Piano Lessons: Out With The “Cookie Cutter” Approach
We were put on this planet to create – not to mimic. When you take the time to really think about it, the people who have made a significant difference in this world are the relatively few who went “against the grain.” The creative ones have been the individuals who have stood out above the crowd. They are the people whom others have looked up to, admired, and benefited from.
Einstein, Edison, Tesler, Curie, Franklin, Bach, Beethoven… well, you know. The list is long. However, relative to the overall population, it’s short. In other words, the innovators have been relatively few and far between. But the legacies they left behind remain priceless.
If only our educational systems were devoted to nurturing that creative spark that resides in each and every youngster. Instead (with exceptions), the majority of people are taught to follow or conform rather than create. Well, when it comes to your typical music studio, the same often holds true. An average piano student is taught to aspire to perfect a rendition of Beethoven’s Fur Elise rather than write his or her own Rondo or Sonata.
Let’s be honest. There’s nothing wrong with performing the masterpieces of yesteryear. There is so much to appreciate about them and so much value to extracted from the ingenuity behind them. But should it stop there? We don’t think so. A music studio should not serve as a factory that shapes and molds “musical robots.”
Even today, the music students who go beyond learning to read and perform such pieces verbatim are few and far between. Still, the majority are conformists or copycats. Why? Well, it’s what they’re taught by their authoritative figures. Surely, a true musician should aspire to go further than learning “dictation.”
Unfortunately, this lack of creative encouragement is a primary reason for so many piano students quitting those lessons before long. If only they would have been taught and encouraged to allow that inner musical genius to breath and express himself or herself, the enthusiasm to continue might have remained high.
Each and every one of us has an inner desire and ability to create. Yes, we encourage our students to appreciate the songs of other composers in our studio. We also feel they would be cheated if their experience wasn’t rounded off with the opportunity to their nourish their artistic inclinations as well. The result? A well-balanced diet of musical nutrition that will serve them well for years to come.