Piano Dropouts

A recent survey in America revealed surprising results:

Biggest reasons for dropping piano:

1.  Having a stay-at-home parent with a musical background

2.  Students rating themselves very poorly

3.  Insufficient practice time

4.  Lack of motivation

These are very interesting results. Let’s look at them in more detail.

1. Having a stay-at-home parent with a musical background

This may surprise you. Isn’t that the ideal?!  Although it is very beneficial to provide a supporting home environment with the opportunity of hearing a variety of music including classical art music, there is obviously a fine line here between providing interested, nurturing support and too much nagging. That can have the opposite effect!! This was the biggest reason for drop-out.

2. Students rating themselves very poorly

If children rate themselves badly it may show lack of skills due to poor practising. If a child has been learning for 5 or 6 years and is still struggling with Grade 1 pieces, they will feel considerably less comfortable than a child of Piano Grade 3 or 4 who is playing more appropriate music.

3. Insufficient practice time

Children need to realise that playing the piano is a skill and like all skills it needs to be worked on. Parents can help by providing a good practice set up with a set time to do so. They should keep in touch with what is being taught and encourage correct, focused practice. Be interested and excited to hear completed pieces.

4. Lack of motivation

Having a well-tuned and pleasant-sounding instrument can help with motivation. Also finding small ways to celebrate the small steps.