We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort. ~ Jesse Owens
by Pete Ferguson
A question from a family member:
This week we toured a local music studio to learn about piano lessons. My daughter is pretty excited, but my husband is a bit weary. He is worried about putting a lot of cash flow into something that she could potentially want to quit in the near future. He is also concerned that we will end up in fights about practicing. Any friendly advice out there? I think that she has a love for music that should be developed, but I also see his point.
My first inclination is to tell her to definitely not do it! If both she and her husband are not 100% dedicated to move through the continual struggle, it will be a money drain.
In our experience (my wife has been teaching piano lessons off and on since she was a teenager), most kids are going to want to quit lessons after the honeymoon of initial excitement wears off. Depending on the family, this can be six months or six days.
Just like going back to school is always exciting until the first big project or load of homework is due.
Developing the Arts (Music, Dance, Painting, etc.) is a discipline, it is not just a fun hobby.
I have been an aspiring gym rat for many years now. I’m always amazed at how busy the gym is the first week and a half in January, May, and September. But very quickly, the newfound love of working out succumbs to the desire to nestle in a nice warm bed at 5 am. Today I see familiar faces, the dedicated few who have been coming religiously for a long time.
In blogging, I’ve also seen many start with great enthusiasm, talking about all the things they mean to write about and what they will accomplish. But cranking out material week after week takes its toll, and I have visited many stagnant blogs. They had great material and images – I’ve borrowed both and credited them back to the source – but then one, then two years passed with little to no new material.
Believe me, I’ve about killed off this blog many times. But then I get an encouraging note, or I view my stats and see that in a 24-hour period I’ve had visitors from all over the world. And it keeps me going.
The key to determination is to focus on what you are moving towards!
We found this out by accident prior to me getting more into daily study of success principles. We took our kids to a very small concert with a then unknown name, John Schmidt.
Mark had been wanting to quit piano and had been a real bear when it came to practice. The next day he was improvising all day long and stopped at the piano each time he was in the same room and played for fun.
We were on to something big! He now had a tangible goal.
Several years later he saw the YouTube video of Steven Sharp Nelson playing a cello with a light saber and he was hooked again.
With a new diet, if you do not have a definite goal of what you want to look like or do to motivate you, eventually you are just hungry and grumpy. You have to become a member of the fitness tribe. Hiring a coach or trainer is a great step. Putting together a band of friends who are going to ask you why you weren’t there one day is the next step.
You have to find enough
reasons to want to be in a new orbit.
You must defy your gravity.
We receive a lot of compliments about how “talented” our children are at this point in dance and music. It certainly did not happen overnight. There have been many tears of frustration and some fighting over not wanting to practice. And Mark is now practicing almost three hours a day with piano and cello but has a long way to go to get into Juilliard, his new dream.
It is also a considerable financial investment. Notice I use the word investment, not cost. Anything that is a cost has a short shelf-life and little value. We are up to $17K in instrument rentals and purchases. We are now paying over $400 a month for piano, cello, violin, flute, and dance lessons.
But when I sit in the audience and see my children perform, it is worth every penny!
More Ferguson Family videos on YouTube.