Monday, February 13, 2012

Goodbye Piano {Simplified Home School}

Today our piano was relocated from home to our new music shop, where two lesson rooms have been set up for local music teachers to meet with students for instruction.  The old upright piano originally belonged to my grandparents and was played by my mom in her youth. Rather than continuing to collect dust in our family room, it will have a new life and hopefully be played regularly at its new location.  Delivered to our house when my parents divorced and the family home was sold and literally demolished, the piano joined three fiddles, two guitars, a drum and a mandolin already in play at our house.  I had high hopes that our instrument-filled home would someday resonate with pleasant sounds of family musical escapades.

The piano quickly became a source of great agony for (pre-reader) Peter, who was probably too young at that time for piano lessons.  Joseph enjoyed piano lessons, as a secondary instrument to the fiddle, which he had been playing for a few years.  Within about a year, the piano lessons fiddled out; a few years later the three boys' fiddle lessons also ceased after the instructor moved out of state.  The guitars, mandolin and drum fell into disuse as other hobbies, Scouts and sports (plus Zac's classes at the community college) rounded out our ever-evolving daily home school routine.

As it played out, my hopes of growing musically gifted children gave way to the reality of "you can't do everything."  Something had to give.  In this case, the various instrumental (and voice) lessons and the accompanying sounds of music in our home gave way to other interests, which is not a bad thing.  In fact, it's probably a good thing that we were able to simplify our to-do list and lighten the daily calendar a bit to avoid the likely burn-out and stress which comes from trying to do too much.  A particular temptation for us who home school ~ filling up the hours of would-be school time with a variety of wonderful extra-curricular electives.

The boys' fiddle performances, though relatively few and far between, will stand out as highlights in our home school extra curricular activities.  Although I had hoped that surrounding our boys with musical instruments and providing years of private lessons would produce musicians, our piano-era might have had a more lasting effect: teaching our children to foster a love of learning (for learning's sake), and helping them discern when the time is right to let something go. 


Carolynn said...

Oh, that must be hard. I guess the good thing is that the piano isn't GONE. We have just started music lessons.

Buhler family said...

The experience and knowledge they gained during the "music" years will stay with them forever. Sounds like they still will be surrounded by it when they visit(help @)Tim's work.