missing step in piano lessons.
It seems foolish to start right out with the difficult language of music notation, without giving the child a chance to simply make music first, using their brains, fingers and common sense.