Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Dealing With Resistance To Learning New Music

"Resistance has no strength of it's own. Every ounce of juice it possesses comes from us. We feed it with power by our fear of it. Master that fear and we conquer resistance."
The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield       

Practicing the piano with two granddaughters over the last two weeks has been interesting for me. They both love reviewing but there is a huge resistance to sight reading new music. What is the anatomy of that resistance? Is it fear? Do they fear note reading? Will the learning take forever?




            

   As the parent, we can smooth over the resistance by, 1) Letting our child explain what they observe on the page of new music, 2) Letting them choose how much they will learn in one sitting, 3) Giving them praise for playing slowly and carefully, and 4) Watching for the joy to arise when they master a small part of the new piece. Listening, giving choice, praising, and watching are verbs that apply to parent involvement in piano practice. There is nothing more satisfying than hearing your child play, with ease, something that seemed impossible a few days earlier.


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