My oldest daughter took piano for a few years until we pulled her out because we didn't have the funds to pay for her lessons. She finally begged me to get her back into piano because she really wants to be able to play. She doesn't mind practicing and does well, but wishes she had more time to put into her lessons. Having a teenager who chooses to take take the lessons on her own is a treat.
My middle child hasn't taken lessons since grade 2. He used to throw such fits for the teacher that she finally wouldn't take him anymore. I taught him for a little while, but that fizzled over time. This fall when we were discussing lessons, the youngest asked why she had to take them when her brother didn't. Her sister replied, "It's because we are girls." Boy, was I sending them the wrong message. So this fall he entered grade 8 and was signed up for piano lessons - under protest and with the promise that he could quite when he can play two songs out the the hymnbook we use at church. The funny thing about the situation is that he gets up every morning on his own to practice without any one having to remind him. He has also has caught up to his older sister, but don't even hint that you think he likes it.
Then there is the youngest. She has the ability, but completely lacks the desire. She is constantly trying to think of reasons why I should let her quit. So far she hasn't succeeded in convincing me, and I don't even try to tell her she will be glad for the skill someday. That's something she is going to have to figure out for herself. Meanwhile, we have to endure the grumpiness and tears and the sour notes, hoping it will all be worth it.
Every once in a while, a piece is played with such sweetness and skill, that I've begun to believe it is already worth it. The kids are developing musical ability, and they are learning not to quit. And even if they are never highly skilled at the piano, at least they can say they tried.
- I think I should have no other mortal wants, if I could always have plenty of music. It seems to infuse strength into my limbs and ideas into my brain. Life seems to go on without effort, when I am filled with music.