“I didn’t like practicing piano when I was a kid. It was a chore.
My parents would ‘make’ us sit down at the piano for (x) amount of time and we would suffer through. I am sure that I sat there mumbling under my breath that I would never make my kids do this.
Transition to 35 years later and here I am, in the same position as my mom. But I decided I would take a different approach than my parents. I won’t ‘make’ my daughter practice. She just will because she wants to. Watch and learn, mom. Well, how do you think that worked?
Let’s just say that my husband and I got into a little bit of trouble. I’m not sure if we were in trouble with our daughter or with Ms. Dawe, but it became clear to me that there has to be a happy medium between my parents ‘hands-on’ approach and our ‘hands-off’ approach. My daughter loves to play piano, but without regular practice, she wasn’t making much progress, and both she and her teacher noticed it.
My daughter came to the car window after piano lessons one day and said that we needed a plan. She’s 6, but we believed her, and we made a plan.
Thanks to the combination of our 6 year-old and her amazing idol, Ms. Dawe, we now have an alarm that goes off on my phone at 7:00 every night. The entire family stops what we are doing and we listen. It does not matter if we are sitting at the dinner table or working on homework or watching The Voice, we stop and we listen.
We enjoy, we smile, we mouth praises about her to each other, and we listen. The most amazing part is that my 10 year-old has started to sit at the piano again and play some of her old songs. It is sparking her enjoyment of music again. Sometimes, getting into trouble can turn out ok. So can practicing.”
Guest Blog by Ashley Dean, parent of a Songinflight Studio student.