5yr.old son-no interest in learning piano!

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Help! Need suggestions/advice from other piano teachers with their own children. My 5 yr. old son loves to play around on the piano but whenever I try to "teach" him he rebels and states "I already KNOW how to play the piano"! Am I wrong to keep encouraging him to try to learn? I am not trying to force notereading but rather tried to use Pianimals with him. He is a strong willed boy and adamantly refuses. I am thinking that because all my student are girls, maybe he doesn't see it as a "male" activity. Perhaps this sounds like a trivial matter but just wanted to know if any other piano teachers out there had any similar experiences with their own children.

-- ashtonstudio (ashtonrg@netzero.net), February 22, 2005


It's probably because he's 5. He's telling you he's not ready. I wouldn't force the issue if I were you.

My own sons now study with me, but I tried to start the older one too early just because he's intelligent, has a good ear and loves to play around. He wasn't ready, either. We stopped and waited and now he is doing well and enjoying it.

-- Arlene Steffen (asteffen@fresno.edu), February 23, 2005.

Arlene, Thanks again for your response. You are so right...I am sure he is telling me he is not ready at this age. Like your son, he is a very bright little boy and is reading so I believed he should be more than ready for lessons. I DON'T want to turn him off to the piano so I will back off and let him tell me when (hopefully) he is ready. I will continue to encourage him when he asks me to listen to his little songs that he makes up (and although they are "silly" he actually remembers each song and plays them over and over again!) I think I am quite ashamed of myself because as a music therapist I should know better than to "push him" , however, maybe we lose objectivity as parents. Thanks again for the advice...I read all your responses in the forum and you are a gem!

-- Marianne Ashton (ashtonrg@netzero.net), February 24, 2005.

It's not easy to teach your own child. He might do better with somebody else if he wants lessons.

-- Carla (rusdemp@hotmail.com), March 07, 2005.

Hi Ashton, It sounds like your son is very content to be in the "exploring" stage of piano playing. In time, he will likely get bored of this, and want to be able to do something more. You could try being very low-key, playing some songs from Pianimals (along with the CD if you have it), and singing those songs throughout the day, with no hinting that *he* should be playing these. If he finds them appealing, he'll either start playing them by ear (not a bad thing at his age), or he'll ask you to teach him one of the songs that made a good impression on him. I taught my 3 children, and it was not as easy as teaching other children, primarily because it was very hard to not interfere during daily practice. I would always want to make comments when I heard problems as they practiced, which drove them nuts. But they did all learn to play fairly well, before they moved on to other interests. They all sit down and play from time to time, but they never got quite as "hooked" as I did.

-- annie (no_name_poster@yahoo.com), March 08, 2005.

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