Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Play not practice

Tristan is learning to play the piano.  He doesn't like to practice.  He doesn't like to practice his breakdancing moves either, in fact I can't think of anything he likes to practice. The more I try to convince him of the benefits of practicing something the quicker he shuts down.  Then memories start wafting into my head how I hated practicing the clarinet when I was growing up.

I remember my Dad getting me sheet music so I could practice other things besides scales but blowing into a black shiny tube with shiny keys just didn't do it for me.  I liked the idea of playing well but just not the journey to that end. Yet I am glad I learned to play music and had the opportunity to be in a band.  Maybe he needs to play with people too.

I am sold on the great effects playing music has on the brain.  I think especially for those challenged in coordinating both hemispheres, there is no greater thing than playing the piano.  You are using so many parts of the brain at once.  I see it as a kind of therapy and my primary goal is for him to play for joy, not to get into Julliard.  So it was with great pleasure that I got to eavesdrop on his piano teacher the other day.

She is all about Tristan's connection to the music.  She gently praises and challenges him, explaining her love and connection to music and helping him discover his.  She somehow gets him to feel the music and tells him stories.  He eats it up and tries his hardest.  He concentrates and applies himself.  The time flies by and he wishes he had longer.  He has a connection with her.  With her he feels successful as he boldly plays Alouette, and reminds her that he can sing it in French as well!

It's cute. And I am happy that he has these wonderful adults in his life.

But he still doesn't practice.


  1. I have a hard time getting my kids to practice too. But then watching them one day, I realized that they practice those things that they REALLY like. they practice karate. They practice their dance. They practice their reading by reading all the time. They practice swimming. They practice their knowledge by sharing with others and starting conversations about what interest them.

    I think the connection with the teacher will spark more interest in the music and piano, THEN he will practice. It will happen! :) trust the journey. :)

  2. Thank you for commenting Tereza. I will trust! I will say "trust the journey" whenever I see him close to the piano! It is so nice to get input from other people. Thank you.

  3. I agree....when Lilah began piano at the age of 4 she would never practice even though she had a talent for the instrument. I never pushed her, nor did her teacher. At 6 she took a break and now at almost 10 she is able to pick back up where she left off and she is ready and willing to put in the practice to master G position. If the connection with his teacher is there, the rest will come!

  4. Hello,
    I just stumbled across your blog... actually, more specifically, I saw your blog name in a list on someone else's blog & loved it (!) so I had to come & have a look :) And then the first thing I noticed was your Montessori quote (Montessori is my first educational-love. Lol) and then, I quickly saw that your son shares my husband's name!

    Ahhhh, I like the little connections :) So I thought I should say hi! it's nice to "meet" you.
    Amber. x

  5. Okay, I read on... & you're Australian! (as I am). Homeschooling (Yay). And Montessori-trained (which I'm not - but will be one day, far off in the future, when my children are grown). Did I mention I like you already? Lol ;)

    1. Dear Amber,
      Wow. You really are a kindred spirit! Where are you in the blogosphere...or any sphere?