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My whole note is that you should make sure that your talented child's first piano teacher doesn't go too easy on him.

I don't know that I agree with this statement.

My younger daughter showed an early interest in the piano and some degree of talent. We have a Casio keyboard here and she taught herself to play it, when she was 5.

She started begging for piano lessons, so we obtained an old upright and started searching for a teacher. We found the teacher that was supposed to be the best in the area - teaches all the best kids and is heavy into recitals and competition. She agreed to give our daughter an audition and then agreed to teach her.

She piled on the work, requiring about 1 to 1.5 hours per day of practice. DD advanced quickly, and by the time she was 6 I was impressed with her playing (which says nothing because I'm clueless when it comes to instruments).

Then DD started objecting, and shortly thereafter insisted on quitting the lessons.

"Why?" we asked.

Her response was very clear, very clearly stated, unambiguous, and very hard to argue with: "I wanted to play the piano because it was fun. I did it because I liked it. I wanted to take lessons because I wanted to play better. But now it isn't fun anymore. It is work, and I don't like it."

We let her quit, of course. She didn't touch that piano for over a year. Now, recently, she is back at it a bit, playing at it and playing with it.

The point is this. If the kid has a talent and wants to do it, then developing that talent is a good thing to do. But keep in mind what the kid wants out of it. Push too hard, or push the wrong way, and the consequences can be the opposite of what is desired.

When the subject is 'readin, 'ritin, and 'rithmetic, I don't think it matters. They WILL learn, and they WILL be good at it because these are essential life skills. But except for the rare individual, playing piano is not an "essential" life skill. That should be kept in mind.
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