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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Why You Should Make Your Children Learn Piano

Today the other two pianists in our ward were both gone. For me, this translates into the following Sunday:

Play the organ for Sacrament meeting, and step in last minute for a musical number.

Play for the first hour of primary.

Run down and play for the Young Women so they can practice the song they're singing next week.

Hurry back and play for Relief Society.

Stay for choir, and realize there's no one to play the piano. Surprise!! I get to show off my fumbling, oops! I mean "sight reading" skills. That was great for the old self-esteem. It would have been easier for the poor people trying to sing their notes if I'd actually PLAYED any of them.

Went home for two and a half hours, and had my kids practice their piano lessons. This I obviously can't blame on the missing pianists, but still.

Went back in to church AGAIN to play for a Young Women's program - and found out they'd decided to do a last minute musical number, and oh, by the way, would you mind singing along since there aren't that many of them???

(As a side note to this last one, I actually wouldn't have missed the program for the world, and really was totally happy to play - and even sing. It was just so ironic that my piano-playing Sunday just kept going on, and on, and on...)

So, please. If you have children, make them take piano. I'm begging you. There are not enough of us (outside of Utah anyway), and it's DRIVING ME CRAZY!!!!!! I don't care if they hate it, some day they will thank you. (But not on days like today. On these days they will curse you - and all those nice parents who failed to force their children to continue on even though it was "boring" and they "hated it", because if those parents had just done a little more forcing, then maybe their child would be in your child's ward, and could PICK UP A LITTLE PIANO SLACK!!!!)

Ugh.

24 comments:

*MARY* said...

This is why you should keep the piano in the laundry room, so when the bishopric comes over for a visit they won't make a mental note of your skills for future callings.

Jen said...

No go, Mary. I grew up in this ward - there is no place to hide.

Kristin said...

Ah, but the real test of your skills, did anyone complement you? If not you played well regardless of your own thoughts. A good accompianist, no one notices. It's like when someone wears a garish sweater, people inevidably say nice sweater because they don't know what else to say.
Ahh what does anyone know of the pressures of playing anyway, it's enough to drive a woman to drink - ah dang it, the church looks down on that too, can't win.

LisAway said...

Way to share your talents! Sheesh! Over here there is usually a missionary that can play at church, but we've done the hymns a capella more than once, too.

McFarland Family said...

Oh, so sorry. I've never had this particular problem, as I play on a 6 year old level. But I have seen this, in my ward, in Utah. Next week, you take the day off.

Smart Helm said...

My family can totally relate.. unfortunately the later children in my family didn't recieve as much.... gentle pressure so I am so not there.
Good luck!

Jen R. said...

I wish I could play! So badly. My husband and I decided that our children will be forced to take lessons until they can play the hymns at least...then they can choose to continue or not. This includes the boys.

Kelly said...

Holy Cow-busy day! But I swear, it's Elma! I can't even count the number of people who play here, including tons of the young men. Good thing you know what you are doing.

Melissa Bastow said...

I just don't let anyone know that I play. I tell them the piano is for decoration - - which it kind of is these days since I never have time to play it.

Natalie said...

What would we do without you? There seriously has to be SOMEONE flying under the radar in our ward that could relieve your duties.

Annie Valentine said...

Kristin, you can talk all you want. We know you're hiding some mad skills in the basement of your house.

Jen said...

Your limerick skills are so keen.
My face with envy is green
Rum sounds fun,
too bad we're Mormon
and drinking isn't part of our scene.

Sounds more like a reason not to make the kids take piano if you ask me.

Whitney R said...

I took piano lessons till I was in 8th grade. I didn't like it. I quit because I forgot to go to a few lessons because of sports practices and my mom still had to pay for them. She told me, "Either you quit or you go!" So I chose to quit.


I regret it immensely. I plan on putting my children in piano and learning again myself.

Marivic_Little GrumpyAngel said...

You make me feel lucky I don't play piano past the beginner's level :-) Poor you for having to do all that. But having said that I am jealous of people like you who have the talent because it blesses the life of the likes of me. Thanks for the music, Jen!

catie said...

i took piano lessons until i graduated high school. my mom made me, she said it would make me better at math.

guess what.

i'm neither good at math or playing the piano.

Alison Wonderland said...

I tried to play the piano. I don't have the eye-hand coordination for it.
I'll admit I did let the princess quit but I've got plans for her... muwaahahahaha.

Kimberly said...

I've had Sundays like that as well! Oi!

We're going to have a rule in our house that our kids have to learn the piano. Once they master the basic hymns they can choose another instrument, but not until!

sue q said...

Ready for a sob story?

I took piano lesson when I was a child, but my teacher quit on me. I had a sister who was a prodigy, and I never could get my turn at the piano to practice because she was always there, so when it came time for us to go to our lessons, I was never prepared. I used to come home with red knuckles -- my teacher would zap my fingers with a pencil every time I made a mistake. One time she actually made them bleed! But she finally gave up on me and told me I was unteachable.

Talk about what's good for the ol' self esteem.

My mom did find out about the bloody knuckles, though, and immediately found a new teacher for my sister. Her loss. My sister is brilliant on the piano, and I am very proud of her, but this is something I will carry to my grave with some sense of shame.

I can't complain too loudly, though, because it was right after this that I learned to sew and that has brought me great pleasure all my life!

Barbaloot said...

Love this:) However, if it becomes too well-known that your kids play it might backfire. They may end up being called to the be choir accompanist at age 15 (and trust me when I tell you NO child wants to go to ward choir at that age), and then be stuck in it till they graduate and go to college. At which point they'll immediately be swept up as the new ward organist, choir accompanist and filler-in-for-RS-cuz-the-girl-called-never-comes. Then, they'll move, but the only calling they've ever had involved piano so it just keeps going. And going. And then they'll be 24 and still have never done anything that does NOT involve piano. And this was all while living in Utah.

I'm mean that's just a hypothetical situation...

Natalie said...

Wow. Is it just me or are there a lot of people with horrible piano lesson memories? You're way nicer than these piano teachers that everyone is telling stories about, right, Jen?

Natalie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jen said...

Natalie - I am the world's nicest piano teacher EVER!!!

Kellie Buckner said...

I wish I'd kept up on my piano lessons when I was a kid. I can still read music and play the piano, I just don't think anyone would want to listen to me play.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

Ha ha ha ha. That is exactly why I never learned to play the piano or cook or sew or do family history or lead music or prepare for emergencies or bake bread . . . I try to be as worthless as possible so I can just write. hee hee.

I've tried and tried and tried to make my kids take piano lessons so they can contribute to the world in ways I never will, but . . .

Okay . . . I'll keep trying. Like my blog motto, if you can't be a good example, might as well be a horrible warning!