Sort of a rant?
Stress is a scary thing. In the right amount, a bit of stress can really motivate, but just a bit too much of it can lead to disaster. An athlete under the right amount of stress excels, but under too much pressure he crumbles.
The same is true at the piano. I don't mean just in performing, but also in the process of learning. Sometimes serious students expect too much. I think many young students could be pushed more, but there are some cases where this is the reverse; the pressure from parents or teachers becomes obsessive and overbearing. The child is not "good enough" unless he or she wins a competition or plays perfectly.
Ironically, this pressure often leads to burnout, poor performance, and even complete rebellion or shutdown.
Why is this necessary? Why do we have to beat others to prove our worth? (What the hell does beating others have to do with music or art?) Why does self-worth rest on how accurately you can play a Mozart Sonata? What kind of message are we sending to students or children by telling them they aren't good enough because of a memory slip or a wrong note?
Don't get me wrong, I'm all about new levels of achievement, aiming for your best, improving. There's a reason its called fine art - high levels of playing don't fall into your lap.
But when music becomes all about stress, pressure, not messing up, and comparing oneself to others we lose interest in the music, because it isn't there anymore.