Nobody is Perfect
The adage goes: Practice Makes Perfect. It’s literally an impossible task. Why? Because no one in this world is perfect. Philosophy aside...it should be that Practice Makes Better.
Before I go further let’s start from the beginning:
Little tiny Taí...wait was I ever tiny? I digress. Little tiny Taí who has been playing piano for a couple of years finally gets to play the instrument of her dreams, violin. Enthusiasm allows for practice which pushes me past my contemporaries faster than anyone would have thought. Yes, maybe my brain puts things together faster than some but it was only me trying to get better that made me better.
My parents were excited and as I grew out of my instrument they made the leap to buying me my very own instead of renting. Thank you to them for being there to support my dreams. Support for them didn’t mean being over my shoulder when I practiced or even forcing it to happen. They supplied the instrument, the space, and the friendly nudge when I didn’t practice on my own.
“Are you going to practice today?” “You know you need to practice to get better?” “I havent heard you practice in a while, you still going to do that?” “Are you sure you want to do this? Cause we can stop at any time if you really don’t want to play this instrument...”
I know that I probably rolled my eyes. Cried and whined. I think I’ve completely blocked it all from my memory. I’m perf- aha! What did I say? Children are naturally resistant to whatever their parents say. I know I balked and ran the line close to being disrespectful but I’m still playing music aren’t I?
As I grew older and wiser, I look back and realize my parents are amazing people! They never forced me to play. They always gave me a choice but steered me towards my decisions. Not what they wanted but what I wanted. I would say they coached me and helped me understand how to know for myself but never made the decision for me. I thank them so much because it taught me how to live and move through life as my own person.
I remember when I first started out, at my young age, I practiced by myself. The only time my parents were present was when I was ready to show them what I had done. As I grew older, I continued to practice by myself and my parents only chimed in to tell me if they noticed something still sounding a bit off. For the most part I could follow the directions of my teacher and do things on my own. Accountability is what I learned.
From this long story, there is a point.
Practice makes better and not perfect so we can’t be all about the practicing without realizing there is a deeper thought to convey. It can make you better as a human being. (We are meant to be showing them how to do that, right?) Be the guide not the person who gives orders all the time. There is a way you can guide them to the right conclusions without it coming off as you pulling them.
Don’t hover. Yes, you are the adult, they are the child. Make the circumstances for them to practice and be a guide.
While you may be the adult, why do you pay the instructor if you know better? I’m just saying. Be on the same page as the instructor and not fighting against the system yourselves, just like your children may be fighting you. Change is scary and different but just because they learn different than you did when you were younger does not mean they will not get to your level just the same.
I can’t stress this enough: Be the Guide. Allow the happiness they’ve had to grow. Nurture the enthusiasm and love of music. If you are not on the same page as your instructor, you may not be helping the student but causing a hurdle. I’m sorry that may be harsh, but it is also possible that it can be true. If what happens at a lesson does not transfer back home, we’re sending mixed signals. In confusion, we as humans will just drop everything and run. Don’t let that happen.
For more information post a question or send a note and I will be happy to reply. Look out for future posts about how to make practice fun again.
-Dreams are meant to fly...let music be the vehicle that makes them come true...