[Discuss-sudbury-model] Learning piano?

From: Matt <matthewschick77_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Mon Dec 5 11:30:01 2005

Hi. I'm new to this forum (and to the Sudbury model in general). A question:

In my experience, there are things that I have learned (musical instruments and foreign languages
jump to mind as the best examples) where, after an initial period of interest/excitement when
starting out, things get really difficult - you're working uphill towards a goal that's way off in
the future somewhere, there's very little benefit in the present (just the opposite, actually - a
whole lot of dull repetetive practice), and it's VERY tempting to give up. But after a while (a
year or two? more or less?), once you start getting good, it becomes enjoyable in and of itself.
In a Sudbury school, how do kids come to recognize that hill and what it takes to get over it? I
know that I would have given up flute within the first year if my parents hadn't pushed me to keep
practicing - but in the long run, I'm VERY happy they did.

You know, that's not actually my question. I think I already have a feel for how you'd answer that
one. Here's the real question I think I want to ask: If you have 8-year old kids and you make them
practice piano 30 minutes a day (despite any resistance they may put up), the kids may hate it at
the time, but by the time they're 16 they'll almost surely be REALLY happy that they can play the
piano pretty well. What would you say about that? Where's the harm? I know that it goes COMPLETELY
against the Sudbury model, but still... Small price to pay, maybe? Or does it completely ruin the
adult/child relationship? Or destroy a child's sense of his or her own power in life? (And not to
mention that trying to get a kid, or anyone else for that matter, to do something that he/she
doesn't want to do is NO fun at ALL...) I don't doubt that there IS harm done, I just can't seem
to find it myself. So I'm asking you.

[When I was 16, I would REALLY liked to have been able to play piano (both of my parents can play)
and speak French (my mother's bilingual). Of course, I can learn these things now (and am in the
process of doing so), but...]


- Matt

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Received on Mon Dec 05 2005 - 11:29:48 EST

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