Piano and Society – Jared
May 18, 2009 1 Comment
As a former piano player I found this interesting albeit obvious. The state of the piano is declinging in American homes and while no one should be surprised by it I think we can pause for a moment and learn something.
The reason for the decline is plain I think: American society is busy. How many children are spending more than 3 hours a day in front of the television, several more in school and then get hustled off to baseball, soccer, basketball, cheerleading or gymnastics practice. Is there anything wrong with these things? No. Sports are fantastic for the physical and social development of a child. Sports is one way of throwing adversity at a child and asking them to deal with it. Do they get apathetic, sit and pout, cry, or rise above?
Piano does better for a child than sports do. “But learning music is boring, long, arduous, difficult, and crazy challenging.” And sports aren’t?
Ask any child and they will almost universally tell you they would rather play sports than practice an instrument. How many adults do you see playing soccer, baseball, or basketball professionally? Piano is a skill that can last a lifetime. My father hasn’t taken lessons or sat down consistently for years yet he still has his piano ear. If you play a series of notes he can pick them out and try to play it back to you. I played for 10 years and couldn’t quite get it down.
What does this say about society? We are finding out how much we like comfort and how much a challenge displeases us. Better to take the easy road than the difficult one right? Without instilling in our children the ability and knowledge of how to rise to a challenge and defeat it they will fail far more often in life. Music lessons instill in a child a belief and knowledge they can rise above. Do you want your children to rise above?