There can be many reasons why people give up playing the piano ranging from lack of time to injured wrist. But there are some very common reasons that crop up again and again and some of these reasons are avoidable.
Adults and children tend to give up learning the piano for different reasons. We’re going to look at some of the most common and see how they might be overcome. Let’s look at why children give up first.
Why children give up learning piano?
- The piano isn’t the right instrument for them
It can be hard to hear, and hard to accept, but the piano really isn’t for everyone. This is one reason that can’t be overcome! It’s best if a child tries several different instruments to see which one he or she feels a connection with. I’ve had a few children who simply haven’t taken to the piano, but have gone on to great things on the guitar or drums.
- It’s really the adult who wants to learn
Some children are dragged to their piano lessons by a parent who earnestly wishes they’d had the chance to learn when they were young. Or maybe they did take lessons and gave up and have regretted it ever since. They feel that by seeing their child play the piano it will somehow satisfy that need.
The problem with doing this is that, if their child really isn’t interested in learning the piano, they’re not going to do well and it’s going to cause a great deal of stress between parent and child. Children innately want to please their parents and so they are caught in an uncomfortable trap.
When I’ve come across this situation, it usually plays out. Finally when the child has given up and the parent is heartbroken, I suggest that the parent comes for piano lessons, at least online. When they do, it becomes obvious that this is what they wanted all along.
- Lessons aren’t relaxed enough to keep the child interested
Lessons used to be very formal and dull, but these days, piano teachers are far more aware of what it takes to grab a child’s attention for the length of a lesson. Musical games, colorful stickers and reward charts, toys and novelty pencils all have their place at the piano.
Allowing a restless child to get up from the piano bench and move to some music is hugely beneficial and adds to their aural training and appreciation of rhythm.
These approaches keep children wanting to come back for more. Without them, the child will soon get bored and give up.
Now we’ll look at the most common reasons adults give up the piano.
Why adults give up?
- Adults don’t make time for practice
The most common reason is that adults don’t make their time practicing the piano at home a priority and put everybody and everything else first.
Adults have to carve out daily time in order to give this skill a chance to develop. I’ve heard so many adults say “I haven’t practiced at all this week because….” and then there’s a long list of other people’s priorities.
- Adults don’t have a realistic idea of how long it takes to learn the piano
Adults often don’t realise how much work it takes to learn the piano. When we see someone play the piano well, it looks effortless and easy. But when an adult tries to play a piece hands together it dawns on them that there’s a lot of work that goes into it. Furthermore, this work happens over an extended period of time and there are simply no short-cuts. This can seem overwhelming and, thinking they’ll never get good, they give up.
- No support
Another problem adults have is unsupportive people around them. When they announce that they’re learning the piano, many adults get teased about it or told that they haven’t got a hope, which is not helpful.
If, on the other hand, adults are surrounded by relatives, colleagues and friends who are supportive, they will be far more successful.
So children and adults alike have to enjoy the journey of learning the piano and stick with it for as long as it takes. The longer you’ve been playing, the more enjoyable it becomes.
when i was 9 years old i gave up piiano lessons. not my favourite instrument. i will never regret what i did.
I gave up playing piano when I was fourteen after ten years. At the time, I thought it was an incredible decision. I thought I hated the instrument and wasn’t improving.
I now realize that I simply wasn’t motivated because I was being forced to play songs I didn’t like by my parents and teachers.
Giving up on piano was one of the worst mistakes I’ve ever made, and I felt deep sorrow when I tried to play again today after so many years, and could barely play a C major scale.
In reality, I didn’t hate the instrument, I hated the amount of work it took to improve, and what I was playing.
If any teen stumbles upon this comment in the future:
PLEASE, reconsider quitting. Maybe take a break for a few weeks or pick up a new genre, but don’t quit. You will most likely regret it in the future, as I do, and that’s not a chance I would take if I could go back.
Great comment, Aaron!
You describe my feelings at that age. Thank God I decided not to give up