Piano lessons are fairly common for small children, and if you’ve ever taken piano lessons, you already know the pros and cons of it. Piano lessons can provide you with a lifelong love of music and have been proven to offer advantages in school subjects such as math and science. Indeed, there seems to be no downside to learning to play the piano, but that doesn’t stop piano students from quitting their lessons at certain ages.
If you’re a parent and want to learn some of the reasons why children tend to stop going to their lessons at some point, it may allow you to keep them in those lessons for a little bit longer. Regardless of their age, below are some of the reasons why most people end up stopping their piano lessons at some point.
1. Problems with the Teacher
Most piano teachers don’t just teach kids how to play the piano; they also inspire them to learn more challenging music and become better musicians. They make it both fun and challenging, so if kids have a teacher who keeps expecting them to play the same music all the time and not move up to more challenging pieces, they can get bored and not want to play any more. While rare, some teachers don’t make learning to play the piano fun and this makes kids much more likely to quit their lessons.
On some occasions, there is even a lack of rapport between student and teacher, and this can make lessons a little awkward. If you feel as if that is the problem with your child, you might want to start looking for another teacher.
2. Being Unrealistic, Then Feeling Guilty
Sometimes people taking piano lessons set goals for themselves when it comes to both practice and the amount of time it takes to upgrade their skills. Then, if they don’t meet those goals, they feel either guilty or incompetent, and maybe even a little overwhelmed, so they want to stop their lessons.
Learning music should make you feel good about yourself, not bad. If this is happening to your child, talk with the teacher to determine what you can do about it. Also remember that there is nothing wrong with your child learning at a slower pace than other students. As long as they are learning and progressing, that’s all that matters.
3. Not Having a Set Plan for Regular Practice
When learning the piano, it really doesn’t matter what your set practice schedule is; the only thing that matters is that you get regular practice in nearly every day of the week. If you can only practice for 30 minutes a day five times a week, that’s better than nothing.
Sometimes kids and their parents don’t have a plan in place for their practice schedule. They just take it day by day and practice whenever they can for however long they can. This sporadic schedule will make a child want to quit lessons because they won’t be happy with the progress they’re making. If this happens to your child, the best thing you can do is help them set up a practice schedule and have them stick to it as closely as possible every day.
4. Not Being Prepared for the ups and Downs with Piano Lessons
Learning to play the piano is just the same as learning any other skill; it has its ups and downs. Some days, you believe that you’ll be the next Chopin, and some days, you wonder why your piano teacher hasn’t gotten rid of you. When it comes to your rate of learning, and even your commitment and enthusiasm, you will have good days and bad days.
You may have to re-spark your interest at times and maybe even change your routine if you feel as though you’re in a rut. Instead of quitting lessons during one of the “down” times, you can simply keep going and find a way to change something so that your interest in lessons doesn’t wane.
5. Not Realizing That Discipline Is a Learned Behavior
It takes discipline to learn how to play the piano, but many people — especially children — don’t realize that discipline is learned, not taught or discovered. The more you stick with your regular practice schedule, the more disciplined you’ll become.
If it’s your child who’s taking lessons, it may take a while for them to learn this fact. If they expect to be motivated every time that practice time rolls around, they’ll be sorely disappointed. Let your child know that true discipline may take time to develop, but it will all be worth it in the end.
6. Feeling as If You’ve Outgrown Your Lessons
When kids take piano lessons at a young age, it’s not that uncommon for them to quit once they get to middle school or high school. At that point in their lives, other responsibilities and interests are put on their plates, and they may feel like they want to move onto “bigger and better” things.
They may even lose interest at this point simply because they have replaced playing the piano with other extracurricular activities. Unfortunately, there is little you can do about this, but if a child has a solid foundation by the time middle school starts, they are much more likely to keep going with his piano lessons.
7. The Parents Are Not Committed to the Lessons
If you want your child to take piano lessons, it takes a commitment on your part as well as theirs. The younger they are, the less likely they’ll take this commitment seriously. If you aren’t committed to the lessons, they won’t be either.
If you feel as if you’re pushing your child to take piano lessons, or you’re not ready to commit to working with your child to keep up with lessons and practice times, you may want to put off enrolling them in piano lessons for now. Kids learn commitment and discipline from their parents, so if you’re not ready for them to take piano lessons and do what is required of all piano students, chances are good that they won’t be ready either.
8. Not Showing up for Lessons Regularly
Missing a practice now and then is expected, but if a child regularly misses lessons, there is only so much they can learn. Each lesson teaches kids something extremely valuable and something that they need to learn in order to proceed to the next level.
You can think of these steps as building blocks, where each block needs to be mastered in order to move onto the next one. None of these “blocks” should be missed, so make sure that your child not only practices regularly, but that they also show up for lessons every single time that they take place.
9. Not Doing Music the Student Loves
While everyone has to learn by practicing certain types of music in the beginning, students should eventually be able to play music they really love so they don’t feel like they’re just learning and not having fun.
Once the basic skills are learned, the teacher should be able to find music that the student can learn from and still enjoy the music being played. As they move up and learn more skills, the teacher should find additional music that is both fun to play and is still challenging. If you feel that your child’s piano teacher isn’t doing this, it might be time to have a talk with them.