“I did it because my friend did”

I hear this a lot.

I’m a big believer in the positive use of peer pressure. There have been so many successful studies to show how social proof and peer pressure can change our behaviors and thoughts.

One of the areas that education hasn’t optimized yet is their ability to harness peer pressure in a positive way.

I often hear from my students that they chose to start something because their friend is doing it or because they heard of someone they know doing it. It’s a classic example of social proof and I have long thought about how I can use this force to accelerate the learning that goes on in our studio.

One of the most common uses of peer pressure that piano teachers use is “the recital”. It’s a big ritual. You show up to the recital hall in your best outfit, wait to be called or show up on the list, and hope that your mistakes don’t show. But this is all wrong. Their perspective needs to be about communicating music, about sharing passion, and about being proud of achieving excellence.

So does this need to happen from day 1 of music education?


For the majority of the kids who have survived our studio’s group piano, they walk away with an understanding that music is best when shared with others.

How can other subjects learn from and use this same approach?

Sports is social. Music is social. Can math or science be social?


This socially interactive approach of subjects should be something that can shift education into a higher gear of learning.


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