Thursday, December 12, 2013

BFBN: pushing through with music

Three things.

First of all, I wanted to share something exciting with you all.  Yesterday, Duke's nursery (with lovely pictures by Makenzie) was featured on!  I know you guys have already seen the many pictures of his nursery, but I'd love it if you'd check it out on their website!

Second, I'm over on Maureen's blog today talking about managing toddler behavior in the midst of holiday chaos.  I've found a couple things to be helpful - like sticking with our discipline and maintaining a decent sleep schedule.  Click here to read my post!

Lastly, enjoy Rachel's post here about something very dear to my heart - sticking with piano lessons.  She speaks the truth!

I took piano lessons from the age of 8 until the age of 18. Did I practice all the time? Heavens no. Was I super happy and excited to be taking lessons every year? Not really. Am I glad now that I stuck it out? Absolutely.

I can't tell you how many people I've spoken to as an adult who said they regretted quitting piano lessons. When asked why they quit they said that they just weren't interested, and their parents didn't make them. I wanted to quit, but wasn't allowed. Afterwards, I was so happy to have learned the basics and felt very thankful to my mother for not letting me quit.

Here are some reasons for helping your kids stick out the music lessons.

1. Kids live in the moment.

A child is not able to look into the future and understand how they might be grateful for this skill. They won't understand that it often requires self-sacrifice in the present to attain something for the future. I personally, though I know many others would disagree, think it is okay to require our children to stick it out. At least for a while. I would ask my mother every so often to quit, get told no, and get on with it. I was allowed to quit participating in recitals when I humiliated myself, but even that didn't make me hate the piano. After having travelled for a few years and not touched the piano once, I sat down to the piano and was still able to play. Rusty, sure. But you don't forget your chords!

2. They'll never have more time than now.

There's nothing like putting something off to your 20's or 30's thinking you will have more time. Give me a break. Children have more time now than ever to get into music and let it become an outlet for both entertainment and healing. I don't recommend having your children burn both ends of the candle in an effort to make them "well-rounded" but if music is a priority for your family then now is the time to start. Now, when they are young enough to soak it up like sponges.

3. It teaches discipline and pushing through.

I won't go Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom on you, but there is surely something to be said for self-discipline and motivation with respect to music lessons. My mother would set a timer for me when it was time to sit down. Whether or not I wanted to I would practice. I'm no Mozart and, even now, truly wish I had paid more attention and become more motivated. However, it did require effort on my part and each week I was held accountable for my progress. I think this is a great way to teach our children some life lessons along with this skill.

If your kids are hem hawing about quitting lessons, I encourage you to persevere. Perhaps take the summers off for a break, but know that music lessons are gifts that you are giving your children that will continue to keep giving right through their adulthood. Music, unlike soccer lessons (nothing against soccer) is an outlet for creativity, and being able to read music and understand some basic theory will mean they are able to pick up other instruments or even singing as they go through life.

I believe it is a lucky child indeed who is able to say as an adult, "I can play the so-and-so, and am so glad I didn't give up."

Rachel blogs at A Mother Far from Home

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