Whenever I tell people that I give piano lessons to my own daughters, the most common response is any combination of joy and curiosity, such as, “That’s great that you are able to do that! I’ve known many parents who weren’t as lucky – what’s your secret?” Many ask me about what I do during lessons and what I expect from my kids during lessons. The first part of my response is usually exactly the kind of response they expect: “I treat them exactly the same during lessons as I treat all of my other students.” The second part of my response is not expected even though it seems obvious with 20-20 hindsight: the biggest part of my success teaching my kids has to do not with the 1 hour per week that I teach them, but with the other hours per week that I help them practice and the even more hours during the rest of the week that I’m parenting them.
First, let’s discuss the part of the article that everyone probably expects will be 7 pages long, but in reality, it is the simplest and shortest part to describe. Continue reading