How to survive piano practice – the Tiger Mother way

Amy Chua with Lulu and Sophia

Daily piano practice was one of the few excuses that could get me or my sister Cathy out of our after-dinner dishwashing duties when we were little girls. I hated taking piano lessons, those endless scales, arpeggios, piano recitals. But after four years of battles with my mother over my Royal Conservatory of Music studies, she finally let me quit.

Had my mother been more like Amy Chua, the Yale law prof and controversial author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, she would never have allowed me to give up playing the piano just because I didn’t enjoy it. Chua’s Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior essay about raising her two daughters, Lulu and Sophia, attracted worldwide attention, much of it downright hostile, when it was published recently in the Wall Street Journal. Here’s part of what caused all that fuss, in Chua’s own words:  Continue reading