…In that moment of spontaneity, the miniature bluegrass band attempting harmony, and rhythm….and even the same key…I knew we had to take the show on the road. These kids could be stars. They could dominate the stage. Move over Taylor Swift, my kids have come to town!
Okay, no, I didn’t think that.
I was just really thankful, relieved even, that they hadn’t forsaken an interest in music entirely. It was still there. They’d not thrown the baby out with the washbasin, the window, or the bathwater.
They’d simply outgrown an instrument. Maybe they weren’t interested in learning scales and simple ditties. They wanted to jam.
Still, we walked out of that music shop instrumentless. The notion of them learning or playing something else wasn’t there. They were simply thankful that mom returned that violin to its rightful place: the shelf.
Until one day, a few months later, I heard a voice: Mom, could you teach me some piano?
Umm, sure honey. Since I wasn’t taught the piano, I can show you what I know…proficient on the right, clueless on the left hand. But sure, I’ll show you how to translate that music to a stringless instrument.
And she was hooked, and played those ditties over and over and over till I taught her another, and another.
Then I was finished teaching her what I knew from my right hand. I told her we should check out YouTube and see what they could offer. She played with that for a couple months, learning a few things about chords and harmonizing.
And then she asked, Mom, could I have piano lessons?
And I knew we were right back where we started, with an instrument, an instructor, and practice. The only difference? She initiated it. And I’ve heard no complaints since…
I’ll dream big for my kiddos, but there is a ribbon of skepticism in my heart. I don’t anticipate Glenn Gould or Oscar Peterson or David Foster emanating from my home; though I’d be glad to be proven wrong.
Fortitude, consistency and skill are learned from repetitive, persistent practice. They are important in this life, no doubt. This can be instilled through an instrument, a sport, chores, a job, or bookwork.
I am thankful, though, that I could learn sometimes we don’t need to push our kids in a direction we hope for them: we can just watch and wait and see them choose it for themselves.