There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. ~ Buddah
by Pete Ferguson
Yesterday a friend reached out on Facebook on seeing Miles (turns 3 in June) with his mini “viola-cello” and asked how we know when it is time to start a child with an instrument. My answer was that when they can’t walk by the piano without playing a few notes – or another instrument – after several months, it is probably time to test the waters.
For Miles, he stops by every instrument each morning and plays with it for a few minutes. He gets out music (upside down) and puts it on the piano and pretends to give a concert, then expects applause.
When Ashley (7) had continuously badgered us for almost 18 months, we finally gave in and got her a harp.
Abbie (now 9) wanted to play violin for several years.
Mark and Amber were different. They were in the right place at the right time and the opportunity presented itself. Before Mark, everyone started playing piano at age 4-5 and taking formal lessons after lessons with Stephanie caused too much drama. Mark wanted to play piano for orchestra, they didn’t really need a pianist, but asked how he felt about cello and two hours later he had a cello rented and started practicing.
No one lives long enough to learn everything they need to learn starting from scratch. To be successful, we absolutely, positively have to find people who have already paid the price to learn the things that we need to learn to achieve our goals. ~ Brian Tracy
Amber’s friend played flute and we are good friends with the teacher. And it happened about that quick.
Two points to bring up here – our environment lends itself to our children picking up music and dance. We watch movies and DVDs of both. We attend concerts and recitals. So our kids are naturally inclined to gravitate towards that direction. Long before we had a big screen tv and theater, we had a large piano and Steph started each child in the womb listening to her play.
You just have to keep on doing what you do. It’s the lesson I get from my husband; he just says, Keep going. Start by starting. ~ Meryl Streep
The second point is that we continually foster that environment. My parents did the same, having us attend many performances with the BYU philharmonic, Young Ambassadors, and other groups – and it obviously stuck.
Transitioning out of instruments into talents in general, how will you develop a new talent if you are not immersed in it, spend time talking to others who have paved the way, and spend time cultivating it daily? Answer: you probably won’t!
So if you want to start a garden, start watching gardening shows. If you want to write a book, join an online forum of budding and established authors (48days.net) and start writing a blog. If you want to become a better cook, sign up at the community college (some grocery stores, like Macey’s in Utah, give free lessons once a week and you get to eat too) for a class and watch the Food Network.
We live in such an amazing time. You can either sit on your couch and play video games all day or you can YouTube how a rocket is made.
With Google I’m starting to burn out on knowing the answer to everything. People in the year 2020 are going to be nostalgic for the sensation of feeling clueless. ~ Doug Coupland
Go and get started on something today! (Or continue to foster something you’ve already begun)