My "Practice" Story

At the age of eight, I started piano lessons with great enthusiasm. My parents had an old upright cabinet grand (I am talking HUGE) given to them. It was out of tune and some of the hammers would break off periodically, but I would sit down and pick out tunes on the piano. My first lesson was great. The teacher gave me the red John Thompson method book, showed me keys, fingers, and notes and had me start playing a song. I went home and practiced all week, and was excited to return to my lesson. I played the song proudly. When I finished, the teacher paused a few seconds, then said "Did you practice this week?" Suspecting something was amiss, I nodded silently "Yes." 'I don't know WHAT you

Should You MAKE Your Child Practice?

I met a very successful doctor at a party who said to me, when he discovered I teach piano, "I don't believe in MAKING my children do things." I responded, "I do." We did not have much more to say to each other after that. I did understand what he meant, although I do not think he understood what I meant. A lot of children are overscheduled, and sometimes their schedule is a result of their parents' choices and desires and not those of the child . Forcing a child in to an activity in which they have no interest or makes them feel uncomfortable is not a good idea, maybe even cruel in some cases. (To be clear, I am not talking about homework and household chores. It is never too early to l

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