Why Take Piano Lessons? / Music lessons
Why take piano lessons?

Why Take Piano Lessons?

Reasons why people drop out of piano depend oftentimes on their age. Below are my thoughts on why people drop out derived from my personal experience.

Dropping out age 9 and younger:
1. Parents are not pushing enough: While it's convenient to assume that kids drop out of piano because they are not interested or they just don't have the talent for it, that's not the case for students I've taught under 7. The students I've taught that start piano younger than age 7 and stick with it had parents who took the time to encourage them to practice, take them to weekly lessons, and sign them up for competitions.

Parents play an essential role on a piano students' progress at this age. This means that the parent needs to give lots of encouragement (being just strict enough to not make your kid hate you) and patience. This is the age when kids still, for the most part, listen to their parent. Take advantage of this before they can rebel haha

2. Not making practicing piano a daily routine: This reason is related to the first reason. For a student to stay with piano when they're under 7, the parent needs to help the student build practicing piano into their routine. It's easy for a 7 year old to come home from school, watch TV, do some homework, play video games, and then go to sleep. If practicing piano daily isn't built into a routine at the very beginning, it's hard to become disciplined enough to practice. By the time the student, who practiced only once a week, has learned piano for 2 years, they might feel like they have made no progress, so they drop out.

3. Teacher is not a good fit: For young students, find a teacher who is fun, nice, and a pusher. My sister had a teacher for a year who was really nice, always gave her stickers, and said encouraging words. My sister made no progress for a year because the teacher didn't push her to try harder pieces. The teacher just kept giving her pieces that she was comfortable with. Now, my sister has a teacher who is nice, but also challenges her.

Dropping out age 10-18:
1. Not good compared to their peers: By this age, most piano students can tell when they are improving and how well they play relative to their piano peers. If they notice they haven't made much progress or aren't good compared to their peers who started learning at age 5, they'll drop piano. This is why it's important to start piano early. It's much harder to become good at piano when you're older. Also at this age, parents play a lesser role in whether the student drops out or not. If, as a parent, you start yelling and punishing your child for not practicing, they'll hate piano more.

2. Not making time for piano: Students will experience much more homework as they enter middle school and high school. If piano isn't prioritized or hasn't been set into being a routine, other activities will squeeze out the already minimal time available for piano.

3. Teacher is not a good fit: How I teach a beginner 6 year old is very different than how I teach a beginner 16 year old. A good teacher will know the kind of repertoire changes necessary for a student that is 10+ year old. Be vocal to your teacher about songs you want to learn. I have a short attention span so when I was younger, I would find music on my own to play in addition to the assigned pieces given to me by my teacher. This helped the 1-hour I forced myself to practice each day fly by quicker (practicing 10 songs in an hour is much more fun than the 3 songs I was assigned).

Dropping out age 19+
1. Not making practicing piano a daily routine so the student sees very little progress after 2 years and loses motivation.

Bottom Line
Amount of progress made in the first two years is a key factor in determining whether someone sticks with piano. A lot plays into progress: amount of time you practice each day, if you have a teacher/parent that pushes you just enough so you don't hate practicing, and how disciplined you keep yourself.

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