When practicing gets tough, or my kids resist being taught, it’s helpful for me to rewind and remember why I started this musical madness in the first place. Here are five of those reasons:
1. To develop work ethic. Since we don’t have cows to milk, or field pipe to move, we have instruments to practice. My husband was raised working on a farm, and many times we have wondered how to instill the diligence and rigor that he learned from farm work, in our children. Well, it seems that daily practice sessions require quite a bit of vigor and dedication, just like farm work.
2. To associate with phenomenal people. The relationships that come from teachers and fellow musicians are so valuable. I personally have friendships, old and new, that would never have been created without our musical association. Relationships are what life is about, and if learning an instrument brings my children into contact with more wonderful people, we are all in.
3.To combat media filth. Classical music breeds refinement and uplifts. Pornography is base and disgusting. I once read (here) that one way to combat exposure to pornography, is by teaching kids what pornography is not. Dirty media is not uplifting, ennobling, or beautiful. As I practice and teach my children music, they are developing an affinity for goodness, and a repulsion for filth. Hopefully, when they encounter pornography or distasteful media in the world, they will be repulsed by what it is not, and return to that which edifies.
4. To have a skill that will last. I have nothing against soccer, dancing, basketball, or any athletics…in fact my kids are/have been enrolled in all of these extracurricular activities. Howbeit, I have a long-term vision for my children, for when they get a little frail (hello, that’s my knees already!) or can’t hustle on the field quite like they used to: musical skills. Hopefully in their 70’s they will still gather around a piano to play like the ‘old times,’ or when they can no longer physically help with the church camp-out, perhaps they will contribute by performing a hymn in church.
5. And finally, I cannot not teach them music. If I were to not teach my children music, I would feel like I was withholding one of the most treasured parts of me. Not teaching my kids music would be synonymous to not teaching my kids how to read. For me, music is a life skill, kind of like reading is a life skill. I just can’t resist equipping them with musical skills.