Piano Teaching Q&A: Piano Teaching Mama

Each week we will be featuring questions asked by our readers, and will do our best to answer them and to give some ideas :) 

One thing that came up the other day while at lunch with some piano friends was the question of whether it works to teach your own children piano lessons. It is an interesting subject, so I thought I'd open it up to our readers!

As a mom who is a piano teacher, this topic has come to my mind quite often, as I am sure it has for many of you readers who are also parents. It is quite the debate in my mind:

On the one hand, I have put in so many hundreds and thousands of hours in my own piano study and have achieved a college degree in piano performance, and I have taught for so many years and gained much experience - why not use all of this education and experience to bless my own family? Since my husband and I are both pianists, and both of our families are full of musicians, chances are that our kids will be quite musical. Think of all the money we could save on piano lessons! Think of the ease in scheduling lessons, the avoided hassle of finding the right teachers and driving children to all those lessons (not to mention the saved time that would be spent driving to all these lessons!), week after week after week. Think about how hard it really could be to find a teacher who I really feel could give my children a wonderful music education, when I, myself, have all the training and requirements I'd be looking for!

But on the other hand, what if my children just don't respond to me in the role of piano teacher? What if it's hard to separate between the two roles? What if, by taking lessons from their mother, my children are missing out on a wonderful teacher who could be an amazing mentor in their life? What if we get lazy and put off lessons, and thus lack the structure of normal piano lessons?

So much to think about. I really haven't come to a conclusion yet. I may not be able to figure it out until my son is older. I do think that a lot of it may have to do with the personality of the child. For example, I used to teach my little sister and little brother. My sister responded fine to my teaching. My brother, on the other hand, would sit on the piano bench with his hands covering his ears, refusing to listen to me (thanks Josh!). (Luckily they both moved on to other teachers and both turned into fine pianists!) 

One of my former piano teachers once told me about teaching her own children. She actually had them walk out the front door and walk around to the studio entrance for their lessons. Once they walked in that door, she was their teacher. After the lesson they would walk back outside and into the front door, where she would greet them as their mother.

Ok, readers: what do you think? Any readers out there who currently are teaching their own children? Any who have children taking from someone else? Ready, discuss!

If you have a question you'd like to ask us, leave it in a comment or submit it here.

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