Teaching piano lessons to your own child: The Name Game

Hope's first and only piano lesson from Daddy
Hope’s first and only piano lesson from Daddy

For a few years I’ve put off teaching my oldest daughter piano lessons because I didn’t want to do a bad job. The stereotype seems to be that most piano teachers do not have success with their own children. It’s challenging to play the role of parent and teacher simultaneously.

However, I also dearly love teaching children and am extremely picky passionate about how they are taught. I haven’t really run in the piano teacher circles since our move, so I didn’t have any good choices that I knew of for Hope. Besides that, right now, it would be best to have a teacher that was free.

A few months before Hopey turned five, I knew it was time to stop stalling. People had been asking for years when I was going to start teaching her and she had begun asking to play constantly. We decided that this would be one of her birthday presents; I ordered the books online before I could change my mind.

My piano pedagogy professor in college went through all the reasons why it’s not wise to teach your own children the piano. I do remember him saying something like, “The only person I ever knew it worked for would make her girls go out the door, walk around the block, and come back in for their lesson. They were required to call her Mrs. Swaim.”

This idea stuck with me, and I decided to try it. Since I had everything else going against me, I figured this was my only chance.

I told Hope that she would have to go out the door, and then knock to come in for her lesson. She would have to call her teacher Mrs. Mylastname and that she was to be very well-behaved. Her eyes lit up as she caught on.

Not quite knowing what to expect, imagine my pleasure when she walked in the door with the most adorable smile on her face and twinkle in her eye, “Hello, Mrs. ________.”

This little game has actually helped me a lot. I’ve been able to look at her like any other student. It’s been so fun to realize, Wow, she’s just like other kids; doing cute things, annoying things, childish things… she’s just my piano student for that hour.

After her lesson, I send her out the door again. When she comes back in, I ask her how her lesson was and she tells me all about it and shows me what she has to do for that week.

We’ve been going for at least two months now, and it’s been great. The name game has really helped.

Obviously, there’s still a long road ahead filled with many challenges. But since we’re on the way, I figured why not blog about it.

Hope you enjoy! Next time I’ll talk about why teachers really have it better.

Don’t want to miss this series? Follow my blog if you’re on WordPress, or sign up to receive posts through email. Do you have any experiences teaching your own children music lessons? I’d love to hear your experiences in the comments! Thanks so much for reading and have a lovely day.

13 thoughts on “Teaching piano lessons to your own child: The Name Game

  1. I absolutely love this idea!!! It’s genius!!! And so cute that she has to “recount” her lesson to you when she comes “home.” Great way to reinforce what she just learned.

    1. Prima Music is the company that I order from. They have a teacher rewards program; fantastic service, and frequent sales. I have been very happy with their service. I believe their web address is primamusic.com

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