Parenting: A love of music

March 29, 2012 3:20:56 PM PDT
I have played the piano my whole life.? To this day, when I find a moment to sit and play, my heart sings!?

I truly love music.? If I could give my children one gift, it would be to share my love of music.? Both my daughters play the piano, but more often than not, I am forcing them to practice.? I set the timer and they literally count down as if they're being tortured!

I decided to take my girls to visit my old piano teacher, Mary Rhubart.? Mrs. Rhu, as I call her, has been teaching for over sixty years!? She gave me some much needed advice.

First, make sure you find a teacher who truly loves to teach.? Mrs. Rhubart says, "There's a lot of love that transpires on the bench."? It's important to select a teacher who develops a nice relationship with your child.? Mrs. Rhubart laughs when the kids make mistakes.? They learn that they can have a fun time together and not expect to be perfect.? There's no need to make piano lessons stressful.

I wondered if my children needed to play more contemporary music to develop a love for the piano.? But, Mrs. Rhubart says she always teaches the classics.? After years of instruction, she teaches chords to the children so they can feel free to play their favorite songs by ear.

One thing I learned is that I might be expecting too much from my girls.? Mrs. Rhubart says if they are busy, even 15 minutes of good practice a day will be enough to give them a good lesson by the end of the week.? The key is for the parent and teacher to work together to get them through the early years.

Beyond that, Mrs. Rhubart says the children tend to develop a love for music in the high school years after their fingers have developed strength and training.? "They hear the music they are playing and start liking what they hear."

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