Our Last Senior Piano Recital

It takes a village.  This is not just a cliché to me.  With our large brood, we have appreciated every bit of help we have received raising our children over the years.  Help from family, friends, teachers, and random people in the grocery store line.

After 24 years of piano lessons and around 50 piano recitals, our piano paying days are ended.  But, hopefully, we will continue to hear the sounds of piano playing in our home for many years to come.  Except for Hot Cross Buns.  Sitting through piano recitals can be excruciating.  Especially when you’ve heard the same song pounded out incorrectly 4,000 times.

We started piano lessons after a friend of mine decided to sell her piano at about the time our oldest was starting elementary school.  At the time, there was much research being promoted about learning music to help develop math and other critical thinking skills.  Since we were raising a daughter and were concerned about her developing a love of math and science – areas that were not promoted with young girls when I was growing up – we decided to take the plunge and start piano lessons.

2001 – Our oldest daughter’s senior piano recital.

The benefits have been unexpected.  Yes, our children developed a love of and knowledge about music – the periods of music correspond to those in art and literature.  Our children learned about music theory and timing and note reading – which overlapped with learning to read and with mathematical principles.

But the number one reason our kids have succeeded in playing piano for so many years is due to our piano teacher.  We have had a few different piano teachers, but we have been with one woman the longest.  She has an uncanny ability to relate with kids of all ages and abilities.  She works with kids who often don’t play piano because it is their first love.  Or their second.  Or their third.  She manages to teach them and to reach them by playing to their strengths and understanding their weaknesses.

2004 – Our second oldest daughter’s senior piano recital.

One of the most unexpected benefits has been how our piano teacher has supported us as parents.  She not only taught our kids about piano, she talked to them about life, pursuing your dreams, meeting challenges, and having fun.  We had many conversations over the years where her insights helped me as a parent to understand my children through the eyes of someone else.

2008 – Our middle child’s senior piano recital.

And more than once, the fact that our children have managed to stick with 12+ years of piano lessons has helped them to land a job.  Hiring managers admire the dedication that it takes for someone to stick with something this long.  More than once, our piano teacher has provided our children with a reference for a job or for a college application or scholarship.  She knows our family so well that she can speak on an intimate level about our children.

2011 – Our babies’ senior piano recital.

It takes a village.  It takes mothers and fathers.  It takes grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins.  It takes friends and friends’ parents and coaches and teachers.  It even takes piano teachers.

We have been truly blessed by our village, and we are immensely grateful for each and every one in it.

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