I had a very musical childhood. I was the first of my four siblings to ask for music lessons - I desperately wanted to play the piano and so around the age of seven my mom signed me up to start taking lessons from a woman named Beverly who was wonderful and beautiful and also just a little bit scary. Scary like she almost fired me as her student because I couldn't seem to learn to play the piano with my tongue in my mouth. Luckily I eventually did learn to control my little habit and got to stay on as her student for many wonderful years before moving to Utah and continuing with another teacher, the much less scary and very beloved Ruth Anne, until I graduated from high school. It wasn't long after I started playing that my big sister caught the bug and asked for cello lessons. She has been playing ever since, even majoring in music and is now a fabulous cello teacher. Soon to follow were both of my younger brothers, each starting on violin before switching eventually to guitar for one and cello the other. My mom gave us a huge amount of time and energy to help us practice, get the instruments we needed and took us to memorable music institutes every summer. It was pretty amazing.
I have long been feeling the need to bring more music into our own home. I'm so grateful for the musical upbringing I've had, how much I appreciate and love music and how even still it's a big part of my life. And now I have these three kids who are getting bigger by the moment and I just want them to have a little taste of what I had. I've thought about it for a long time, toyed with the idea of piano lessons from a friend or maybe even I myself could do an every-Saturday-morning kind of little family music class. I nixed the second idea pretty quickly, imagining that my children just didn't need one more time and place they had to listen to me be in charge some more. Which brings me to my main concern - practicing. If we are blessed enough to include music as part of our daily lives this will also mean that there will be one more thing that I need to get my kids to do every day. I was kind of already thinking that there are enough of those things already. I guess one more...couldn't hurt...much....?
Yeah, well, we're taking the plunge. Since I happen to have a fabulous cello teaching sister we're going to go with cello. The kids are so excited and happy - it was so much fun to tell them the news that they would get to start lessons. And it took more than seven whole days before I got any practicing complaints. Really, it has remained very fun and a great way for me to give the big kids each some personal attention every day. But the really magical part is watching them in the hands of my sister during cello lessons.
Let me just say that my sister is a teacher like none other. The focus she gives my kids, the ways she works with my kids no matter their mood or behavior. She plants in them these little seeds of excitement about every musical thing they learn. I just love going to lessons and watching my kids enter into a little bubble of music with her for just 20 or 30 minutes. It helps me summon the energy needed to face that "time to practice!" thing a couple times each day. And it's totally worth it. I'm so grateful that we have this opportunity.