Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Piano lessons

I desperately wanted to take piano lessons as a child, but my parents could not afford it. Finally when I was in 7th grade my sister and I got to take lessons. I only lasted a few months because I had other interests by middle school. I do know how to read music because I did keep up playing my flute all the way through college.

Lamb 1 was a natural at playing the piano. He started lessons a little later than I would have liked due to our move. It is just recently that he has really been challenged in his playing the piano-the teacher did a great job keeping him challenged with piano theory work. It was just so natural that he didn't need to practice much before now.

Lamb 2 is much more motivated to play piano, but he really has to work at it. Around the time he started Vision Therapy, I really worked with him during his piano practice time. We did flash cards, I counted as he played, etc. After he graduated from VT I started letting him be more independent about piano practice. But I still work with him more than I ever worked with Lamb 1-I just told Lamb 1 to practice. Last week at piano lessons the teacher thanked me for all my work with my boys as it is really paying off for Lamb 2.

I consider piano lessons part of homeschooling since they aren't in music classes with a school class. I expect them to practice often because we have paid all this money for lessons. Because they are homeschooled they can easily practice during the school day while I am working with their brothers on school.

I recently had to buy the next level piano books for Lamb 1. Usually this is an exciting time to pick an extra book to go with his lesson book and theory book. He usually picked hymns or patriotic music. This level the hymn book was combined with an earlier level and there was no patriotic music. He doesn't want Disney songs or pop songs. He finally settled on a recital book that he could tell had some classical composers in it, but it was not what he really wanted. When I told all this to the teacher, she said we can get him extra sheet music at his level if we need to. She also said if he can make it through this level, he will basically be able to play anything (with some practice).

The thought that Lamb 1 just has one more level until he can play anything was such a new thought to me. At that point we will allow him to choose if he wants to continue lessons or go on to another instrument. Lamb 2 still has several more years of lessons until he is at that point. I hope that Lamb 3 can begin lessons next fall. It's amazing the progress that Lamb 1 made in just 2 1/2 years of lessons.

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