One of the things people assume when they discover that I am a piano teacher is that my children are each accomplished pianists themselves. Truth be told, they are not. And I am in no rush to force it on them. I have attempted to teach them many times, and each time our music lessons have fallen by the wayside. Do I think music is important? Yes. Do I think that my children should be exposed to great composers and wonderful, enriching music? Absolutely! Am I going to teach them piano one day? Probably not.
Here is why :
- I want my children to pursue things that interest them – If, one day, they approach me with a sincere desire for piano lessons, I will gladly help guide their paths. However, I will not force MY interests on them. I never want my children to feel that they have to learn piano simply because I play the piano. I want my children to pursue their own interests! (And boy do they have some wonderful interests!) I am beyond thrilled to help cultivate their loves and their interests within them!
- I do not want piano lessons to be a chore, or task they HAVE to complete – As a piano teacher, I am fully aware that lessons of any sort take practice. A LOT of practice. And sometimes, that practice isn’t enjoyable. However, when lessons are forced upon a child who doesn’t want them in the first place, that practice time becomes a chore. It becomes a time of frustration, tears, and a source of negativity. I never want my children to look at music lessons as a hated subject. My desire is to promote a love of music in my boys. Not the opposite.
- I can (and do) expose my children to wonderful music without teaching them piano – Our boys have been exposed to wonderful music throughout their whole lives simply because we love music in this household. They know of different composers, basic music theory terms, rhythm, voice, and harmony. This is all due to the fact that there is always music of some sort being played in our home. They hear me rehearsing for various occasions, they’ve come with me to sound checks, and performances, they’ve sat through my piano lessons with other students, and it is just a part of our normal, every day lives. There is no need for formal lessons when our day to day routine is building a musical foundation within them.
- I want to give my children the best of me – Truth be told, after our homeschool day is done, and my music students have been taught, I am spent. I long to give my family and my students 100% of me, however, I am one person and can only give so much before I break. If I am over tired, over worked, and overly stressed, my music lesson time with my kids will be forced and unpleasant. My children don’t deserve that. My husband doesn’t deserve that. And my students don’t deserve that.
- Our time as a family trumps just about everything else – Given the choice of spending time with my family and ANYTHING else, I will (and should) choose my family. At this stage in the game, adding anything extra to our already busy days will hinder that precious time. My family comes first. My family will always come first. If that means saying “no” to certain activities, including piano lessons, then so be it.
Our children could grow to become accomplished musicians one day in the future. As a musician myself, I would be thrilled if this occurred. However, I would be more thrilled if music was a true passion and a true love for them. I want my boys to do it for the right reasons. I want them to use the gifts and talents that God has given them. And where ever He leads will be amazing!