Yesterday I wrote about my mother becoming a piano student after years of raising 2 daughters who both play piano. Today I will share what she has written about her experiences as a piano student so far. She writes:
When I Grow Up I Want To Be… A Piano Parent?
I always wanted to play the piano but never took lessons. In grade school I played the plastic flute and did that well. In Junior High I took music appreciation and could clap to the beat very good. But I never took piano lessons.
When my daughter Dana was 5, I enrolled her in piano class. She would cry the first few times I would take her to her teacher’s house. Each of those times I used my self-fulfilling prophecy and told Dana to try the lessons for 3 months. Then if she still didn’t like them, I would discontinue them. One day I dropped Dana off and returned to pick her up. To my surprise Dana was laughing with the teacher and venturing as she played the piano. From that day forward I never saw Dana cry about not wanting to take the lessons.
I started Jessica, Dana’s sister, to take piano lessons when she was 7. At home Jessica had Dana as a mentor. She would often watch her play. So that was much encouragement for her.
Yikes! I’m A Piano Student!
Last October I started taking piano lessons from the same teacher who taught my younger daughter many years ago. Once I started lessons I soon realized that I had to discipline myself, to learn theory, and to practice daily. If I make one mistake, the average time I have to start over again. Though this is part of the challenge that comes with a person striving to achieve, much time is invested. Had I realized this when Dana and Jessica were taking piano lessons, I would have signed up for piano lessons myself. We would have been able to encourage each other. I would have enjoyed listening to them and making comments along the way. Equally, I believe that they would have loved listening to me.
I remember when I first started taking lessons and how there was such a difference from my preparation at home to my lessons in front of my teacher. My fingers would shake a lot as I struggled to remember the notes, the melody, and the keys. Long hours of rehearsal enabled me to improve from this madness over time. I found that as the songs increased, the demands to practice increased. I even discovered that if I stopped practicing the songs I learned to play, I would forget how to play them and would have to start over again. I also learned that there are favorite songs and others that I simply put up with.
If I’m dissatisfied with the outcome of my playing during my lessons with my teacher, as soon as I can get back home to the piano, I get back on it. I keep playing the song to my satisfaction and feel much better. I’ve learned since I started lessons last October (I’ve progressed to page 112 in my book which goes to page 159) to translate each song. When I write the alphabet per note, that helps me a lot. As I continue to play the tune, I improve significantly. The more I play with concentration, the better for me. I begin to relax when the melody sounds right and I can hit the key at the right time.
Come Back Tomorrow
In tomorrow’s post you will get to read about my biggest piano obstacle so far – HANON – and how I showed him whose the Mama around here! LOL