Why children should join competitionsFebruary 13, 2020
A lot of arguments have been made against competitions. One of the main points is that there are more losers than winners in competitions, and losing is a huge blow to one’s self-esteem and feeling of belongingness in society. It has also been argued that competitions only make children anxious.
But there are perks to competitions, especially when they’re framed as avenues for learning instead of win or lose situations. Given that competitions bring together a group of extraordinary people all invested in a particular discipline, it’s the perfect environment to learn from others. This is especially important for disciplines like playing the piano, as it is something people study in isolation, their only guidance their mentor. Not only do participants learn about how others play the piano, but they also learn discipline and resilience through competitions. In victory, it reinforces their actions, and in defeat, it teaches them to get back up and improve.
This drive to learn and improve easily spills over to a child’s other aspects in life. So rather than abstaining from competitions altogether, it’s more practical to teach a child how to deal with rejection—especially since competitions are not the only place where children can feel they’ve lost. They will experience similar feelings as they grow older, when they go through situations like being rejected by a romantic interest, or being told they weren’t accepted by the job they applied for. Not only do competitions give your child a healthy space to learn how to deal with rejection, but they also help prevent the development of risk aversion.
In the end, competitions should never be about the prize. Research shows that prizes more often than not lead people to do the right thing for the wrong reason. Yes, they’re a nice motivation, but they shouldn’t be the main focus. Rather, competitions should be about continuously doing your best and becoming a better person than yesterday, which is the ultimate goal for anyone.
So, competitions: to join or not to join? Or rather, to learn or not to learn? At this point, the answer should be obvious: learn, learn, learn. If your child loves playing the piano, one of the perfect competitions to participate in is the Steinway Youth Piano Competition.