Friday, 11 July 2008

Young Musicians........

Whe you're young, learning an instrument can either be a fun and exilerating persuit, or a downright boring one, if you don't really enjoy doing it.

Many children choose to play an instument - which is great. It gives them a set hobby to enjoy for the years to come, and helps them develop many skills froma young age. Some children, however, don't really enjoy playing an instrument, but are made to by their parents.

When I first started playing the piano, my parents never forced me to do anything I didn't want to. When I considered quitting, they said "Yeah, you can if you want , but you'll regret it when you're older". I then thought to myself "No, I won't regret it" and quit. They didn't seem to be dissapointed - or if they were, they certainly didn't show it to me. For a few years, I didn't miss playing the piano at all - I had just got old enough to play out in the street, and would rather go hedge-hopping and play football than practise my music!

Now however, I do regret it, to a certain extent. Not the hedge-hopping! But those three or four years of practise and experience I lost. It seems like such a waste - I always think to myself, if I'm at this standard now, what could I be like with those few more years of experience? If I'd of kept going, I could be better than I am now. Even if I wasn't enjoying it as much then, I am now.

On the other hand, however, maybe those few years away from piano did me some good. I enjoyed piano when I first started, but gradually drifted away from it over a few years. So I stopped playing, and learned what it was like not to play an instrument for a while. What's the point in partaking in an activity such as music if you're not even enjoying it?

Quitting for those few years also let me appreciate piano more when I did come back to it. Had I just kept on playing, even when I didn't enjoy it, I might never have started to enjoy it again.

I think my parents had the right attitude towards the whole situation. Had they acted like they didn't care, it would have set the picture that music isn't a worthwhile activity, and that it didn't make the slightest difference whether I took part or not.
Had they forced me to do it, it would have created resentment either way - I would have resented doing it at the time, and even if I had started to enjoy it again, I would still be annoyed with them - if I would grow to enjoy it again, I would have found that out by myself.

My opinion (based on personal experience) is that it's a waste of time trying to force a child to play music when they don't really want to, even if the parent(s) think it's for the best. They should just let the child make up their own mind about it. By all means, try to persuade them to play an instument, but the final desicion should be theirs to make.

They'll admire you for it in the long run. I certainly did, and still do.


master padawan kenobi said...

"Quitting for those few years also let me appreciate piano more when I did come back to it. Had I just kept on playing, even when I didn't enjoy it, I might never have started to enjoy it again."

Same holds true for me too. I was sort of forced to play (and take exams) and as a result I had a pretty poor attitude towards music in general. Gave up after my 6th grade exam which my parents weren't too happy about, but now I'm playing again and enjoying it more, even though I'm not very good. ;)

Shanna White said...

Because of my mom, I wasn't allowed to quit. It was the best thing that could have happened to me. With our beautiful steinway pianos in washington dc, I'm the only one in my family that can play them. Thanks for the great post!