Parenting Dilemma No.17

Recently, my daughter has sparked an interest in playing the piano. She goes to it a lot and asks me if I’ll teach her a song. I have to reach back way into the crevices of my brain and recall how to read sheet music so I can figure out the notes, plunk out the song, and show her how to play it. So far, she’s learned “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” “Jesus Loves Me,” “Deck the Halls,” and “Joy to the World.” Those last two were learned over winter break.

Lately, she’s been playing those songs so much that I’m getting a headache from hearing them over and over and over. A friend came over for dinner and told her how great she played so she’s been obsessed with it. Here’s the dilemma: piano lessons or not?

Okay, so like every parent I want to encourage her interest in learning how to play the piano. I’d like to get her lessons like I had when I was eight years old. When she learns the notes, she can play more songs and maybe even create some of her own. Then I secretly dream that she will play in concert halls filled with thousands of adoring fans on a gigantic grand piano and when she is finished, she’ll be flooded with a sea of red roses…but, that didn’t happen for me. And there’s a slim chance that will happen for her.

We’ve tried ballet, tap, gymnastics, soccer, art, and a whole slew of other lessons that she was excited about at first then she got bored half-way through. I ended up making her finish out the session because I already invested a bunch of money in it. I don’t want that to happen again with piano lessons. I also don’t want her to see this as something she “has” to do. Homework is quickly becoming a chore and I wouldn’t want to add piano lessons to that because she wants to do it now. I remember hating my mom for making me practice the piano when I wanted to be playing outside in the dirt.

Do I wait and see if she pesters me for lessons? Do I cringe every time she goes to the piano because I know it will be one of those four songs I now hate? Do I get her lessons, invest the money, and cross my fingers that it will last? Clearly, I don’t know what to do.

Any of you out there in Internet land want to share your thoughts? Experiences? Advice? I’d love to hear.