Everyone’s obsessed with the fall-off in piano students

I evade the firing squad at any number of piano ped. forums by sticking to my guns. I say, in some parts of the world there may be a strong Classical music tradition bound up with a formidable work ethic.

In remote parts of Romania, for example, and into the hills of Slavic countries, the dedicated mentor may be in a cloistered, reverberant sanctuary poring over original manuscripts. Her student enters on wings of song, with the glowing intention of tossing “fun-loving” escapades asunder. He will be an apprentice to the stoical, sagacious woman who has shed blood, sweat and tears on behalf of her art.

rural pastoral

Cross continent, in sunny California, teachers may have lollipops, and action hero stickers in their arsenal. action hero stickersThey realize piano students are a hop, skip or jump away from going over a cliff. Meaning lessons can be junked, like cars in a wooded area. Come easy, go easy.

two junked cars

This is not a particular era that celebrates challenges, patience, or long exposures to anything. Durable relationships are passe. Parents are on the fast track, moving through the next top tier activity. Social picnics, sports bonanzas, parties rank FIRST.

Piano is just a “fun thing” without giving it a second thought. Kids may be time millionaires, but they apportion their wealth frivolously.

Makes me believe in the OLD adage, “YOUTH is wasted on the young.”

Suddenly, baby-boomers of the late 1940’s and early 50s are creeping out of the shadows to resume piano. They regret having given it up in childhood and are now willing to take up the challenge with commitment.

So in the last analysis, while there’s a fall-off in youngsters taking up piano in the WEST, it may actually be a blessing in disguise.

Those who want to learn, will, and those who drift in and out of top-layer activities will continue to do so. (Have cell phone, will travel)

In truth, we don’t have to change our values to conform with cultural shifts that devalue our work. I say this, repeatedly on the Facebook forums, and will be unrelenting.

About arioso7: Shirley Kirsten

International piano teacher by Skype, recording artist, composer, piano finder, freelance writer, film maker, story teller: Grad of the NYC HS of Performing Arts, Oberlin Conservatory, NYU (Master of Arts) Studies with Lillian Freundlich and Ena Bronstein; Master classes with Murray Perahia and Oxana Yablonskaya. Studios in BERKELEY and EL CERRITO, California; Member, Music Teachers Assoc. of California, MTAC; Distance learning and Skyped instruction with supplementary videos: SKYPE ID, shirleypiano1 Contact me at: shirley_kirsten@yahoo.com OR http://www.youtube.com/arioso7 or at FACEBOOK: Shirley Smith Kirsten, http://facebook.com /shirley.kirsten TWITTER: http://twitter.com/arioso7 Private fund-raising for non-profits as pianist--Public Speaking re: piano teaching and creative approaches
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