Why teach boys?
You’ve probably heard someone make a statement similar to this quote at some point. Perhaps that “someone” was yourself. I was fortunate enough to have parents that wouldn’t let me quit my piano lessons. From age eight to eighteen, I was scaling, chording, and pedaling my way towards learning the piano. I didn’t enjoy it all the time. In fact, I didn’t really appreciate my lessons and acquired skill until years after I had finished taking lessons. Despite my lack of enthusiasm, most of my training was from a wonderful teacher named Mrs. Fetzer. She possessed the perfect mix of being able to kindly prod me towards improvement while being able to encourage me whenever a song just seemed too hard.
While piano teachers may not be scarce, it seems to me that the male piano teacher is somewhat of a rare bird. Anyone can tell you that the gender of a child’s instructor will impact how that child will come to view not only what he is learning, but also how he or she will perform that action in the future. In the case of teaching a student to play piano, the gender of the teacher is going to impact how that student interprets and appreciates styles of music, the manner of playing, and his or her self-confidence in playing the instrument. Will a boy think it’s a “girly” instrument, or will a girl think it’s too much of a “boy” thing?
I happen to be in the camp that believes the piano naturally lends itself to be being a more masculine instrument. Big hands can reach those wide chords with force, and strong athleticism can be honed into dynamic performances. Even many famed pianists are men. Jim Brickman, Liberace, Fernando Ortega, Elton John, Billy Joel, and Victor Borge are just a few that are household names. Don’t think that I chauvinistically believe the best piano players are all men. I know some very talented female pianists that can do things on the piano with five fingers that I can’t do with ten. After all, the instructors that taught me to play were all women.
These thoughts were what brought me to the decision to begin teaching piano exclusively to boys and young men. I believe that boys not only need to get the “masculine touch” in their training, but that they will also benefit in the following ways:
- They will see a man who loves to play and teach the piano with confidence.
- They will see that playing an instrument and especially the piano is not “just for girls.”
- They will see how fun it really is to release some of that boyish energy in hammering out a favorite tune as loud and as fast as possible. (I still do that often.)
Parent, if you intend for your son to learn the piano, I hope you’ll consider seeking out a qualified male instructor that will serve your son as a role model in both the realms of music and everyday life.
For information on private lessons with me, please go here.