Talent Swap

As a child, I was required to take piano lessons by my mother.  I hated that family rule, but I endured and today am so thankful that I can play the piano.  So, naturally, I instilled the same requirement in my family with one added bonus:  I could be their teacher!

Both teacher and student were excited about working together….for about a week.  But, soon the excitement wore off and despite all of my creative efforts, I learned an important lesson:  Kids don’t like taking lessons from their parents.   They soon began to hate piano and seemed to be passing on some of the frustration to me.  Yikes!   This wasn’t what I had in mind at all!  And, so, we quit.

I started looking into professional lessons, but just couldn’t get myself to pay such a high price when I knew I was capable of teaching them.  It was then that a friend of mine offered a solution. She was also a pianist, but had run into the same problem when trying to teach her kids.

So, we decided to talent swap.  Once a week, I drop off Tyler at her house and pick up her son.  We both teach a piano lesson to each other’s child for 30 minutes and then she drops off Tyler and picks up her son.  Within days of starting our arrangement, another friend asked if she could swap for my other kids.  Perfect.  Soon I had 3 kids excited about taking piano again and I wasn’t paying for it.  Since that time, they’ve excelled much faster than they did with me and they look forward excitedly for piano lessons.  Plus, I get to keep up with my piano skills through teaching.  It’s a win-win.

Don’t play piano?  No problem.  Think of a talent you do have that you’d love to share.  Then ask around to see who might want to make a trade.  Since our talent swap, other friends have joined the band wagon and are trading for art classes, cooking classes, and music lessons.

Not sure of what to trade?  Here are some talent ideas to get the ball rolling:




voice lessons






free babysitting


jewelry making



surfing (for those Hawaiians out there :))




wood working

school tutoring

The sky is the limit.  Do what you know best and trade with someone!

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About Janae

Hello from Colorful Colorado! My name is Janae and I live at the edge of the beautiful Rockies with my six kids and wonderful husband. We’re a busy family who loves to work together, learn together, and most of all, play together. Like a post? Please comment.
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One Response to Talent Swap

  1. kerri says:

    that’s a great idea. Steve and I did just call a piano teacher for Carter and are in the midst of wondering if we really should pay that much for the lessons. I’m 100% certain that I will not be his piano teacher, and I want him to learn from someone good and qualified, but perhaps this post was good timing 🙂

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