Practice Makes Perfect, Dec. 3

Music has always been an important part of our lives. So it was just expected that our kids would take piano lessons. Since Jacob is the oldest, he's first in line to tickle the ivories.

But for anyone who has tried to learn an instrument, you know how challenging it can be. It takes plenty of work...work that can be overwhelming for a little kid.

I started giving Jacob lessons when he was six. I'm a pianist and I used to teach little kids when I was in high school. I thought it would be natural for me to teach my own son...and save money, too. Unfortunately, my plans hit a sour note. It was a struggle to get Jacob to practice. And it was even harder to be the teacher and the supportive parent. It wasn't music to my ears by any means.

Enter professional piano teacher, Barb Nelson. She's Jon's cousin, a middle school music teacher and a piano teacher to 20 plus students. Barb started teaching Jacob the following year.

We're now in our second year with Barb, and having a regular schedule has helped. Jacob needs to practice for 15 minutes every day, and marks this time daily in his binder. Getting him to practice, though, can be difficult. There's other things an 8-year-old boy would rather be doing...like watching football on TV or playing with friends. Sometimes we find ourselves practicing for one hour on Sunday in order to make up the minutes.

Learning to play the piano isn't easy. And sometimes I forget that. I forget all the years I took lessons, and all the years I hated practicing. I remind Jacob and myself, that it takes time to build that confidence and that love for playing. It just takes time...and plenty of practice.

The other day, we did have a breakthrough. Jacob played a song perfectly with the CD accompaniment. And he liked the song! He said it was fun! Yeah! Practice does make perfect. And I think Jacob is learning that. I'm sure we'll hit those wrong notes along the way. But, I was glad to see my little boy learning that love of music.

Happy Parenting!

Taryn

About the Author...
Taryn Vanderford
Taryn Vanderford is an Emmy-winning journalist who currently works on "First at Four", "Pure Nebraska" and "Moms Everyday" for 10/11 and Gray Television.

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