My kids have been taking piano lessons for about 5 years now. The first years the teachers were 'so-so'...but now they have a fabulous teacher (who also was my music teacher when I was an elemetary student, a century ago). She really is a fabulous teacher-my kids now can really play 'music'-not just peck out the notes, but they know the subtlety and nuance of real music. She teaches a well rounded music education as well...some days when she sees they need work on rhythm, she will bring out the drums and tambourines and triangles and lets them use those.
Honestly, my daughter has amazing musical talent. My son...well, it really helps with his fine motor skills. And he plays rather nicely.
However, every year I develop a Love-Hate relationship with piano lessons.
LOVE- That the kids are getting a well rounded music education.
HATE- That the lessons are 1 hour each kid and that's 2 hours out of our scheduled day. 2 hours! I can teach 3 subjects in two hours!
LOVE- That my kids have the opportunity to have private music instruction.
HATE- What it costs. Especially on days when they say they don't feel like practicing. I'm all like "I am not paying this money if you don't want to do this!" But then I do. And the next day they act like they love it again.
And getting them to practice the allotted time. Oh. My. This year it is 45 minutes a day. 45 minutes is not a long time when you are doing something you want to do...but it feels like 45 DAYS when it is something as monotonous as playing the same 3 songs over and over.
So I argue with myself...
Should I keep them in piano lessons? If they were in public school, they would have music lessons whether they wanted to or not. So, should I even give them an option?
Then I hear adults who took music lessons as children who rue the day their parents got tired of dealing with it and ended the lessons. They have regret to this day that they didn't continue. I regret that I never learned an instrument as a child. Will my kids regret it if we end piano lessons?
And let me just say...they love the lessons. They just whine about practice. So part of me (the German-military part of me) thinks that enduring practice will be a character building experience and that to cave in to their whining is the last thing I should do.
What say you? Did you have music lessons as a child? Do you regret not continuing? Should I stop whining? Chime in, please!