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Playing Songs of Woe...

I don't know why I do this to myself, but the wailing and gnashing of teeth is about to begin anew in our house.

We are heading out to piano lessons.

My daughters are both extremely musical. My oldest daughter wins the piano festivals almost every year, and she reads music very well. She's a natural. She doesn't have a great ear for playing things without music, but we're working on that.

My younger daughter, however, has been able to sit down at a piano since she was five and pick songs out. She regularly sits down and within a few minutes can figure out both hands to contemporary songs. She's wonderful.

But she absolutely hates the regular piano lessons where you have to--GASP!--actually count, and read the notes that are written, as opposed to putting in your own notes which you know sound better.

The girls take two lessons a week: one traditional one, and one with a friend of mine who teaches them to play by chord sheet. Katie (my youngest) likes the chord music. It's the tarditional stuff she can't stand.

And whenever she has to practice, she cries and cries. It drives me around the bend!

I know many parents would just give up, but I see this as important for two reasons: one day, she is going to be a great musician. But she will still have to be able to read music, and she has to be able to count so other musicians can play with her. She can't be all over the place!

And I also think it's a positive thing to have to work at something, and do something that doesn't come as naturally. If all we ever do is what is easy for us, we never get stretched.

The chord music thing is a stretch for my older daughter, but she doesn't complain, and she does it willingly. But my younger daughter can pout and tear up as if I'm torturing her. It drives me batty, and here we are, about to embark on it again for the year.

I'm either crazy or a good mother. I just can't decide which it is right now!

To Love, Honor and Vacuum

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At 12:50 AM , Blogger TRS said…

That means you're a good mom!
Your girls will never regret playing an instrument.

I sure regret that I can't.

Good point on the fact that they'll appreciate something that is worth working for.
My nephew... oddly enough ... was gifted at Saxophone. Even after his music teacher moved on to another state... he sent nephew a card at Christmastime encouraging him to continue, saying "You have a natural gift for the instrument. I hope you keep at it."

My nephew quit altogether after that! So strange! Though, looking back - he quit anything that he seemed to be really good at. As if he didn't want to excel. Weird.


At 6:58 PM , Blogger Miss Amy Smarty said…

I was forced to play piano starting at age 5. I hated every minute of it. I cried when I was forced to practice. I hated it and my parents for making me do something like that.

No one took the time to understand why I was having so much trouble. The same as my trouble in math later one. I am dyslexic with numbers...I have trouble with spacial relations and it made reading music on the piano really hard for me. I felt guilty or stupid for not getting things down the 9th and 10th times being taught...where other kids could pick it up the 1st or 2nd.

I eventually got a BA in Music for vocal performance. Piano playing in college would still make me break out in a cold sweat because I'd had such a bad experience with it growing up.

I'm not saying it's a bad thing to make your kids do something like that...but I wish my parents had listened to me when I said it was hard and made me frustrated. If I'd been tested for dyslexia at a young age, I could have done something about it and maybe learned differently and not be so horrible at piano AND math now! I couldn't explain why I was having such a hard time as a they chalked it up to me being stubborn. I will never forget the terror and dread I felt when doing piano lessons.

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About Me

Name: Sheila

Home: Belleville, Ontario, Canada

About Me: I'm a Christian author of a bunch of books, and a frequent speaker to women's groups and marriage conferences. Best of all, I love homeschooling my daughters, Rebecca and Katie. And I love to knit. Preferably simultaneously.

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