RE: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Learning Piano

From: Marilu Diaz <>
Date: Mon Dec 5 17:04:01 2005

I think this applies to any activity. Some parents force their kids to play
basketball or football when they hate sports were players must have violent
body contact. As you say, the difference is if you are "encouraging" a
talent or if you just want to pride yourself (or have some hidden personal



[] On Behalf Of Arlynn Liebster
Sent: Monday, December 05, 2005 5:14 PM
Subject: [Discuss-sudbury-model] Learning Piano


Hi, I am a new listmember and wanted to add something to the Piano learning
conversation. My ex (we are still very good friends) is a professional
keyboardist/pianist. He is one of the best in the world and gets paid for
his sounds and playing. He loves his life's work. His father was a
professional guitarist. His mother used to make him practice the piano when
he was little. She used to have to actually tie him to the piano bench to
make him practice his scales. He remembers hating to practice because he
wanted to go out and play baseball with the guys. We had this conversation
so many times. He is SO glad his mother made him practice. It is his life's
love, he is amazing at it, but he wouldn't have had the early life career
chances he did (playing in very well known bands at 17 yrs.old, etc...)
unless his mother had forced him to play. He is ever grateful to her and
says it often.


Now on another spin, my mother is an artist. She used to force me to paint
when I was little when I wanted to go out and play I was stuck in our
basement painting on Saturdays. I hated it then and I refuse to paint to
this day. I am an artist by profession (I could not ignore genes and my
life's work even though I tried to in my early 20's), but she made painting
so onerous a task that I hated it then and I hate it now. I never learned
how to do it well. When the time came to do art, I chose photography,
ceramics, sketching and advertising graphic design (anything but oil
painting) and have made my career ever since.


So, I guess I'm saying that I have seen forced practicing go both ways. My
ex's mother says she saw his great talent and knew he must work at the
piano, that his great talent needed to be expressed. My mother just wanted
me to do something *she* wanted me to do. I do not have any great talent for
painting, she just wanted to teach me to paint. So, now I think it might
have something to do if the kid needs encouragement thru a distracting
period where they might drop their piano playing due to too much peer
influence, like baseball or hanging out, then I think I would encourage my
child to continue practicing with a kind method of encouragement. But if my
child just wasn't into the activity of playing the piano and didn't shine
like the proverbial sun while playing, I think I would just let it go and
allow him to not play anymore.

It might be seen by the parents as "Look, my little Johnie plays piano (or
kicks the soccer ball or paints the best picture) so well. Doesn't that
reflect so nicely on me and my parenting?" And I don't buy into that mode of

Received on Mon Dec 05 2005 - 17:04:00 EST

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