Why people don't learn piano

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Gumby4, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. Gumby4


    Dec 18, 2007
    New Jersey
    My son decided to try piano lessons this year. He already takes cello and sax lessons. Over the Christmas break, he makes it known to us that while he still loves the cello and sax, piano is not for him.

    No big deal I thought. The piano teacher informs us that we signed a contract for the entire school year and we are obligated to complete the year. Problem: no contract exists and our requests for him to produce said contract has still gone unanswered. Right now this matter is in front of the school board but I did inform them that if they can't solve this problem ASAP, lawyers will be called.

    My son has been somewhat tight lipped on why he dislikes the piano but a note from the teacher has me pretty sure of the reason.

    From the last paragraph of the note, 'If they don't get much out of piano, you know as adults they will only say "my mother/father didn't make me practice. I wish they did."'

    In all my years of talking to people about music, nobody has ever lamented about parents not making them practice.

    Bottom line, my son hates piano because the teacher is an idiot. I get the feeling more people don't learn the piano for the same reason.
  2. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Sounds like he's a bad teacher. Tell him to pound sand.
  3. I've only had great piano teachers, but I now haven't got a teacher anymore since I've pretty much reached the same level theory wise and technique wise as my teachers. Then again, I've had lessons for 12 years. Now it's just getting more comfortable with the instrument. (I still play everyday for a solid hour, just to enjoy myself).

    Maybe I'll start teaching piano myself, could come in handy with me always needing money since I'm a student:)
  4. doctorjazz


    Oct 22, 2006
    Wilmington, NC
    +1 to Maki.

    Also, I took lessons when I was younger and gave it up. Now I'm relearning piano, and wishing I had stuck with it all those years in between, because I could be pretty good by now. I don't blame my parents for not making me practice, I just blame myself for not practicing.

    That said, it would be a great loss if your son quit the piano just because of a bad teacher. Once you get this whole mess straightened out, see if you can convince him to try it a little longer with someone else, then if he doesn't like it then don't worry about it.
  5. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    Yeah sounds that way...If you need a contract to keep your students coming back for lessons you must suck... It's piano lessons not a cell phone plan. Hell, I take bass lessons and if my instructor wanted me to sign on for a year at the start I would have laughed at him and walked out the door.

    This thread also reminds me that I have to work on learning to play the keyboard I bought to study harmony :/
  6. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i NEVER do a contract with my students.. as well, the times are flexible as to weekly lessons.. people work and have lives, if they can't make it, they can't make it (or if i pull a last minute gig, i gotta take it).. as well, if they are late, it eats up into their time, if i'm even one minute late, i give them the next lesson free. i have been late twice in my teaching career, it just costs me too much. :D

    if they want to practice, they practice, if they don't, they don't. i can't force them to do so. i do enjoy making people laugh.. whether at me or themselves, we have pretty laid back lessons. i only teach adults and in my experience, they just want to take lessons for two reasons:

    to get away from their wives

    to learn music

    the only thing i do ask is to pre pay for the month.

    in re the OP: sounds like piano teacher is full of vinegar and water..
  7. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I know people who absolutely hate the idea of playing music because they were forced to learn and practice an instrument they had no interest in. Dis-interest and be nurtured into outright loathing if you try to cram piano lessons down a kids throat.

    Buy the kid a football with the money you would have spent on the lessons.
  8. Safari


    Feb 6, 2009
    I quit for a few reasons:

    1) I didn't like the teacher much. Too much "well if you don't learn what I think you should learn first, then you won't be able to play what you want to play". IMO that is a bunch of malarkey. If there's something that excites you to learn, a teacher should incorporate the piece and the excitement into teaching fundamentals. In fact, I learned on my own as I do with all my instruments because of this very reason.

    2) I was young and impressionable and thought the piano was a "girls" instrument. Had my teacher helped me learn the songs I was interested in as opposed to "Medieval Dance" perhaps I would not have been so easily coaxed into that prejudice.

    Sounds like the teacher is kind of jerky - and if I may assume, your son may also be suffering from unjustified pressure to play a more manly instrument. Ask him to learn a song of his own accord and see if that sparks new interest.
  9. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    I have a friend who is brilliant (poet, philosopher) but claims to be completely "immune to" or "disinterested in" music...I was surprised to learn that he took piano lessons for years as a kid.....then I thought about it and came to the conclusion that this must have been the case for him...the guy doesn't own a single album by anyone, and listens to z100 (NY pop station) for background noise in the car. I would never want to do that to my kid.

    Yeah my first bass instructor was like that...took lessons with him for about 2 months and practiced all of three times maybe.

    Me: I want to learn how to write bass lines.
    Him: You need to play these modes upside down and backwards for 6 months before I tell you how to use them
    Me: Your an ***, I quit.
  10. Gumby4


    Dec 18, 2007
    New Jersey
    In don't know if cello and saxophone are more manly instruments but he really enjoys them. It is never a hassle to get him to practice those two instruments. Although, I am sometimes happy when sax practice ends.:p Maybe it has something to do with the songs he learns on them.

    Your input about song selection is a good one and I will ask my son about it tonight.
  11. Gumby4


    Dec 18, 2007
    New Jersey
    I think I may have try to take lessons from the same person.
  12. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i know plenty of sax players that get the chicks ;)

    as well, i did a poll here, from what i remember, the cello ended up being the most romantic instrument.. at least in our opinions..

  13. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    My girlfriend teaches piano. Well she teaches a music class for preschoolers 3 times a week and gives private piano lessons when not at work. She must be good because thats how she makes her living. Or because she's hot.

    Good thing for me, because I bought a synth last year and its about time I started getting some free lessons.
  14. DudeistMonk


    Apr 13, 2008
    Newark, NJ
    LOL, maybe you are from Jersey...

    A curmudgeonly old fat guy who worked at a music lesson center off route 27 in Edison by where Costco is now?
  15. TallLankyBastyd


    Jan 31, 2007
    I was really enjoying learning the piano when I was a young lad... but my mom's DOUCHEBAG kept falling from the shower and clunking upon the keys so I just said "the hell with this!"

    And that... was that...
  16. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    w t f???? LOL hahahahahaha :D
  17. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    I dont know whether to laugh or cringe in horror.
  18. Gumby4


    Dec 18, 2007
    New Jersey
    My guy was a young fat guy down here in South Jersey. Maybe he was your guy's son. ;)
  19. Bocete

    Bocete My E string is 36 1/4" long

    Sep 30, 2006
    I got into music playing piano.

    My teacher didn't care whatsoever about how I play, didn't say a word whenever I made mistakes/did something right. My parents made me go there, as they weren't able to study music when they were young :scowl:. After a few years, I got fed up with it and switched to a trumpet. Didn't like it. After that, I had done 5 years of piano and 4 years of trumpet, hated them both. I remember those lessons as something awful, and thinking about them fills me with... hatred? I wouldn't know the word, I'm not an English speaker..

    It was only after a few years that I lost the animosity and started liking music. I liked the bass in what I had listened but was very reluctant because of all the horrors. After a few more years, I finally bought one.

    My two cents? Get a nice teacher, that will make music interesting and please, please do not force the child into practicing. No matter what they say.
  20. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Im sure having a hot teacher helps... I guess she's nice, too.
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