Monday, March 10, 2008

Learning to Play the Piano

When I was in elementary school, my mother received the big upright piano that her parents had. She had my sister and me start taking piano lessons. I was in the 5th grade and my sister was in 3rd. I still think 5th grade is a good time for kids to start piano lessons. My sister and I had to practice an hour a day for our first teacher, and that's when we hardly knew anything to practice.

I continued to take piano up through my senior year in high school except for my junior year. I thought I wanted a break and was thinking about quitting. I didn't quit, however, and continued taking a couple of years in Bible college and at least a semester at state college.

In about junior high I played one-handed for junior church in our church. Later I played for a Bible study my mother and I went to. When I got into high school, another friend and I shared the playing for church services. By then I was playing with both hands.

Ever since my high school years I have played the piano for nearly every church and/or Christian school my husband and I have been in. I also have taught piano lessons much of that time. Playing the piano has been one of the foundational elements of my life. The Lord has allowed me to use my piano playing in a variety situations. I have played for cantatas, music programs, weddings, funerals, church services, school chapels, and as accompanist for singers and choirs.

At least part of the reason my husband and I got together is because of his singing ability and my piano playing ability. I have accompanied him many, many times. I was able to give piano lessons to my children, and that was at least in part the reason they went on to be musicians: both sing; Aaron took saxophone and guitar; Jen took flute. I feel like our family's life would be much different without the influence of the piano.

I am really grateful to my mother for making me take piano lessons at the start and for paying for them and for spending time and effort to take me to lessons. My sister went on to play the French horn and was a talented singer. Our mother was a major influence in this area of our lives.

I say that every child benefits from taking piano lessons. The benefits far outweigh the negatives. QOTW


Jen said...

One of my biggest regrets is that I did't stay in piano. I'd still like to pick it back up and if I lived closer to you, I would.

Momstheword said...

My sister and I took lessons, too, but they didn't seem to stick, if you know what I mean. On that same piano. I think Mom got it in trade for some pigs. She took off the old dark varnish and it was abolutely beautiful. My Mom played some "by ear".

Laura said...

I too am thankful that my mom insisted that we all take piano...learning piano is so foundational to learning other instruments. I have been able to teach my children, as well.