Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Okay, little request here: Please respond in the comments.

Max, sick as a dog and feeling blue, wants to know why he can't quit piano. I answered fairly honestly (the upshot being: no matter how bad you feel today--you have talent, music fluency is as important as math and reading fluency, and I'm a big meanie).

Anyone care to chime in on the topic Why I'm glad my mother didn't let me quit my music lessons? (Chris's answer is that "chicks dig a guy who can play piano/saxaphone/trumpet--maybe not so much flute.").


Writing and Living said...

Because I've never met an adult that said, "Wow, I wish I hadn't stuck with piano lessons." But everybody else is sorry that they quit.

educat said...

For good or bad, this is the general comment I use for "When are we ever gonna use this!?"

You have so much potential that you never know where your life will take you. I never dreamed that I would be doing what I am today and loving my life so much. Someday you may find yourself in a place where your skill at (insert seemingly silly skill here) will bring you an edge. I would hate to think you'd closed that door totally to yourself so early in life.

Yeah, it gets a good eyeroll in my teeney kingdom, but it's true.

Hillary said...

My pat answer is usually someting along the lines of:

a) For the same reason you can't quit math, or reading, or science. It's part of school and part of the general body of knowledge you'll need as an adult.

b) For the same reason I make you wash yourself, eat your vegetables, and brush your teeth. Because I'm your mother and I know what's best.

c) I only took 1 year of piano. I didn't study further, but I am now going back and trying to pick it up. It is *so much easier* learning piano as a child! It's much slower-going now!

BUT, after reading the comments, I'd totally go with Ramblin's answer. That was beautiful!

PuppDaddy said...

Well now, I do believe I threw chicks in at the END of my explanation when it came up but I never would have gone so far as to say chicks dig a trumpet player or a saxophonist.

He did bring this up a few weeks ago and I believe I said "You can't quit Piano because Piano teaches the fundamentals of all music, like Latin helps you learn other languages, if you know Piano you can pick up any form of music you'd like. And music is important. And chicks dig rock stars"

I seem to remember quitting Sax on my own in the 6th grade to focus on theater and a social life. Mom remembers it differently, that my ghetto public school ended their music program. I like hers better, because I've always wished I'd gone farther with music.

slawebb said...

I have to agree with Chris on the "chicks dig a guy who plays paino" comment. It can melt a girls ,well my heart. On a different note, one of my teachers in college made all of his kids take paino until they could play the hardest hymn in the hymn book perfectly. That way they will be able to play any hymn when asked. After they were allowed to quit. It's a different approach, but one I think has merit. Gives him a goal and I think his kids were in high school when they finally were able to do it. It was one of those non negotable items in there education. If they were too busy something else could be droppped but not piano.
Good luck.

Dy said...

I can't answer that specific question, but the inverse of it: why I wish my mom hadn't let me quit.

I find myself wishing I could pick up an instrument and play - for the enjoyment of playing, for the relaxation (yes, as you get old, your idea of relaxation gets weird). For the music I enjoy. It's not fun to walk into a room with a piano and know that I can't sit down and whip something out.

I wish I could help out when someone needs accompaniment (and it happens far more often than I ever would have guessed!)

I wish I had developed the self-control it takes to get really, truly good at something (and I see now that being allowed to stop and move on didn't help me develop that skill/trait/adult-like mannerism).

I wish I could pass my skills along.

Sadly, here I am, having to learn things now that my brain is set and unwilling to absorb new information and skills too readily. It's hard. Harder than learning anything I had to learn before I was 18.

And now, I have a home to run, children to raise, a spouse to tend to, and Life in all it's ways... and they have to come first. I wish I'd learned more and studied more things when that was all I had to get done. Life comes tumbling down on you without any forewarning. I'm not trying to sound Gloom'n'Doom - this is good stuff, the here and now. I just think I could've made it a lot more enjoyable in a number of small ways if I'd stuck with it. If I'd learned to stick with it (general "it") when I was that age.

Edit at will, but I hope something useful is in there.


The Queen said...

Reply to you all:

Well, I really must go on when I'm in a certain mood because you all said pretty much what I said to him. So I'm going to use most of it just so he knows his old mother had a point. I told him, Ms. Write and Live, the very same thing.

And I told him, Dy, my similar feelings on the subject. All quitting does is teach you (often falsely) things you think you can't do. And sometimes you're wrong. Sometimes it's just that you don't have enough experience yet to see what you can do and what your own potential really is.

Educat, I don't know exactly how to convey that all to a 9-yr-old but you certainly managed to convey the way I FEEL and why it is that I can't even consider letting him quit.

Hillary, I hear ya. I promise you that I threw that all in there.

Sarah, what *is* the hardest hymn in the hymnal to play?

Dy, Amen.

And in conclusion, today--feeling better than he did last night, Max went to his usual Thursday night piano theory group class and had a wonderful time. He did very well, got to show off a little, and ended the evening playing a few extra minutes in the setting sun with one of the other kids from piano class/church while I chatted with his mom in the parking lot (she has young twins, too--although her boys outnumber mine 5:3).