Sunday, February 20, 2011

Piano Lessons

I started taking private piano lessons when I was 5.

Big Brother has shown some genuine interest in music. It's helped that we've always had a keyboard in our home.

And so recently the time seemed right for him o start taking lessons.

He had expressed some willingness, and a spot opened up with a teacher close to our home.

(Having learned from my experiences as his soccer coach (1) (2) (3) (4), I new that it would be best for him to take lessons from someone else.)

It also happens that Big Brother's piano teacher is my bosses' wife.

The day before his first lesson, we informed Big Brother that he would get to start piano tomorrow.

"I want to start next week," was his response.

This was our first clue as to how things might go.

The next day I picked up Big Brother from school and drove him to the lesson.

His lack of enthusiasm continued.

By the time we parked, he was refusing to get out of the car.

I carried him inside with mild whining and alternating kicks and limp limbs.

There in the foyer, mild oppositionality turned into an all out screaming, pouting, crying tantrum. "I don't want to take piano. I want to go home," as he tried to walk out.

You can imagine my embarassment and sheer horror. Although Big Brother had met his teacher before, here's my boy throwing an utter fit right in the middle of my bosses' house.


Fortunately after about 5 minutes--which felt like 5 hours--he calmed down. His teacher was artful and masterful in her handling of the situation. She initially kept her distance, and cautiously approached him with a soft, soothing tone only after he calmed down. We proceeded to meet their dogs, and only then sit down at the piano.

Big Brother sat in my lap at first, and calmly listened to and followed directions. A few minutes later, he needed to get off of my lap to be able to reach some of the keys.

At that point, I receded into the background as he became absorbed in the lesson.

Big Brother has a very logical, mathematical mind, in addition to being very creative, and the piano is the perfect melding of those two talents.

The lesson ended, and Big Brother and I departed, with a cookie in hand.

On the way to the car, he asked, "Do I get to come again for a piano lesson next week?"


In the car this escalated to "I love piano. I love it more than school."

At home, his excitement boiled over to the point of him saying "I need to get my homework done so that I can practice piano."

(Wow, I never practiced the same day after my lesson.)

And so, Big Brother is now very proud of playing the piano. He likes to "teach" Little Brother, and it doesn't take a lot of arm twisting to get him to practice.

He was, however, frustrated that after 1 lesson that he couldn't play "as well as Dad-E."

I wouldn't be surprised if one day he does play very well. Piano seems to be an intuitive language for him.

I'm just glad, that like his first gymnastics class, he decided to stick around.

No doubt we'll have a funny story to tell about his first piano lesson.

Have a good week,


  1. Kids are so funny. We seem like horrible parents dragging them to something that we ultimately hope they will love. Good luck with next week's lesson. Rosi

  2. Keep up the good work Big Brother!