Piano lessons: The idiot parents’ guide


Music, right? The language of your soul, the voice of life, the soundtrack to all your hopes and dreams, the stuff you use to drown out your children on long car journeys etc etc.

With this in mind, you might be thinking about starting your child off on a musical journey of their own. Maybe you yourself learned an instrument when you were little, and you need to give the gift of this universal language to your offspring, so they too can play guitar softly in the corner at parties in later life.

Here’s what to expect when you start your beloved child off with piano lessons:

1. Eternal poverty.

Holy shitballs that half hour of stilted jabbing at the keys does not come cheap. If you factor in the five minutes of each lesson your child will spend hopping and squirming and inevitably leaving to use the toilet, piano lessons work out at approximately £3000 per minute.

2. A daily shouting match.

Because there’s no point remortgaging your face to pay for the lessons unless you actually force your child to practice what they’ve learnt. They won’t want to. You will make them. There will be tears. Usually yours. Nobody wins. Breakfast will be eaten in silent misery.

3. Tunes.

I’M JOKING!!!!! You won’t get anything even close to resembling an actual tune for at least a year, and even then it will be some bastard hybrid of twinkle twinkle and mary had a little lamb, single handed. Be warned that once they have this down, this is THE ONLY THING they will ever want to play, and they get really, really good at it. At this point, I imagine many weak parents crumble and spend the cash on drugs instead.

4. Anger issues.

Especially if you can actually play the piano, you will watch in disbelief as your idiot offspring fails to grasp even the most basic of musical functions, despite repeated slow, patient counting on your part. The temptation to prison-tattoo the numbers 1-5 on their tiny fat fingers will become almost to strong to bear, and you will crush your coffee cup into dust with your bare hands whilst you try to remain calm.

5. An instant desire to join the Rainbows.

Because you’ve just spent the equivalent of a year’s salary on the next terms worth of lessons. Yep. Bored already.


Yay Rainbows. FML.

Despite all this, if you still decide to go ahead, all power to you. “I am C…. Middle C…. Left hand, right hand, middle C…” – You’ll hear it in your nightmares. Be careful what you wish for.


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9 Comments Add yours

  1. babbitman says:

    Ah, yes this all sounds familiar… but from a different angle: my wife’s a piano teacher. She despairs of the kids who never practice and so never progress. But hey, it’s easy money 🙂
    There are also horror stories of incompetent piano teachers who give the kids a drink & a biscuit before starting (to eat into the time you’ve paid), write the letters above the notes so the child never learns to read music, or just merrily skips through music tuition books without testing the kid understands any of it.
    But the best one was faking exam certificates. Yup. Incompetent teacher puts her pupils through the Grade 1 or whatever piano exam, they fail, but she prints off her own versions of pass certificates. Oh, the kerfuffle in our villages when it all came out…
    Just because they’re nice, doesn’t make them competent.
    My wife’s very competent but also a dragon.
    Heh, no not really. Honestly, she’s lovely.
    I don’t think she’ll read this. :-\


    1. Lindsay says:

      I used to have idle ideas about teaching children piano, until I experienced the seething rage which came with attempting to help my daughter with her practice. Best leave it to the professionally calm for all concerned…

      (ps can I borrow your private island and helicopter please?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. babbitman says:

        Ah yes, well there are advantages to working an hour’s drive from home. By the time I get back most of them have finished, plus we have a ‘music room’ where ‘the magic happens’.
        My wife only became a piano teacher after getting eldest daughter to Grade 1 and arguing a lot with daughter 2. The mother-daughter dynamic doesn’t really work where music tuition is concerned (and is probably an indication of where the father-daughter dynamic will be when it comes to driving lessons). So she sent youngest off to the Bad Piano Teacher in the other village. Of course, we didn’t know she was bad at that point, but her failure to progress (and seeing letters written above the notes) sounded alarm bells. She stopped it after a term and, after the Great Fake Exam Scandal (the police were involved), she realised there was a demand for a competent, honest teacher. She does 11+ tuition too and has to beat people away with a shitty stick, she’s that in-demand.
        So, if you think you can hack it, I suggest you ignore your own offspring because they will always be argumentative, emotional slacker wastrels when it comes to lessons from parents. Wheel in a nice fresh child who looks up to you with respectful admiration and watch the pounds roll in from parents who don’t know a quaver from a Wotsit.


  2. I’m considered going extreme on this and buying my eldest a drum-kit! I know this is a bad idea – i’m clearly living out my fantasies through him – but give me a primal racket over endless twinkle-twinkle piano repetitions any day of the week.

    And yes…i’m aware this could go badly!


    1. Lindsay says:

      This is in no way insane and I’m absolutely sure you will not ever regret it. Really.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh yesss! The stress of getting my daughter through grade one was hideous. Daily shouting matches, money effectively being haemorrhaged, and then she came out in floods of tears saying she had failed. She hadn’t of course, but the flipping pain of it all!! Brilliant post! #brilliantblogposts


    1. Lindsay says:

      Thanks! We’re not anywhere close to grade 1 yet…*weeps for the future


  4. Eb Gargano says:

    So funny. You could easily swap in ballet/swimming/karate/tennis/gymnastics and all the other crazy things we get our kids to do. It’s pretty much the same issues but we still do it! One day it’ll be worth it…or so I keep telling myself. Thanks for giving me a chuckle 🙂


    1. Lindsay says:

      Thanks! My mum made me do it and now I’m a military grade BADASS at everything so I’m going to stick with it. For now.


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