Making the Ordinary Extraordinary!

Ten things I learned from being a musician parent…

Welcome to my blog on music making and life!  I hope that this will be a means to communicate with those of you who have used my collections and reached out to me over the years.  Thank you for the encouragement to keep making music through the long season of having four babies in less than six years.  Those “babies” are now 12, 14, 16 and 18, and are fine musicians in their own right.  I am now finally coming up for air!

I have had the rare privilege of being the first piano teacher for each of my own children, the discipline of being the practice parent for piano, violin and cello, and the challenge of finding out if I truly believed what I preached as a musician and teacher, after years of teaching other students. Here are some of the discoveries I have made about being a musician parent…

  1. Yes, it is embarrassing to be reminded by the violin teacher that your child’s fingernails are too long when you yourself have lectured countless parents about the same thing over the years.
  2. It is even more embarrassing to have to clip your own child’s fingernails in the middle of the piano lesson that you are attempting to teach them.
  3. It is downright humbling to have neglected to supervise your child’s practice (due to the craziness of the week of course!) and to have to face the teacher.
  4. Bless the teachers who have had grace for me in my failings, and bless the teachers that have held me to a standard for my child’s sake. It sure is a balancing act.
  5. When teaching a lesson to your own child, pretend that you don’t know them. Actually, this also works for having to practice with your child.
  6. When teaching a lesson to your own child, have them come in through the garage and knock on the studio door – that way you can both pretend that you are not related.
  7. When teaching your own child, remember that the relationship is more important than the music. This actually holds true even when it’s not your own child!
  8. Don’t correct your child through the heating vent when you get out of the shower and hear wrong rhythms coming through those same vents.
  9. Make time to work on your own music and keep learning. Your example is the best teacher.
  10. The most beautiful words to my ears: “Mommy, can you please listen to this?” 🙂

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Practice makes…?

2 Comments

  1. Carolyn Gurley

    I did not teach my own child, I decided early on that it was best for our family if I was only one side of that teacher/parent/student triangle.
    I especially like #7, 8 and 10. Yes, #7!!! While I did not correct my child through the heating vent I did sometimes call out from the kitchen after hearing the same mistake… Eventually I learned to go to another part of the house and shut the door. My child’s version of #10 was, “Mom, will you please help me with this?” She went on to minor in piano at university and her playing still brings tears to my eyes.

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