Why is Learning Music so HARD?

This is a question I get from some parents, especially if their student is having difficulty practicing.  Often they say it's too hard for them.  

I understand.  Totally, however keep in mind:

  • you are learning a new language with both math and symbols,

  • utilizing math skills,

  • have to use both hands and have some kind of coordination (sometimes even do different things with different hands at the same time),

  • translate the dots on the staff to the keyboard.

In short, music IS hard.  It requires a lot of complex thought and some serious discipline that can be challenging for adults, let alone children!

So how do you make it easier?

You do it in steps, which is what piano teachers (and all teachers for that matter) are really good at.  We break the material up into small parcels, and we scaffold it so that students can achieve what they want and need to achieve by referencing what they already know and the new small parcel of information they just learned.  

If you or your student are overwhelmed, talk to your teacher.  They can dial back some of the weekly requirements and go back to material that might need some review.  They also have a reserve of music that can approach musical concepts from different angles so the concept can be taught in different ways, and practiced with multiple pieces.  

Don't give up - music IS hard, but it's very rewarding!