September 27

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Fear of Discomfort

We've all had the students whose parents didn't want to push piano. For that classic reason.

"I don't want him to end up hating piano."

It really started with Sigmund Freud.

He's the guy who gave us the age-old wisdom about childhood experiences. And how events from your childhood can have far-reaching psychological effects well into adulthood.

That's fair. But, when it comes to some things, I think we worry too much and go the other extreme.

And try to avoid discomfort for our kids altogether.

If a child gets anxious in social settings, they change to online or homeschooling.

If a child gives pushback on practicing piano, we let them "take a break."

If a child is insecure about physical activity, we avoid exercise.

But...the results are just as damaging.

Because, "I don't want him to end up hating piano, so we're not requiring practice time at home" turns into...

"He's not making any progress."

turns into...

"We're going to take a break from piano. We don't want to force it and make him hate for life. Hopefully we'll be back."

turns into...never coming back to it, and never playing the piano again.

We don't want to overwork our kids. There's no question there.

But for some things, it's okay to give them a little discomfort. 

After all, the world isn't exactly going to be a padded cell for them when they launch into the world.

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About Jonathan Roberts

I am the founder and director of the South Shore Piano School, and I have been teaching the piano for nearly 20 years. My work centers around bringing music to the lives of kids, parents, and adults in an enriching, meaningful way. At the South Shore Piano School, my incredible colleagues and I accomplish this through skill-based teaching, community, and an innovative, people-first business model. You can read more about me here.


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