Your child has a keen interest in golf and the piano & has been begging you for lessons. Lucky for your little buddy, the time is ripe to explore these fascinating worlds around the bend.
Before we force ahead like a raging bull, carelessly planting our precious child in the hands of some unskilled instructor, we need to use our heads for something besides a hat rack.
Priceless decisions are at stake. Please be totally aware of the side effects, warning signals, & flashing red lights. We have the awesome responsibility of handing over our future star to the best teacher possible. You do love the little tyke, don’t you?
You take little Johnny or Mary by the hand and enter the piano store. Behold, spread before your four eyes is a room full of a bedazzling, glorious grand pianos, uprights, spinets…etc. You’re both spellbound.
Out of the corner of your eye, you sense an approaching, smiling salesperson. Which piano fits your budget? Got plastic? You make your pick, which you mistakenly think is the MOST important one, THE PIANO! However. . . . the REAL electric moment is, when, for the rest of your Child’s life….too important to say it only once….At stake is this…For the rest of your Child’s life is the awesome decision you are about to make that will super profoundly effect either the hope for a joyous piano future or a train wreck.
Scenario One. .Blessed with lucky stars and Angles on duty at that very Hallmark moment, You and your treasure hit the lottery and are assigned an instructor who knows precisely how to extrapolate the full potential from your prized offspring. Your child is allowed to pick their own music. Up for grabs is ragtime, jazz, blues, classical, pop… The “tuned in’ instructor “Listens” to the child, watches for the smile, and sparkle in their eyes. Thanks to this heaven sent teacher, your tiny prodigy becomes a fine pianist and will experience the joy of music that will serve them well for the rest of their life….during good times and bad. Your picture will sit atop their piano long after you’re gone. They will pay homage to their fabulous parent..You.
Scenario Two. also known as “Whoops.” Believing that ALL instruction is the same, you barely notice when an instructor is randomly and carelessly assigned to your “baby.” You’re in a hurry, haven’t done your homework, and have no clue how important this event in time and space will become. The poor infant you picked up at the hospital is about to be thwarted by a piano instructor who has no gift for teaching, forces the child to read music, sit up straight, play scales and make the introduction to piano pure and painful misery. The child will grow to hate practicing and will plot ways to set the piano on fire without burning down the house.
Your young Mozart or Brubeck will never know how good they could have become. The inept instructor will too very soon, squelch all chances for that glorious event to become a reality.
The other day I was giving a golf lesson at a practice facility used by a local University. Next to us a dozen students were being (coached?) by some college pr-off who played AT golf…none of the other facility staff wanted the job. The natural beautiful basic swings these unsuspecting students were born with were slowly being eradicated. In less than an hour all hope of any one of them learning and enjoying golf was forever destroyed. What that instructor was teaching these bright eyed kids was absolutely nauseating! At the end of the agonizing hour, not one of them had a prayer for pursuing our game. I asked my student what he thought. We didn’t know whether to report the coach for abuse or expose him in front of his students for being a fraud.
The fork in the road leads to one of two places. One has a rainbow and pot of gold at the end. The other has a bridge out and your child will plummet off a cliff into oblivion. Certainly you have figured out by now, that the same priceless decisions apply to all of us as well?
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