August 27

1 comments

Living in Fantasyland

We have many fantasies on a daily basis. No, not the dirty ones.

(Thought I was going there, didn't you...)

But fictional scenarios in our mind based on different decisions we might make. Or, "narratives" as I like to call them.

When a high school senior is looking at colleges, they might imagine what life would be like on each campus. Allowing them to "try each one out," without needing to commit just yet.

Or deciding what to eat for dinner. In that moment, you'll imagine what it would be like to have Indian versus Italian that particularly night.

And that's fine. After all, we have to think ahead in a variety of scenarios.

The problem is when we rely on fantasy so much that we discard what reality could be like.

This happens with piano all the time. 

Parents imagine that if they hold their kids to a practice schedule, they'll hate piano. 

Parents imagine that if kids don't go to the piano on their own, then it's a waste of money.

And parents let their kids quit, imagining they may come back to it one day. This brings them the peace of mind to let them off the hook.

These fantasies are so powerful, that even advice from professionals who have worked with hundreds of students is discarded. That's the power of personal narratives.

So, while fantasies and narratives can be helpful, you have to remember.

They may not always be true in real life. 

  • As a 5 yr old, my Dad & I each took piano lessons. Practicing w him was a BLAST! As an 8 yr old, I still enjoyed practicing and playing although at this time, Dad had work responsibilities, so I practiced on my own. Fast forward to Eight Grade, piano wasn’t an instrument offered at school, so I was the “piano nerd”! I begged my parents to let me discontinue lesson at every chance I got just to stop the teasing at school!! They gave in & although I still played the piano and practiced my old lessons, I no longer had to go weekly to advance my skills. But… the teasing didn’t stop.

    The next year, ninth grade, the school orchestra needed someone to play the piano. Had I continued lessons, I would have easily outplayed the other kid they chose. Heck, I could still outplay him but because I want taking lessons, I wasn’t a candidate. They wanted someone who would have out of school access to help w the harder pieces we would play! Boy, was I bummed!! ( & although it had been my decision, i blamed my parents for letting me stop!!) I had never regretted a decision more in my 14 yrs than my decision to quit piano.

    Now, I’m back in lessons as an adult learner and I’m still regretting that decision. However, I’ve ofter taken piano thruout the years as work would allow. Now as an “empty nester” and retired, I’M back in lessons w Jonathan at SSPS and the joy of playing piano has returned to my life. I won’t ever be the pianist in an orchestra but I can tell you, I’m learning more at SSPS than I have with any other teacher in my adult piano journey. And I’ll NEVER regret my decision to take lessons at SSPS!!!
    Thank you Jonathan for helping me return to the instrument I first loved & for all you have and will teach me!!

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    For parents, students, and anyone else who believes that music can and should be a meaningful part of everyone's life.

    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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  • As a 5 yr old, my Dad & I each took piano lessons. Practicing w him was a BLAST! As an 8 yr old, I still enjoyed practicing and playing although at this time, Dad had work responsibilities, so I practiced on my own. Fast forward to Eight Grade, piano wasn’t an instrument offered at school, so I was the “piano nerd”! I begged my parents to let me discontinue lesson at every chance I got just to stop the teasing at school!! They gave in & although I still played the piano and practiced my old lessons, I no longer had to go weekly to advance my skills. But… the teasing didn’t stop.

    The next year, ninth grade, the school orchestra needed someone to play the piano. Had I continued lessons, I would have easily outplayed the other kid they chose. Heck, I could still outplay him but because I want taking lessons, I wasn’t a candidate. They wanted someone who would have out of school access to help w the harder pieces we would play! Boy, was I bummed!! ( & although it had been my decision, i blamed my parents for letting me stop!!) I had never regretted a decision more in my 14 yrs than my decision to quit piano.

    Now, I’m back in lessons as an adult learner and I’m still regretting that decision. However, I’ve ofter taken piano thruout the years as work would allow. Now as an “empty nester” and retired, I’M back in lessons w Jonathan at SSPS and the joy of playing piano has returned to my life. I won’t ever be the pianist in an orchestra but I can tell you, I’m learning more at SSPS than I have with any other teacher in my adult piano journey. And I’ll NEVER regret my decision to take lessons at SSPS!!!
    Thank you Jonathan for helping me return to the instrument I first loved & for all you have and will teach me!!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}
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