Quitting Piano and Selling it on Craigslist
Extracurricular Activities are costly. Before a parent spends a small fortune on sports equipments or purchasing instruments, there are many things to consider. The average high school cost is $1124 a year for extracurricular activities. https://money.com/parents-rising-costs-after-school-activities/
One night I found an ad on Craigslist about quitting piano after only one year. It was for a digital piano and the parent seller had some comments to share that I found disheartening as a piano teacher.
It had initially caught my eye because I have these same digital pianos in my studio. They are great for learning on. I considered calling the seller to make an offer for my group lessons. I decided against it, but I spent about 24 hours ruminating on all the questions I had for the parent from this ad.
Here’s the Actual Craigslist Ad Photo about Quitting Piano:
Actual Craigslist Ad:
digital piano – $600
condition: like new
make / manufacturer: Casio
model name / number: CPG700
Casio CPG700 88 key digital grand piano bought new in August of 2017. I took a chance at the request of my 14 year old daughter but she never ended up getting in to it. It has sat under a sheet in prestine shape ever since. It is almost brand new without the box. It has a touch screen which you use to navigate to a ton of different musical settings. What an instrument! Go online and read all about it. It comes with everything including the seat in the picture. I paid nearly a $1000 for it. I’ll let it all go for $600. Cash only. Local only.
My Questions for this Parent:
- Why did you wait until your daughter was fourteen and had to ask you for a piano?
- What do you mean by you “took a chance?”
- What constitutes her “getting into it?”
- Did she have an instructor?
- Was she supposed to just figure it out on her own or try some “Youtube tutorials?” Or maybe that Udemy course where you can “Learn the piano in three weeks?”
- Did you ask a piano teacher if it was a good idea to put those stickers on the keys that say the names of the notes?
- From the timeline, it would appear that your fourteen-year-old daughter was given just a little over a year to figure out the piano on her own. If not, it was going up for sale. What made you determine that was the amount of time needed to “get into it?”
- Do you consider music to be an academic subject?
- Does your daughter have to do her other academic subjects such as math- or do you take a chance with that as well?
- I’m assuming that you do actually see the piano as a pastime, and not an academic subject. I am also assuming that your daughter did not have an instructor. If so, what other competing pastimes/activities/ or homework did your daughter have? Perhaps she didn’t have the time or energy to learn something as complex as the piano on her own in just over a year.
- When your daughter learns to drive will you buy her a car and expect her to figure it out on her own- or will she take a class?
- What other requests does your daughter have that equals $1000, that you are willing to take a chance on?
- For instance, what if your daughter also wants to learn to ski. Will you spend $1000 on ski/lift tickets, and then send her off to the mountain to figure it out for herself?
If my assumption is wrong (and in your defense), you sincerely tried to help your daughter by hiring a piano instructor…
14. Did you ask your daughter what kind of piano music she wanted to play before hiring the instructor?
15. Did you hire an instructor that instructs in the style of piano music that she was motivated to play?
16. Did your daughter attend lessons consistently and on-time?
17. Did you communicate frequently with the instructor concerning your daughter’s progress?
18. Did you help your daughter set up a regular practice schedule?
19. Did you enforce that practice schedule since you were paying for the lessons?
20. Did your daughter want you to sell the piano?
This cringe-worthy ad about quitting the piano makes me sad. What an expensive waste of time. What a disappointment for everyone.
Fellow Piano Teachers- what can we learn from this advertisement? How could we reframe these questions into parent education that we can use to onboard students? An ad like this makes me think we cannot underestimate how we help our new families coming into the studio. It has given me food for thought. I know that I personally have more work to do in this area.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, so please comment below.