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Piano quitting :(

(52 Posts)
lookatmeimsandradee Fri 09-Dec-16 21:55:50

DD plays the flute and piano
She has been playing the piano for 4 years and she would have been doing her grade 5 next term.
Her piano teacher thinks she's great and constantly tells me how good her musical memory is and how she could go all the way.
Unfortunately her piano teacher will be moving away so I have been looking for a new one.
However she has just told me she wants to quit playing piano because she doesn't enjoy it.

I'm trying to make sense of it as I feel that someone with a talent for music (the only thing she really shines at) wants to give up
I know it's her life, her choice but I do feel sad.
Anyone been in this position....

HerestoyouMrsRobinson Fri 09-Dec-16 22:03:06

Piano is really hard. DS had multiple Gd 8s in other instruments by age 14 but piano has been a long slow slog and his teacher deserves a medal. He is currently creaking towards Gd 8 and I'm proud he persisted but if he hadn't been considering music as a degree we should have stopped a long time ago I think.
It's good your DD can say how she feels, I'd be inclined to listen to her.

Xocaraic Fri 09-Dec-16 22:16:32

I was that child. Kept going only because parents wanted me to. It was also one of the only things I really excelled at (was pretty good at other things but this was my forte)
Went to university and never played again. Ever! No interest. Let others who enjoy it do it.
From that day to this, I have never played and honestly don't care if I ever do again.
All because it was someone else's dream for me, not mine

Sgtmajormummy Fri 09-Dec-16 22:23:10

Could you ask her teacher to recommend another, similar teacher in the area and do some trial lessons? I wouldn't be quitting so easily in case it's just a temporary "blip" in her upward journey.

Fleurdelise Fri 09-Dec-16 22:38:26

Oh his is one of the things I will find really hard when/if it really comes up in the future.

How old is your DD? I think, depending on the age I would insist for a bit or not. DD is 9 and she'll be doing grade 5 next year, if she'd want to give up now I'd find a way to bribe her somehow and keep it on (not ideal but she's still too young to fully know what she wants to do in the future). If she'd be 12-15 I would probably compromise on less frequent lessons and practice, every other week lessons and practicing 3/4 time between lessons perhaps?

15+... I don't think there is much you can do...

Rough ages of course depending on the DC maturity.

lookatmeimsandradee Fri 09-Dec-16 22:39:51

That's the problem if it is just a temporary blip, then she might someday go back, which would be great
But she seems determined I've tried saying no exams are necessary, just do it for the enjoyment, you'll look back and be glad you persevered, but then Xocaraic posts the other side and says no regrets and I can see her point of view too.
She says she won't quit the flute, but the flute is easy in comparison and the teacher isn't as good or encouraging.
It seems so wrong to throw it all away, but as it was pointed out, my dreams not hers

lookatmeimsandradee Fri 09-Dec-16 22:42:02

She's nearly 13. So the age of hormones, knows everything and would rather spend her life watching YouTube

MrSlant Fri 09-Dec-16 22:49:35

We got through a 'blip' by ignoring grades and formal piano and finding downloads of piano music of popular songs, different interesting music, that was around the level he was on and a bit easier. Let him play around with that and the piano became fun again and something he wanted to do because he enjoyed making music. I think the 'bit easier' was the key. Suddenly he could play stuff that he heard on the radio and really wanted to get it right. Now I am trying my hardest to not tape the lid down because I would like a bit of quiet now and again. I told him he could quit forever if he just gave me 6 weeks more and after that I would never ask him again.

He wasn't a very high grade at all either, there are websites that make really easy versions of popular songs, it somehow grabbed him back into the joy of music because it was satisfying. Piano seems much harder, his younger sibling got the grade 1 flute syllabus and sight read it, piano was WAY harder. Doesn't seem fair really!

MrSlant Fri 09-Dec-16 22:50:58

He was also just starting the teen phase. Must be a thing!

trentin Fri 09-Dec-16 22:59:36

DS plays piano. He did up to grade 4 and then stopped exams. Now he just plays in his lessons plus maybe half hour practice beforehand. I've asked him if he wants to stop but he doesn't because I think he really likes his teacher.

Its very odd because she is 100% old school traditonal and not at all cool. but there is something about her that keeps him going back for more.

Maybe you can find the same for your DD.

Sgtmajormummy Fri 09-Dec-16 23:07:33

We offered DS quite a few bribes to keep doing piano, so he was enrolled in the course with fewest hours at High School and allowed to skip Religion. He was given a fortnight at Chethams Summer School (we're not in the UK) if he passed Grade 8.

The bribery paid off! Last June he passed the entrance exam to Conservatoire a year ahead of time amd is now concentrating on his school exams.

Sometimes he jokes about Stockholm Syndrome (where political hostages get brainwashed and join their captor's cause) but I have no regrets.He's done so well and music has made him who he is.

Sgtmajormummy Fri 09-Dec-16 23:10:47

* he's done so well...

dodobookends Fri 09-Dec-16 23:27:25

It seems so wrong to throw it all away
Well, she isn't throwing anything away at all, not really. She's done well at a hobby, achieved success in exams and enjoyed it for several years. That's fine. Her interests have changed, and she doesn't want to do it any more. That's fine too.
If she chooses music for one of her GCSE subjects, then the knowledge of what she's already learned on the piano will probably come in handy, and in time, she might take it up again.
Please don't pressurise her into carrying with lessons on against her will, because that might end up putting her off for good.

Dozer Fri 09-Dec-16 23:30:24

Flute is better for ensembles and socialising, and easier! One instrument is great for a hobby.

lookatmeimsandradee Fri 09-Dec-16 23:40:12

She has already said that she wants to do GCSE music, and yes she still wants to play the flute, maybe because its easier.
Strange if she wanted to give up the flute I wouldn't be so upset.....

BackforGood Sat 10-Dec-16 00:15:52

My dd plays the piano so much more, since she's given up lessons.
If she's Grade 5 standard, then she will be able to sit down and play lots of stuff. She may well find she loves it when she doesn't 'have to' anymore.

I totally agree with dodobookends that she isn't 'throwing it away' - she's done something for many years, has achieved a lot, and now wants to leave it for a while.

LooseAtTheSeams Sat 10-Dec-16 07:58:09

I think teenagers often don't like change and they don't like changing music teachers - at least my teenager really doesn't! We had a change of teacher a term before his grade 5 percussion exam and he lost quite a bit of confidence although now things are going very well with his new teacher.
I feel your frustration because in that situation I would be so tempted to say 'but just do your grade 5 and then decide!'
However, maybe better to see it as a pause in lessons rather than giving up and encourage her to play for fun. If she returns to lessons it won't be too hard to pick up from where she left off.

Mistigri Sat 10-Dec-16 16:33:39

My daughter stopped music lessons completely when she started secondary school.

With the benefit of hindsight, it was the right decision. When she restarted music a couple of years later (on two completely different instruments) it was with a totally different approach. She probably won't make a career of music but she plays semi-professionally and I doubt she will ever stop playing now.

Dancergirl Tue 13-Dec-16 10:22:52

I know it's hard OP but don't encourage her to stick it if she doesn't want to.

All is not lost - firstly she will still play her flute. As other have said, an instrument such as the flute gives much more scope for playing in orchestras, bands etc, it's much more sociable playing with other people. Also she has a good grounding in piano which is always useful. Finally - she may decide to go back to it later on.

My dd is 9, she started piano lessons about a year ago after learning a bit at home (I play too). She made very fast progress and passed Grade 1 with merit within a year. Then guess what - she didn't want to do it any more! It was disappointing for both me and her teacher who loved teaching her, but even at 9 she knew her own mind and it was her decision.

Sometimes she talks about going back to it, or possibly learning another instrument. I let her take the lead on her hobbies.

cingolimama Wed 14-Dec-16 09:23:13

I'm going against the grain here, and suggest that you not let her quit. She's not old enough to make that decision, and her feelings may be, in part, down to the change in teacher.

For me (and I know not everyone shares this view), music is part of my children's general education, not a hobby. And as your DD is interested in doing a GCSE in music, where keyboard knowledge would come into its own, I would (gently and encouragingly) insist she continue.

Fleurdelise Wed 14-Dec-16 09:35:47

cingo I agree, in our house music is on a par with academic work, while I don't expect DD to become a concert pianist I also don't necessarily expect her to become a mathematician, a writer, a doctor etc. She'll make that decision when she's old enough (regarding her career path) but as I wouldn't let her give up maths I don't think giving up music (when I can see she has a real inclination for it) is an option either. But that is us.

Dancergirl Wed 14-Dec-16 09:51:24

She's not old enough to make that decision errm yes she is.

Dancergirl Wed 14-Dec-16 09:52:28

music is part of my children's general education, not a hobby

Yes I agree but that doesn't necessarily mean learning an instrument. She is still playing the flute in any case.

cingolimama Wed 14-Dec-16 10:00:35

Dancer, as I made clear in my post, I consider music (and learning an instrument) to be part of my daughter's general education. At 16, if my DD wanted to drop science, or maths or a MFL, then fine. Not fine before then. For me, it's the same with music.

I get that she'll still be playing the flute, and while it's a lovely instrument and very useful for ensemble playing, it won't help her like advanced keyboard skills will for GCSE in music.

troutsprout Wed 14-Dec-16 10:01:58

I would let her give it up
It's a hobby that happens to be quite academic and also informs most other academic areas .. lol-which is why we like it so much as parents! grin
Sometimes, it's an obsession that takes off and that's great .. but for most it's just a hobby.
We wouldn't be forcing them to do history outside school would we?(unless to cram or catch up on something) ... why would we force them to do weekly music?
She likes and still wants to do flute yourself some grief / potential arguments/ resentment.

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