Time for a Lesson

Allen Practicing PianoMy daughter, from the age of four, wanted to learn to play the piano. So at the beginning of last school year, she started taking lessons. The novelty wore off quickly and the tedium began. Some days it was a struggle to get her to practice at all.

Then my son, Allen, starting asking if he could have lessons too. My husband and I were sure it would eventually be worth the cost, but with my daughter’s reluctance, I wasn’t sure I wanted to face that daily struggle times two.

My son assured me that wouldn’t be the case. He promised that he would practice every day without complaining. So at the start of this school year, he began taking classes as well. Guess what? He also began to grow weary of the daily practice. Every time he would sit down at the keyboard, he would get up within a few minutes to find me and ask if time was up … at least three times each practice session.

The other day he had been putting off piano time until finally, after dinner, I told him he couldn’t wait any longer if he wanted us to have story time before bed.

“Can you listen to me practice?” he asked.

My to-do list flashed in my mind, displaying in mental neon lights all the tasks I still had pending. “Sure, Allen,” I told him as I willfully pushed that list to the back of my mind.

As I sat on my bed, he haltingly beat out a couple of tunes I didn’t know and then got to one I recognized. (Who doesn’t know “Mary had a little Lamb,” right?) He kept playing the song nicely until he got nearly to the end, and trip up on those last few notes.

“That wasn’t quite right,” I told him.

“Should I do it again?” Allen asked me.

“Do you think you should?” I answered, not wanting to sound like a nagging mom.

“I’ll do it again,” he said. After trying half a dozen times, he got it right. And it looked like he was having fun. So much fun, in fact, that I wanted to try.

“Can you teach me how to play it?” I asked him.

The broad smile he wore when he looked up at me told me the answer. “Sure!” He began to patiently explain to me what every note was and how to read it on the music sheet. I not so patiently listened. Finally, he must have thought I had all I needed to start off. I tried it. I didn’t think I did too badly. I flubbed near the end. After trying a few more times (more than half a dozen), I figured it out.

“You need to hold that last note,” he told me, and launched into a detailed explanation about how you can tell the length of a note.

I played it again. “That was better,” he said encouragingly. “Let me show you a few more things.” He eagerly flipped through the book, explaining more concepts (probably with more patience and interest than I show him when I need to explain things to him).

“Okay, you take over now,” I finally told him. He sat back down and kept at it for ten more minutes without stopping or looking at the time.

When I told him that he had been practicing long enough, he asked, “Is it already time up? The time passed so quickly!” He ran out the door, off to his next activity.

Time did pass quickly. I wonder what he’ll teach me when it’s time for my next lesson.


About Bonita Jewel

Bonita Jewel is an author and blogger who writes on a variety of themes, including: Literature & poetry https://danielandbonita.wordpress.com Writing https://awordfitlywritten.wordpress.com Parenting https://positiveparentingblog.wordpress.com Purpose https://apurposedlife.wordpress.com After living in India from the age of 16 to 28, she returned to California with her husband and three children. She is pursuing a Degree at Fresno State University. Bonita teaches community education at Clovis Adult. Her courses include Blogging Basics, Power Editing, Creative Writing, and Working from Home. She also freelances as an editor, ghostwriter, and writing coach. Her greatest passions are her family, her faith, writing, and reading. Bonita Jewel has been reading since she was 2 ½. Thirty years later, she still loves the magic and mystery of the written word. She is slowly breathing life into roughly 50 novels and nearly as many nonfiction works, depending on which plot or character seizes her interest at any given time. Please connect with Bonita at: https://www.facebook.com/BonitaJewelAuthor

Posted on October 16, 2013, in Allen, Attributes, Life Lessons, Paying attention and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hmmm, perhaps Mommy was given the wisdom of of how to help a child ” work through a new skill to mastery”
    You engaged in part of his practice time! 🙂
    I’m sure your son was overjoyed by that

  2. Time sure passes quickly for both kids and us when we do things together. I’ve taken to doing their chores with them, that way I can ensure it gets done right and we’re all having fun doing it together. I’ll keep this in mind next time it comes time for them to practice something.

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