What is soft piano? It is a way of teaching beginning piano that does not involve reading music immediately. It has demonstrated a far higher success rate.
Why does “soft piano” even exist? Because the failure rate of “hard piano” (the old school) is 90%. Even a fool realizes that anything that has a 90% failure rate does not work.
But conventional teachers decry soft piano as a fake, cheating children out of a musical education.
- Piano is difficult no matter how you teach it.
- Easy piano methods instill bad habits.
- Only the old school is acceptable.
- Soft piano dilutes music education.
Let’s take those statements and examine them.
PIANO IS DIFFICULT NO MATTER HOW YOU TEACH IT
Wrong. Any piece of music can be simplified to the point where a beginner can play it.
The flaw is that a very complex piece, even if rendered into numbers, may be too complex for the player to understand. The sheet music would be equally incomprehensible.
The entire process of learning the piano probably cannot be made easy, if you plan to be a concert pianist.
But it is entirely within the realm of reason that the beginning of piano lessons can be made more enjoyable for children.
EASY PIANO METHODS INSTILL BAD HABITS
I’ve seen little geniuses who have “good habits.” They hate the piano, as they have been forced by repetition to learn a series of showpieces.
The one habit you have to have to succeed at the piano is the desire to keep playing. Unless that desire is coming from you, you will quit.
All the habits necessary to play the piano can be instilled at any time. Force doesn’t really work. Passion does.
ONLY THE OLD SCHOOL IS ACCEPTABLE
If you’re a conventional piano teacher, then the answer is yes. But if you’re a six year old, you may get a different answer.
All that matters is that the child develops a desire to learn the piano.
Force won’t accomplish this. Nurturing might. Use your head: do you want a robot or an artist?
SOFT PIANO DILUTES MUSIC EDUCATION
Well, yes it does, but only for a little while in the beginning.
Music education is so “thick” that of course we have to dilute it, there’s no other way to get the kids to drink it.
So if a child gets a 10% solution of music education at first, he might quite like it, but if he got 100% it might be too thick, too complex for the child.
The opposite of soft piano is, “Here, drink this thick stuff, it’s what I used to drink 60 years ago when I was a kid.”
That stuff makes kids choke.
Copyright 2017 Walden Pond Press