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AIBU to think DS should not be forced to have piano lessons

(70 Posts)
BrainSurgeon Mon 13-Jul-15 18:03:50

Sorry I know it's a ridiculous problem to have... But if you could hear me out and let me know what you think it would be appreciated.
So. DS aged 7 is interested in recorder and drums - and recently trombone....
DH insists that DS must have piano lessons, mainly because he (DH) had them around this age and "children have to be guided and tolwhat to try".
AIBU to be cross that I will have to force DS to sit through piano lessons and deal with the "but mummyhmmhmm why, I don't even like piano " tears from DS??
Because apparently getting DS a teacher to help him with the instruments he likes is no good.

BrainSurgeon Mon 13-Jul-15 18:04:54

Sorry that was "told what to try"

IAmAShitHotLawyer Mon 13-Jul-15 18:06:12

Let your DH deal with it if he wants it. Organise it, pay for it, take him to lessons etc.

YANBU - just tell him YOU aint gonna do it

saoirse31 Mon 13-Jul-15 18:06:18

Why not do piano and one of his favourites too?

ChuffinAda Mon 13-Jul-15 18:07:15

Having some basic piano skills will serve him well. How about a compromise? One instrument of his choice one of parents choice?

TheWernethWife Mon 13-Jul-15 18:07:25

Tell your DH that he is a bully and you don't agree with it

SeenSheen Mon 13-Jul-15 18:09:48

The thing is how does your son know how doesn't like piano if he's never tried it? This is a childish view and you are supporting him in it.

IAmAShitHotLawyer Mon 13-Jul-15 18:09:58

If you and DS want recorder then organise it and arrange it for him.

If you DH wants him to have piano lessons let him do all the work (and listen to the winging too)

CruCru Mon 13-Jul-15 18:10:20

Hmm. Do you actually have a piano at home? If not, it may be pointless.

Or is it that you have a piano and your husband wants your son to learn it to justify having it in the house?

I agree, it's a bit weird to force him to learn an instrument he isn't interested in.

My advice? Get him to learn an instrument that he can sensibly carry to and from school. A recorder would be super (and would teach him the fingering for other wind instruments).

I remember being jealous of a friend who got to carry her light clarinet case rather than my bulky trumpet one.

Badgerlady Mon 13-Jul-15 18:12:07

There is an advantage to being able to play the piano even if you are learning another instrument. It makes theory and scales easier and teaches you to read both clefs. So I'd second the piano and one other. Also ( as a piano player) you can play quite satisfying tunes on a piano quite quickly (much sooner than on the trombone!).

BrainSurgeon Mon 13-Jul-15 18:20:54

Thanks for the replies.

We have a keyboard at home so it would make sense from that point of view.

I agree that learning to play the piano is a great thing to do but I think it would be better to wait until DS is a bit older and can understand why we insist for him to have lessons.

At the moment he's still very young (he's almost 7, in a month)and I don't like the idea of forcing him.

What if it does more harm and he'll end up hating the piano???

manchestermummy Mon 13-Jul-15 18:24:13

Your DH has a point. I am insisting on dd1 playing the piano and although she moans about practising, it's been very useful for the second instrument she took up in October. Plus her piano teacher does theory which there simply isn't time for in s shared school instrumental lesson.

BathTangle Mon 13-Jul-15 18:31:37

My mum teaches the piano and will not take children younger than 6, and even then, she will only consider taking them if they are really keen, because it is otherwise a waste of everyone's time and money.

Andrewofgg Mon 13-Jul-15 18:33:38

This happened to me (it was my DM who insisted) and I loathed it. Say No and mean it.

Icelandicsuperyoghurt Mon 13-Jul-15 18:38:12

My brother is a piano/keyboard teacher. I think he'd agree that piano is a very useful instrument to learn. But I do think ds should have a choice. It's hard enough to practice an instrument properly even when you WANT and have chosen to learn it. To have to practice one you haven't expressed an interest in learning could well be counter productive.

I would let him learn the recorder to start with and see how he is with that. It may well lead him to play a wind/brass instrument and he may also want at some point to take piano lessons.

I think personality too is an influence. My brother was a very solitary child and the piano suited his behaviour. He didn't mind practicing on his own or playing an instrument that can't fit easily into an orchestra or other group.

I learned the violin and as I was a more outgoing character and liked to be in a group situation, that was good for me, as I loved being in school orchestra/string ensembles.

There are so many things kids have to do, learning an instrument should be their choice imo. You can suggest piano, but if it has no appeal at this time, I don't feel it should be imposed on a child.

BackforGood Mon 13-Jul-15 18:39:52

I think there is a lot of point in doing something like piano, in terms of reading music, over something like drums, yes, but I think the whole making up your mind before you try' is a bit ridiculous. Why are you so convinced he will be sitting there in tears ? confused
Surely it's our job as parents, to make anything we'd like our dc to have a go at, sound exciting.

Is there a possibility he could have both piano and drum lessons?
If he's not 7 yet, I doubt if he would be able to start trombone until he's older anyway - you could point out how much easier that will be once he's mastered reading music through his piano first.

canyou Mon 13-Jul-15 18:41:27

All our DC learn piano as the second instrument in the house is Irish harp because DP builds them as a hobby to earn extra cash and it helps with reading music and muscle memory is the same for both a harp is an upright piano they do violin and recorder at school on a fun level so at 12 they can choose the instrument they wish to continue to play harp has a better potential income

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 13-Jul-15 18:42:17

Why can't he choose an instrument ?confused

Topseyt Mon 13-Jul-15 18:54:32

Your DS should choose. I see no point in forcing him to learn and instrument he doesn't want to learn.

My three all did recorder in primary school. DD3 is now doing well at guitar lessons at secondary school, but has never learned piano.

Piano may be useful, but is not essential. It is perfectly possible to learn to read music without ever playing it.

Also, music lessons of any instrument are expensive, so a real waste if the child does not really want to learn that instrument. Needless stress if you ask me.

BrainSurgeon Mon 13-Jul-15 18:55:19

I think DS will be sitting there in tears (or worse) because we talked to him about having piano lessons, giving him ALL (not exaggerating) the 'pro' arguments on this thread. He is adamant that he doesn't want to try - this is where I think it is an age thing and he simply isn't ready.

I have tried to make it sound fun/exciting/clever/you name it. I am normally supportive of DH and do want the best for DS but on this one, my instinct tells me it's not the right time

BrainSurgeon Mon 13-Jul-15 18:58:34

BathTangle your mum is obviously a very wise person who also has lots of integrity.

I don't think many piano teachers here would say no to the parents for this reason hmm

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Mon 13-Jul-15 19:02:15

Bath - my piano teacher is the same as your mum.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 13-Jul-15 19:02:28

I agree with you OP, it's mean to make them do something they don't want to.
Go with what your child wants first, only one instrument though.
Then when at a decent level let him choose another if he wants.
pushing them takes the fun away and then they end up doing it for you and not for themselves, progress will be slow and he will secretly resent you. I see it all the time, and such a shame as the dc have had lots of lessons are quite good but give up as soon as they are able and parents have no ontrol anymore.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 13-Jul-15 19:14:57


I've just noticed your remark about waiting until he is older so he can understand why you insist he has lessons shock
I can't believe parents insist their children have lessons, why?

namechange4this123 Mon 13-Jul-15 19:22:19

No point in insisting he have lessons in something he has no interest in. You will kill his interest in music.

I'd suggest letting him have a few trial lessons on different instruments. It could include recorder, drums, trombone and piano. The teachers will be well placed to give honest feedback on if he is suitable for a particular instrument.

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