Sunday, March 15, 2009

On Music

So I wrote a post yesterday about our crazy month and all of the music stuff we're involved in. Something about it didn't ring true, and I pulled the post after a couple of hours. I'm still not sure why. March IS crazy, we ARE very involved with music, and everything I wrote was dead on.

BUT, I think that the post missed the point that is most important to me. All of the varied activities my kids are involved in are for one thing and one thing only (or at least, that's my goal): to help them live a more fulfilled and happy life now and/or in the future. We sacrifice a little comfort and peace right now because in order to be happy adults, they must learn how to do some basic things: work, love, sacrifice, enjoy, and serve.

So all of the various musical activities the kids are involved in are not the end-all, be-all. They play music because I believe it teaches them important short-term lessons, but even more importantly, they're learning for the long term. Are they going to be professional musicians? Likely not. Are they going to be musicians? I hope so. But even if we eventually decide to pull them from private lessons at some point, there are important life lessons that they'll have learned from them.

They'll have learned that progress takes incremental steps over long periods of time.
They'll have learned that making mistakes is part of the learning process
They'll have learned that mistakes can actually teach us what we need to do differently, to take different approaches to old problems.
They'll have learned to take criticism.
They'll have learned to communicate emotions in healthy ways (other than the screaming at the piano bench. That's not so healthy.)
They'll have learned that three people can play the same piece three different ways, with each way being acceptable. Having alternate points of view in life is healthy and interesting.
They'll have learned to pick themselves up after a disaster.
They'll have learned that sacrificing what they want right now (to watch TV) for what they want later (to play their recital pieces well and communicate something to the audience) is worth it.

Each of my children has different abilities and passions musically. One is very gifted rhythmically, one has an incredible sense of pitch. One struggles at dealing with basic corrections. One will play sections over and over again without prodding. One plays for more than an hour a day without being asked, one practices because it's an expectation and because there is no media time before practicing is finished, and one practices only after much struggle Every Single Time. But I think that music has something to teach each of them.

Music can help teach my children those basic life lessons I want them to have: to work, to enjoy, to sacrifice, to love, and to serve. I know that I've learned these things from my musical journey. For us, it's worth the stresses and the struggles. And it's not all stresses and struggles. There are joys along the path, too. Just like life.

Look at me, with another analogy...pretty impressive, isn't it?


Malisa said...

Yep. That's just how I feel, but you put it into words. (I'm just not sure how many of the "struggles" we can do!)

This was a well written post!

Anonymous said...

I luved this post Kerri! And it makes me soo sad that you're not in Heber to teach my kiddos music! I'm going to try my hardest, but there will be time in the not so distant future when they'll need lessons outside our home. I can't think of anyone better! Thanks for the inspiration. katrina :)

Austin and Leslie said...

I loved your post!