If I love it, I'll do something about it
Many people we've encountered over many years of teaching have experienced a similar regret in life. It usually goes something like this; "I took piano for a couple years, but I didn't stick with it, I wish I would have."
Why don’t we stick with things?
So why don’t people stick with learning how to play an instrument? There are literally hundreds of answers that we've heard, some of the more common are usually:
- Sports took more precedence.
- None of the cool people played music.
- I didn't want to be a "band geek".
- I was only doing it because my mom made me, as soon as she gave up making me do it, I gave up playing.
- I hated my teacher, he/she was mean.
- The music I was learning was lame.
- Perhaps some of those reasons above sound familiar?
We don't stick with it, because we don't have a strong enough motivation
At Music Pillars, we believe that typically the biggest reason for stopping music education is simply because a student does not identify a reason WHY they are taking lessons. Instead, they focus on the “what do I have to/need to do.” But if you are inspired enough, then the logistics of what it takes to reach your goal seem more like stepping stones and less like a barricade that you "have" to get through. Consequently, of all the motivating influences that are in this world, LOVE is the strongest one (followed closely by fear, ironically)!
Having a "why" matters
When I weighed nearly 230, I took a picture of myself without a shirt on, and didn't suck in my stomach. I took a side picture and a front picture. After I put that picture up as the background on my computer so I could look at it everyday, I HAD FOUND MY WHY! (Now admittedly, my motivation was fear, and not love) I was horrified by the person staring back at me. As I went from 230 to 215, to 200, 195, and then to 190 over the course of eight months, I was amazed at how many people asked me “So how did you do it?” No one ever asked me "why did you decide to lose weight?" or "why did you decide to stop being fat" Why don’t we ask that question of people? Too personal? Too revealing? Too confrontational? I'm sure we don't ask that question for perhaps a little bit of each of those reasons (too personal, too revealing, too insulting/confrontational), but really, that is a far-more interesting and worthwhile conversation than how. I also think that we as humans have a complete and utter fascination with something-for-nothing formulas, and although they actually don’t exist, we still pursue them. (Fountain of Youth anyone? A pill for everything/anything, you get the point) And hence, we are fascinated with people who we think "magically" lost weight.
Anyway, back from losing weight to playing the piano. The first pillar, LOVE, is finding the reason WHY you want to torture yourself learning how to play the piano. I didn’t start playing the piano until I was 11, but I was lucky in that I found my why. We didn’t have television when I was a kid (actually, ever, until I was in college) but my grandmother had a collection of records, and a few of those were of Van Cliburn and others playing the piano in a way I had never heard before. I wanted desperately to make similar sounds come out of my piano, I had found my why."
A Studio Example of LOVE
Here is a little example of the type of things that we do at Music Pillars. And this is all about LOVE. Hailey is getting to play a piece she likes, to an accompaniment that makes it even more exciting. I think the recording says the rest. So find your reason to play the piano
Why do you want to learn how to play the piano? Without a do-something-about-it-reason, you are not going to really learn how to play. Why? Because practicing will be boring, pointless, complete torture, and you will burn-out after about 2 months (or less). True, you may be coerced into playing and practicing for 1-2 years, but eventually you will wear-out your parents, or if you're an adult, your day-to-day life will just beat out of you any resolve to continue taking (and paying) for lessons.
30 minutes a day, 5 days a week
We are not implying that you become obsessed about music. For the most part, we are talking about you finding something motivating enough to get you to practice a minimum of 2.5 hours a week. (30 minutes a day, 5 days a week). If you can do that, you can make measurable progress. If you cannot, we will still teach you, but your pace will be substantially slower.