Sunday, March 25, 2012

The update

N and I began taking piano lessons on Jan 2 of this year.  We are now into month 3, and while we still enjoy it, I admit that getting N to practice is often as fun as getting daggers shoved into my eyes.

Some of the practice unpleasantness is due to N's desire to play too quickly, which often results in her messing up, which results in her becoming frustrated.  Our piano teacher tells both of us two things over and over and over:  Play slowly and count out loud as we play.  N does neither of these when she practices at home.  I ask her to do these things repeatedly.  But as I am her mother, I am also an idiot.  Yes, that mother-daughter "thing" has only worsened since piano lessons began.

Some of this piano practice unpleasantness is due to the boys' desire to interrupt our practice by throwing books down the steps or running through the dining room and screaming.  Even if I don't lose my temper with N, I quickly lose it with the boys.

I will not be surprised if my blood pressure reads higher at my next wellness assessment.

I have committed both N and me to piano lessons for a year because I think that is a decent amount of time to get used to an instrument and get beyond the initial learning curve challenges.  In Jan 2013, we can reevaluate whether to discontinue or go on.  My hope is that N will continue, but I will allow her to stop if she chooses at that time.  I expect to continue because I do enjoy learning and knowing that I am getting better....although my own ability to practice is hampered by my daily sidekicks who often like to bang along as I'm trying to get through an etude.

Though is greatly dislike motivational charts as a means of getting kids to potty train or give up pacifiers, I have decided that a motivational chart may be the key to getting N to practice without a fight with mom.  She is supposed to practice 5 times a week, and often those practices fall between Fri-Mon (with her going back to the piano twice daily to practice on Saturdays and Sundays).  If she practices without an argument and works carefully/slowly, she will earn star stickers.  If after a month she has earned a certain number of stars, she will get a special "treat."

She seemed to like this idea, as do I, although it means one more thing for me to keep up with.

I tell myself that I don't make a stink over things like her clothing choices or other "little" things, but I feel strongly enough about learning an instrument that I am willing to fight for this.

I think.

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