There were times I was taught with the most traditional way of piano teaching and learning. It seemed that there was only one right way to play well at the piano.
Time passes and time has changed. Over the years, I have learnt to play and teach differently, and I believe for the better.
Music has different layers of meanings and functions to everyone. Even for the professionals. More so for the general music lovers. Often it’s not so much about perfecting the craft (it is important for more enjoyment at the instrument), but simply the act of doing it. As the old saying goes, it’s not the destination but the journey that counts.
Trust me, I’m all about improving and getting better at anything I do. Even after many years of piano/music teaching and playing, I know I still have room to grow. And I am happy about it. But sometimes I think we lose sight of what we’re having at the moment; we focus too much on the future rather than the present moment. And the present moment counts, a lot.
There is a constant balance of how we’re doing now and how we can do better, and there will always be that. Without growth we become stagnant. But without enjoying the process and right now, we might just miss out on what’s next, because we might feel we’re not going where we want to be later and just want to quit it now.
Playing piano can be a very creative process. First, there is a lot of flexibility at the piano lessons, if one’s willing to try (both teacher and student, and sometimes also the parents). Then, there is the thinking and practicing part on the student. A teacher can guide two students with quite a different approach accordingly to the character and learning style and interest of that particular student. The general teaching principle and philosophy would stay the same, but approaches can be different. That’s the beauty of one to one lessons. A teacher can really cater to that one student’s need. But that might require a more diverse music knowledge, teaching experience, time and patience from the teacher. And sometimes also from the parents (for younger students), who trust the teacher’s process and methodology.
There are many ways to approach piano learning and playing. At first you might not know what you really want but to say hey I want to play the piano that’s it. Gradually you will discover what you really want with it. It might take a while – the more you’re open minded about it, the faster you will find it. It has taken me many years to evolve and develop my piano playing (and teaching), and I believe it’s still everchanging. Key is to try, and try again. Try different things, try different approaches. And don’t get discouraged too easily. Give yourself time, patience and compassion.
Music instrument learning is a long term process. I encourage you to think about it as language learning and sports training. That way you might understand why it might take longer than you expected to see results, in yourself and your child.
But I do believe it’s worth it.