Obstacles Students Face in Piano Lessons

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It can be really discouraging to students when they face obstacles in studying piano.

Let’s face it, learning to play an instrument can be very difficult! There’s a lot of time and energy involved, and many times there are things that can get in the way of progress.

But, it doesn’t have to be this way!

obstacles in piano

Here are some reasons why students may face obstacles in piano lessons:

  1. Something is affecting practice time.

Certainly, one of the biggest obstacles that students may face in studying instruments is not having sufficient or effective practice time. In order to do well at something, you have to have the time committed to working on that thing. This is kind of a rule of life, and it’s true for piano as well.

If students are facing this obstacle, time needs to be dedicated to figuring out why. Could it be that they are very busy and need to have more grip on their schedule and commitments? Or, could it be that they need to find inspiration in their practicing again? Are they practicing efficiently? Because efficient practicing isn’t necessarily related to amount of time spent practicing, students need to be aware of the way that they’re spending their time.  I can help with this! I always welcome practicing questions during lessons!

  1. They need more confidence in their abilities.

When students are lacking confidence in their abilities, it can really pose as an obstacle for them. This is true for any musician regardless of how long they have been playing!  Even seasoned musicians may struggle with this. I know that I personally have gone through periods of time where this has affected even my own personal musical study. But, there is hope! Students do not need to allow this to sometimes-debilitating obstacle to get in the way of their piano study!

Building confidence as a musician can involve many things. Sometimes, I have found that reading inspirational books I’m studying piano can be very helpful. It can be really good to know that there are other musicians who have struggled with the same thing and have overcome it!

Also, students can gain more confidence in their abilities by being given opportunities to experience great success. This can be as simple as repertoire selection to something as big as a solo performance opportunity. If you think that your student is struggling with confidence, chat with me about it! We can brainstorm some ideas!

  1. Their music selection may not be a good fit for them.

Undoubtedly, if students are studying music that is not on their level, this can be an obstacle! This goes for music that may be too difficult and also too easy! In order for students to see success, there must be musical opportunities given to students that are level appropriate.

But, sometimes appropriate musical selection is more than just the challenge of the piece itself. If students are given too heavy of a workload, this can also affect their progress. In essence, musical selection needs to involve not only the students technical level of study but also their ability to handle the amount of study they are committing to.  Sure, a student may be able to play a Bach prelude and fugue, but it may be a little much to have them study three at a time! It really depends on the student. This is why I try to take these things into consideration when assigning music to my students.

Side note: In addition to the difficulty of the piece and the amount of work expected of the student, the type of music a student is working on can make a difference as well.  Students need to be interested in the music that they’re playing! While it is true that sometimes students need to learn music because of the technical benefits to a particular piece, interest must be there, too. This is why I try to integrate different subjects and ideas into our lessons. Anything that will help students become more interested in what they’re playing is a good, good thing!

  1. They are overcoming injury.

It’s a fact: sometimes musicians get injured. This can be directly related to playing their instruments, but many times it is caused by something else. It can be a big obstacle depending on the kind of injury a student is facing. A student may jam a finger playing basketball or break an arm playing ultimate Frisbee. These things happen!

As someone who has struggled with injuries that has sometimes affected my own musical study, I understand how difficult and frustrating this obstacle can be! But, students can be encouraged you know that there are ways to practice the piano even while recovering from various aches and pains. Take a look at this blog post regarding ways to practice when away from the piano. They are also helpful when students are taking it easy due to some kind of ailment.

In conclusion, the truth still remains that every student is different. While these obstacles may prove to be true for some students, other students may find different obstacles affect their lessons.

Ultimately, my goal for my students is for them to find joy and fulfillment in studying the piano.  If they are facing any obstacles to those goals, I want to help them! That is my job as a teacher.

What other obstacles have you found in studying the piano? I would like to hear about them! Let me know when the comments below!

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