I grew up playing the piano, clarinet, and even the drums. Piano and clarinet were better instruments for me than the drums, and my family probably agrees. My mom played the piano and sang, my brother, a genius with music played piano, saxophones, trumpet, guitar, and anything he wanted really. Music was just always in our family.
While I didn’t always love practicing music, I’m glad I have the skills for music now. It was probably really good for my brain, too, because that’s what research is showing. Thanks, mom for pushing me to play music! I think my big brother served as inspiration, too. If he was doing it, it was probably cool.
Naturally, I wanted Kamea to take music lessons.
We started her with some basic music lessons when she was three. They went well enough, but life got in the way and we put them on hold. She was really young, too, and as we were proponents back then of unschooling, I wasn’t keen on “making her practice something” for fear it’d kill the joy.
After a couple of years, we decided to buy this awesome keyboard. We hoped that simply having it around, with both parents playing on it, we’d inspire Kamea to play. Or maybe she’d learn through osmosis. Hey, it was worth a shot.
In truth, she did take to playing a bit here and there, but she wasn’t really interested in learning how to play.
Fair enough. We’ll wait a bit longer.
A year later, before her brain matured too much, I started her back in music lessons. I figured we’d hire a teacher to come to our house who could play with her and get her excited about music lessons, without requiring much on her part. Long story short, they didn’t go as well as I’d hoped, for a variety of reasons. Poor fit with music teacher, lack of enthusiasm on Kamea’s part, and not concentrating on just one instrument.
I continued to be against forcing Kamea to practice for a set time every day if she didn’t want to. I wanted her to enjoy what she was doing, but I also wanted her to learn some music. I also felt that she’d be glad she did it later in life, even if she didn’t love it now. At this rate though, she wasn’t learning any music. I wasn’t sure how to proceed.
So. We took another break before spending more money on something that wasn’t working for us.
I decided that maybe I could just teach her, but decided to wait before pursuing it.
Then, something happened.
During this time off, Kamea took some homeschooling classes online through Outschool.com.
I realized that I could basically search for anything online and find a class for it. So, I wondered, hey, are there online piano classes? And, if so, they’re probably less expensive than a person coming to our house.
Google: online piano lessons.
Jackpot! Of course there were lessons, lol duh, because you can pretty much find anything online.
I found a couple of options, and I decided to try Hoffman Academy which was FREE.
What did we have to lose? Um. Nothing.
We jumped in and started them over a week ago, and so far, they’re solid gold. Brilliant little lessons long enough to teach something and short enough to keep the student interested. Kamea played a song after her first lesson! That didn’t happen with in-house private lessons for weeks when we had a teacher coming here.
We put her iPad on the keyboard. Watched the lesson, pausing when required, practiced, and LEARNED PIANO! Mr. Hoffman rocks.
The next day, Kamea woke up and asked to take another lesson. YAY! (And, did I mention they’re free?)
So far we’re doing their basic free program which is great. I suspect at some time I might sign up for the premium option, which is still awesomely cheap at about $15 a month. Or maybe we’ll just stick with the free ones.
I’m still smiling at the fact that my kid is taking piano lessons online.
Ukulele here we come next! (After all, I figure she’ll need an instrument we can take abroad when we move.)