Should Music Lessons Be Forced?

To:  Parents

Many people have been forced into playing Piano and i hate it. I’m gonna start a petition if you agree with me then sign this petition and make a difference!

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

I snickered when I read this, for such conversations are prevalent at the home of one of my children. Rebecca and her son, Nathaniel are having many such lively discussions.

Nathaniel is eleven years old, sweet, tenderhearted, bright, strong-willed (!) and musically talented. For a year or so, he took drum lessons, which he loved, and when Rebecca told his instructor she was switching him to classical piano lessons, his teacher said he understood, but he hated to lose Nathaniel as a student. “He’s a very talented young man.”

Nathaniel loved drum. He hates piano. (He still has a fine drum set, practices and plays for an occasional youth service at his church.)

“Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have a student such as Nathaniel; someone who hates it so much” his teacher recently told Rebecca. “But he is so talented, I want to keep teaching him.”

Rebecca and I have discussed this at length, and I know she has asked other people’s opinions. Our thinking about music lessons are these:

1. Is great discipline.

2. Is a gift the child will appreciate to a greater extent when he is older.

3. Creates an additional opportunity to use natural talent in the work of God.

4. Studies have shown intellectual benefits from music lessons:

Music lessons can help children as young as four show advanced brain development and improve their memory, even when it sounds like a budding musician is banging out little more than noise, a new Canadian study suggests.

Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton used magnetoencephalography (MEG) brain-scanning technology to compare the developmental changes in 12 children aged four to six over the course of a year.

The study, to be published in the October edition of Oxford University’s neurology journal Brain, found that those who took music lessons showed more changes in brain responses.

Even when parents hear only what sounds like random notes or nonsense, it’s likely their children are developing their brains in ways that could enhance their overall thinking, said professor Laurel Trainor, who led the study with Takako Fujioka, a scientist at the Rotman Research Institute in Toronto.

A site named 8Asians.com posed the same question. I’ve brought over a couple of the responses.

So, were you forced as a kid to play the piano or the violin? And more importantly, would you pass that onto your kids? Niniane was, and she didn’t like it one bit:

(This is an interesting link…lots of comments.)

The merits of learning a musical instrument are oft repeated by the well-intentioned parent: learning discipline, enjoyment later in life, Mozart makes you smarter. Rarely have I heard anyone discuss the damage done by forcing the kid. I can state it in one sentence: By thwarting the child’s natural inclinations, day in and day out, you teach him to stifle his intuition.

I e-mailed the link to all of the writers on 8Asians, and a lot of conversation came from it; so much so that it deserved its own blog entry.

Ernie: Oh, I have SO mixed feelings about this. I played piano at 4, violin at 10. I played piano until I was in high school and burnt out at 15, but ended up playing for the church choir and a HS jazz choir. I have no regrets about doing it, honestly – it’s kind of nice to be able to read music and be able to plink out a melody on the piano, something which other people take for granted. But not if I was young.

Ben: amusingly enough, I started late. 11 (piano) and 12 (violin). Quit after senior year of high school since I had college to look forward to prep for. lol. I’m actually looking to start composing music again now if I can find the time to do it. Wouldn’t mind picking up electric guitar either. I think overall, if you look at a lot of asians, even like pop stars like Jay Chou… we all on some level took up those instruments in some fashion. Not really sure why, but it does teach discipline if not anything else.

Rebecca and Nathaniel know I am writing about this, and we’re anticipating your response. In particular I’m curious about:

1. Did you take music lessons? Are you glad? Why? Why not?

2. If you did not take lessons, do you wish you had?

3. Should Nathaniel be forced to take classical piano lessons? Aren’t percussion lessons good enough? What about theory, etc.?

4. What about jazz piano lessons?

Last week we were home in Crestline; Rebecca came up for the afternoon, and Nathaniel talked her into letting him spend the night with Pappy and me. Saturday morning, on our piano upstairs, he expertly played a piece of classical music for me. It was beautiful.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

My devotional blog is here.

24 thoughts on “Should Music Lessons Be Forced?

  1. Dieanna Estes

    Sort of strange that I happened to stumble on this post right now when I was just looking up Joy Elms name on google to sse if I could find any clips of her. God has been dealing with me about learning & have a hard time being disciplined in practice. Could this be another gentle reminder? :)

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  2. Owen Eden

    one more add on(sorry)
    Please STOP giving advice that you yourself are not willing to take. HOW HYPOCRITICAL. Lead by example. Maybe once you sit down and take piano lessons, Nathan will to.

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  3. Owen Eden

    My mother always wanted piano lessons. So when she bacame an adult and finally had the money, she made me take them. It was a truly horrible eight year experience. Nothing but lost tempers and wasted money. If you want to play “Amazing Grace” then goddamnit, enroll yourself in piano lessons. What is stopping you? Quit saying, “I wish I could have and I should have.” You will probably get the most from your money now because you are ready.

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  4. Pingback: Nathaniel Has a Blog « Shirley Buxton

  5. Richelle

    Dear Shirley,

    There are advantages and disadvantages of forcing children to learn music. It is not completely wrong to force your child into learning music.

    When I was young, I had no interest in the piano or any other instrument. But my parents forced my brothers and I to learn and practise. I hated it but they persisted. Now my brothers and I are teens (aged 15-18) and we do not regret. Instead, we thank them for pushing us and even I wished that they had pushed me even more.

    My eldest brother now has a diploma in piano performance and he used to play the violin in an orchestra. (now he cannot because he is in army) My second brother used to play the piano and cello (now he is abroad). In several months time, I will be going abroad to pursue my music dreams. I do not regret one bit.

    Forcing your child to learn something (not only music) when they are young is also good, in some ways, because only then they will be influenced to become dscipline.

    Hi, Richelle. Welcome to my blog and thank you for your comments; hope you visit here.
    often.

    If you haven’t already, please read the comments from Rob of Gallup. They are profound.

    Congratulations to your parents and your siblings for such accomplishments.

    Have a merry Christmas.

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  6. Pingback: Stopping to Celebrate! 100+ Party Links that Mark Our History - Liz Strauss at Successful Blog - Thinking, writing, business ideas . . . You’re only a stranger once.

  7. renaissanceguy

    I usually suggest that parents let kids try out music lessons for a couple of months. If the kid is talented and is enjoying it, then he or she will WANT to continue. If not, let them try a different instrument or perhaps voice.

    I have taught piano, and I will not continue with a student who clearly doesn’t want to take the lessons.

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  8. (I am posting this comment without its inappropriate link. Shirley)

    I have always been dreaming that someday I will learn how to play piano, and I dont think I will ever learn to play. I have tried searching piano lessons on internet but I dont know, maybe I really should have practice early when I was still young, and I wish I should took piano lesson. Now every time I see or hear someone playing the piano, my eagerness to learn just occupy me. I have friends who learned by the ear and I was so amazed how they did that, I wish I have time to practice also, Im just 24 and I think Its never too late. This is a great post, and it inspires me to pursue my dream of playing the piano someday.

    – John Simon

    John, let me encourage you to pursue your dream of playing the piano. At 24, you are still very young, and you do have time to practice. Everyone has the same amount of time; we all have 24 hours in our day.

    One of the great differences in those who succeed in reaching their goals is that they let nothing deter them. You may have to get by on a few hours of sleep for a while, cut back on social events, or even work longer hours to afford the lessons you want. But you can do it! I encourage you to go forward with your dream.

    Please let us know your progress.

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  9. Linda (LAS)

    Shirley,
    You’re response to Rob is exactly how I felt when I read his post. I just didn’t have the all the eloquent words arranged correctly inside my head to make it to my fingertips. Infact, I never could have come up with the beautiful response that you did, it was perfect. It described the exact way I felt when I read his post. You have a gift for writing. Thank you.

    Rob,

    Thank you for allowing me to use your letter. You also have a gift for writing and touching hearts with your penned words.

    Linda

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  10. Rob in Gallup

    Thanks for the kind words, Shirley. And to the other woman who asked, yes, feel free to use it however you’d like. I actually debated for a while after writing whether to send this or not, but I’m glad I did. And Shirley, yes, please feel free to pass my email along to Nathaniel if you’d like. If there’s anything I can do to encourage him to discover for himself how God might plan to use music in his life, I’m glad to do it.

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  11. Rob in Gallup:

    I have been writing this column for 2 1/2 years now, and have had some touching and meaningful exchanges. None have exceeded yours, Rob. Let me tell you why.

    The first reason is that you–a person Nathaniel does not know, and I do not know–took time to respond to the concerns of these unknown people; a grandmother, a mother, and an 11-year old boy. Without commenting now on the excellence on your advise, let me say how struck I am with the kindness and thoughtfulness you have shown–that of true concern of one human being for another. Thank you. In this troubled, confused world, you truly shine as a beacon.

    Your expression of the soul and passion of a musician is eloquently done, and not only will speak to Nathaniel, but has to me, and will to every reader of this column.

    The computer in Nathaniel’s home is not functioning properly, and until a few minutes ago, I was not able to reach them by phone. But now I have, and have read your beautiful moving words to Rebecca, his mother. She listened silently, obviously touched by your expression, before commenting.

    Tomorrow, he will read your post, and it will move him profoundly; he is a sensitive, deeply feeling young man. (can also be a rascal!)

    I suspect Nathaniel may want to communicate with you. If he does, I’ll check with you before giving him your email address.

    God bless you.

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  12. When I was a kid, I loved the piano and wished I could’ve taken lessons. Unfortunately, my parents could not afford for me to take lessons as well as feed the six children. I have picked up some learning of the piano from different ones over the years, but at 48, I don’t think my fingers are as nimble or my mind as quick to pick up as I would’ve if given the chance at a younger age. But I still do like to plink around on our piano every so often.

    Hi, Karen. To give a child music lessons cannot always be afforded, and I’m sure it grieved your parents to not be able to provide this for you. It’s a sacrifice for Rebecca, but one that she willingly makes.

    How about that talented hubby of yours? Does he help you out with the piano?

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  13. Linda (LAS)

    To Rob in Gallup

    I would like to copy your letter to Nathaniel and put my kids names in place and give it to them.

    I think what you had to say about music lessons was right on target and so beautifully stated. Sitting at the piano when feeling “blue” I begin to play something, it lifts my spirits. I know Christmas is not the same without gathering around the piano and singing the carols.

    Thank you for writing your post. You were inspiring to me. Thank you and may God bless you in all that you do for Him.

    Linda

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  14. aquilolumen

    i believe that being forced to learn an instrument leaves a stain on the memory of music itself.

    when the novelty of discovering music independently is robbed from the child, s/he might associate the resentment they feel with the instrument they have to learn. whenever i play a particular instrument that i did not choose for myself to learn, the emotional baggage is sometimes enough to make me get up and walk away. the intrinsically gifted would have found their way to the piano bench (or some other instrument) one way or another, for music is not something they can ignore for long.

    yes, i recognize the rewards that learning and practicing at a young age brings me. but sometimes, i wonder what it would be like if i had chosen an instrument of my own volition. would i have been more passionate about it, since i could call it my own? would i have been more or less skilled? who knows. all i know is that i envy the people who were allowed to make their own choices about learning music, and were much more passionate about it than me.

    Thank you for your honest response. I’m curious; do you play any instrument now?

    I definitely agree with your line that

    “the intrinsically gifted would have found their way to the piano bench (or some other instrument) one way or another, for music is not something they can ignore for long.

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  15. Rob in Gallup

    Let me preface this by saying I play piano, drums, and guitar. I have opened (by myself and in groups) for major national bands, and I have worked as a studio musician on major recording projects.

    My parents made piano lessons available to me throughout my childhood but never forced them upon me. I believe if they had, I would not be a musician today. I learned by my own choice, in large part because my parents helped me see what learning piano could do for me, and that made all the difference.

    This is what it really comes down to: A person won’t benefit from lessons they don’t want. But you CAN help someone want lessons, and that’s the key.

    It seems to me like you’re asking the wrong question — that is, “Should we make Nathaniel take piano lessons or not?” The question you SHOULD be asking is, “Is there some way we can encourage Nathaniel to WANT to take piano lessons?”

    I guess you could force him, but he’ll be resentful. He’ll perhaps learn the components of music, but never fully develop that “it” factor that separates piano drones from actual musicians.

    But if you can instill in him the desire to want to learn piano, the developing love of it will propel him forward and make him into an accomplished musician, in a way that may never make sense to you, but that he will understand in the core of his innermost being.

    If I were able to write a personal letter to Nathaniel (realizing, of course, that I am a complete stranger, so take this with a grain of salt) here is what I would say to this 11-year old aspiring musician:

    Dear Nathaniel,

    It sounds like you (like myself) really enjoy being a musician when you’re playing drums. And who can blame you? Drums are quite possibly the coolest instrument on the planet. No modern band could possibly survive without drums, and there’s nothing in the world like being a drummer. It’s something that people who don’t play drums can’t really understand, but that we drummers grasp just like that.

    There’s something I learned along the way, though. Even though every band needs a drummer, every drummer also needs a band. There will be times when you want to sit down, perhaps all by yourself, and express yourself through music in a way that you could never express yourself through words alone. When I’m playing in a band with friends, I love to be behind the drumset. But the times when music has meant the most to me in my life, I have found I’m sitting at a piano, not at the drums.

    I would have never guessed that my knowledge of piano would actually make me a better drummer. In fact, since piano is a rhythm instrument, I found that the more I learned on the piano, the more naturally drumming came to me. It made it easier to learn guitar, too. I think many people might approach piano a little differently if they knew they could consider it another method of training their brain to become better at drumming, or better at strumming complicated rhythms on the guitar.

    You may also find someday that you enjoy songwriting. I’ve been in the music industry, and I can tell you firsthand that almost every good song in the world gets written at the piano. They may eventually be played on the guitar, but if you ever want to write, the ability to play the piano will prove invaluable.

    I said before that every drummer needs a band. You’ve probably never been to a solo concert where the musician played nothing but drums. It doesn’t work. But think of the times when your family sits to listen to you play the piano. Even if the songs you’ve learned to play aren’t your favorite songs or your favorite style, you can’t deny that you love what it does to the people listening. They sit, captivated, moved in their hearts in a way they can’t explain. And you’re the one who has the ability to evoke that emotion in them. It’s that love right there — not really the love of playing the piano, but rather the love of impacting people through the language of music — that drives people to want to become better musicians.

    Picture yourself at the end of your teens. You’re almost 20, you’re sitting in a living room late at night with a group of friends and family. Something major has just happened. Maybe someone close has passed away. Maybe the country has faced another disaster of some sort. People sit silently, and no one really knows what to say. You quietly sit down at the piano bench, and you start to make music that, if played on any other instrument, wouldn’t have the effect it’s having now. But something in the notes you play calms the hearts of the people in that room and brings you all together.

    The question, Nathaniel, is whether or not you want to have the ability to be that person.

    Agreeing to take piano lessons isn’t agreeing to be forced into a lifetime of music that you don’t enjoy. It’s not limiting you to an instrument that’s not your favorite. Rather, it will open doors for you in all of your musical pursuits, no matter what kind of music you choose to make in your life, no matter what instrument you consider your favorite. Piano lessons can only help you, my friend. If you go down this road, you will eventually understand what it means to be able to sit down and pour out your heart, even if no one else is around, using a language that every person in the world understands. Nathaniel, there’s honestly nothing else like it in the whole world.

    But no one can make you WANT to do it. Sure, they can force you to take lessons even if you don’t want to. I don’t recommend that they do it, because more likely than not, you might have music ruined for you in your childhood by having it turned into a chore instead of a passion.

    I will tell you this, though — your mind right now is the sharpest it will ever be when it comes to music. Your 11-year old brain is capable of learning things in just minutes that will take you days when you’re older. If you can look inside yourself and find that desire to learn now, you will learn as much in a year of piano lessons at your current age than you will be able to learn in five years of lessons when you’re an adult.

    You probably look at piano lessons right now, and what you find is probably not a love for piano. Other instruments are easier to love, and that’s okay. But just by knowing that you’re already good at the piano pieces you’ve learned, I think that somewhere deep inside of you, there just might be a love for piano that you aren’t even aware of yet. It may turn into a passion that leads you down musical roads that your young mind hasn’t yet even considered. Would it be worth approaching lessons willingly, even eagerly, for the next couple of years, just to determine whether there really is a love for piano somewhere in your heart that you have yet to discover?

    Without telling you what to choose, I encourage you, young friend, to consider it.

    I made the decision when I was your age to take piano lessons and see what developed. The impact it has had on my life has made all the boring practices worth it. Because, you see, as I learned, little by little it all became less boring. By the time I was 15, it was the most interesting thing in the world, and I hadn’t even realized that it had changed.

    You and I are two completely different people. It might not work out exactly the same way for you that it did for me. But I’ve never met someone who approached piano with a willing heart, even if it wasn’t what they really wanted to learn at the time, and ended up disappointed. Like me, they’ve all found that it was worth the effort. I suspect that if you’re willing, it will work out that way for you, too.

    However this works out for you, I wish you the best in your musical pursuits. I have been blessed in my lifetime by being able to play music — on the drums, the guitar, and most of all the piano. May you find similar blessings in your own life as well.

    All the best,
    Rob in Gallup

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  16. I wanted to take piano lessons, and I did for 7 years. But I didn’t practice and don’t play.

    I learned to read music very well, bit I’m extremely rusty. The problem: I hated taking from the teacher I had. Granted his house was two blocks from ours, so it was convenient (I could walk). But the man made my skin crawl. I felt as though I was safe (but I went alone and there were scary dogs), but that he was a dirty old man. So, I never took the lessons very seriously. I had heard conversations between my male teacher and a male student (I was in the waiting room) that I thought were “nasty.” I wanted to take lessons from a woman at our church and truly believe I’d play the piano, if I had. That said, I’m glad I read music.

    I never heard of any of these kinds of lessons for a beginning student. Learning classical piano or jazz piano seems early like majoring in math in the fifth grade. That is, silly. Just learn to read music form a teacher the boy is comfortable with. That matters a lot. Take it from me. I dreaded my weekly lesson. Don’t do this to a child. Preferably, stay with him (out of sight, reading a book), while he takes his lesson, unless he would prefer otherwise.

    Hi, Helen. Thanks for joining in this conversation…Rebecca does go with Nathaniel for his lessons–drives him over and waits for him. I’m not sure whether she’s in the room with him or not.

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  17. Emily

    I was “forced” to take piano lessons. It was a chore — until I got good! By fourth grade, I could play better than my elementary school teachers, so when we had morning devotion time (in our Lutheran school), I was the one asked to play the hymn on the piano.

    After that time, as I continued to improve, it became more and more fun, especially when I could learn popular pieces, such as Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven. In high school, I was able to learn some really complicated pieces, such as Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu and Gershwin’s 3 Piano Preludes. I can’t play them anymore now, but for a while I impressed a lot of people (and myself!) with those pieces! Also, playing all that Chopin and other great works throughout my turbulent teenage years acted as therapy for me.

    I should also mention that I was involved in many piano competitions over the years, not competitions against other students, but competitions to get the best score possible. Those were very fun, and they gave me a goal to work towards in my lessons. My teachers also organized recitals for their students at least once a year, which got me used to playing in front of people, another useful, lifelong skill. I think one of the reasons I’m good up in front of people now, playing piano or just speaking, is due to all the recitals I had as a kid.

    I also realized that there was money to be made by being a piano player. In high school, I was in high demand to accompany instrumental players for their competitions. I charged nominal fees (and charged nothing to my friends), but still, I was making money. In college, I continued accompanying people, except now there were even more ways I could make money via the piano. And, after 14 years of lessons, I was pretty good.

    I good at accompanying choirs, too, which opened up a whole new area of accompanying to me.

    I’ve never been sorry that I was forced to take piano lessons. I innately lack self-discipline (which is a different story), but the one area of my life in which I DO have discipline is on the piano. I am forever grateful for all those years of lessons I had while growing up. While, as a mother of two young children, I don’t specifically use my piano skills as much as I used to, I am positive there will come a time when they will become very useful again, if for no other reason than to help my daughters with their “forced” piano lessons, too.

    So, if you’re good, then it’s reasonable to expect that the adults will want you to learn to play piano better. It’s a blessing (and a curse). We don’t always get what we want in life, and we have to trust that the people who love and care for us might know what’s best for us in the long run more than we do. And, honestly, I have made a LOT of money with my piano skills over the years, as an accompanist, as a teacher, and even as a piano competition judge myself! It’s a skill that not everyone can acquire, so if you can, I would say, do it!

    In reading over Nathaniel’s specific situation, I would say that if he’s that talented, then why doesn’t he do both kinds of lessons? Skip the theory: if he’s doing complicated percussion patterns and advanced music, he’ll get enough of that. Plus, if he wants to take music in college, then he’ll have to take theory there anyway. Jazz piano is good for improvisation, which is the one area I’m not so good at, as my lessons were classical piano lessons. However, the skill of improvisation is fantastic, too, and is good especially if Nathaniel thinks he might want to compose someday. But, honestly, you’ll make a lot more money on the piano than you will on the drums.

    Hope all this helps! Good luck with your decision!

    ~ Emily

    Emily, thank you so very much for this considered response. I wish you every blessing and success with your own life, and especially as regards your children. They are our treasures.

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  18. Sister Buxton: We have a daughter. My wife tried to teach her piano lessons. She got so she could play a song. Then one day My mother came over to the house, and my wife asked her to play a sone for Grandma. My daughter was very stubbern and just sat on the piano bench and cried. Ever since then she never sent close to the piano.

    On the other hand I started playing songs on the pianio when I was 4. With my index fingure I plaued “Old Black Joe.” My mother and older sister starterd teaching me piano lessons. I was doing pretty well except I would forget to practice. I was supposed to practise for an hour each day. When a person starts out taking lessons of any kind, the rudaments are very boring until they get past them and then start playing songs. I went to a clasical teacher. One day her students, including myself, were given a clasical song to play at a consent. My song was “Largo’ in the key of “F” with doudle sharps. I did very well. I learned it very well and wanted to play it all the time.

    When I came home from school from hearing my terascher play the piano so well, I would go to the piano and try to play like her but I didn’t know how. When I got the Holy Ghost,bn God taught me to play the puiao by ear. I have played in church. I have played for church choirs. Today I am glad I have accomplished as much piano as I have.
    Brothe Webb

    Wish I could hear you play right now.

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  19. Linda (LAS)

    As a little girl sitting in church watching Gene DeWitt play the accordian with so much power, I would daydream. I wanted to play just like him. I begged my mom & dad to buy me an accordian. They promised me when I received the Holy Ghost I would get one. I finally received it. I took my first accordian lesson on my 9th b-day from a wonderful strict Italian lady named Anella. I got bored very quickly with the stinkin process of reading notes and counting. She didn’t teach me to move the bellows like Gene did, nor did it sound like church music, so needless to say I didn’t practice willingly and Anella could tell and then lecture me why I need to practice. My mother had to threaten me with a spanking if I didn’t practice for a half hour (seemed like an eternity) . I took lessons for 2 or 3 years then wanted to learn piano. I watched people play, then sit down and try to play what they did. This was a more enjoyable way of learning for me then reading music. In my teen years I took piano lessons from Joy Elms and I took organ lessons from Lois Estes.

    Looking back, I am thankful my mom “forced” me to learn/practice accordian. The holidays would not be the same without this talent in the house.

    My son, Ryan, wanted a bass, we bought it for him after he received the Holy Ghost. He was just as stubborn as me about practicing. I tried to follow in my mothers footsteps but it was too much of a hassle for me to “force” him to practice. He also wanted drums which he received and plays very well. My daughter, Kristen, asked for a guitar. She has a beautiful Martin, took lessons for just a little bit then gave up.

    If you have a musical talent, don’t give up! Keep practicing even if it is just a few minutes a day or week, you will never regret it later in life and that’s a promise.

    Thank you, Linda, for your thoughts and encouragement to Nathaniel…and everybody else for that matter. To learn to play an instrument is hard work, but is rewarding throughout life.

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  20. Esther

    I can truly be very glad I took classical piano lessons. They say that once you learn the piano all the other instruments come easier. I believe this. Look at Todd (Tena’s son). He took piano and now he plays the guittar and drums. When Nathanial gets older he will get a lot more pleasure out of knowing how to play. Just think how he can wow the girls. Ha! Also, learning classical by note, makes it much easier to pick up church songs by ear. Been there, done that.

    I certainly think its true that maturity plays a great role in appreciation for music and the ability to play an instrument. And yes, Todd does a great job.

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  21. darla

    I think the fact that he is a natural and is actually learning to play beautifully in spite of his hating it, speaks for itself. If he had no natural ability and hated it, then I likely wouldn’t push my child and would encourage them to find something they enjoy to pursue (like art lessons, or something like that). On the other hand, if he had no natural ability but loved it, I would encourage it for all of the benefits you stated.

    I suspect Nathaniel, although a natural, doesn’t find it quite as easy to master as he did the drums, which is why he hates it so much.

    You’re right, of course, Darla. Learning the piano is harder than learning the drums–at least it appears that way to me.

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  22. Farrell Forrest Jr.

    I was forced as a young child to take piano lessons and was forced to practice 1 hr each day. I like Nathaniel hated it. On the other hand I could not get enough of playing the Guitar.

    Today I wished I had listened to my wise father who encouraged all of us to play music. I would love to set down at the piano and play Amazing Grace which was my wife´s favorate song.

    Nathaniel, take a little advice from your great uncle………continue to take lessons and mix a little guitar with the piano and drums. In the future you will not have any regrets.

    Jr.

    Isn’t it strange how wise our parents become, once we ourselves grow older. Downright miraculous.
    Actually, Jr., with his own money, at a pawn shop, Nathaniel bought a guitar. Strums around a little.

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