Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Piano stories

I remember as a young girl I use to love playing the piano. I think I started lessons at around 10 or 11 and played until I was about 16. One of my biggest regrets in life was quitting. But for now I am just happy to be able to sit at my daughters side, guiding them and motivating them as they learn all about quarter notes and eighth notes and the meaning of fortissimo or pianissimo or legato. When they started taking lessons last year I thought I would never be able to help them because it had been so long since I played. But it's amazing how the mind can store information. In many ways our brain is like a file cabinet. You can file information away and forget about it and then go back and retrieve it whenever you want. You may have trouble finding it, but it's there. You just gotta search until you find it. While I'm definitely not at the level I once was, I am getting there slowly but surely. During my slow moments or "senior" moments as we now call them, I find myself turning to Lindsey for a little help. She takes her flute and piano lessons seriously and is always striving to play her best. To say I'm proud would be an understatement. Nikki also strives to do her best. I am so proud of her too. She is doing so well. There are occasional struggles with sticking with a particular piece until she has mastered it to perfection. I think she has taken after me in that respect. But she is learning the art of patience. Not an easy task for a 6 year old. She sometimes will get frustrated when she makes a mistake. It can get pretty dramatic when she gets mad and puts her head down with her arms crossed in front of her and starts crying. As I give her my little pep talk she drowns out my words with her cries of "I can't do it" or "I don't want lessons anymore". I sometimes struggle with how to handle the situation. I don't want to push her or pressure her too much out of fear she'll grow tired and will want to quit. But on the other hand I want my daughter to have this gift. I want her to have her music to turn to when she is happy or sad. I would be doing my daughter a great disservice if I let her quit. What would that teach her? that when life gets rough, it's time to give up? No way!!! My well meaning parents let me quit piano lessons because it was getting tough and I just wasn't focused enough. But I am here to tell you that we all look back on those days and wished we had handled things differently and made better choices. Things are different now. I have my girls and I plan on keeping those doors of opportunity open for as long as possible.

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