My Little Beethovens

Both Bret and I took piano lessons for YEARS when we were growing up. Both of us are so appreciative to our parents for encouraging (forcing at times) us to do this. There have been many proven benefits to learning to play an instrument (do better in school, read better, increase IQ, helps with concentration, etc). It can also be a lot of fun.

The piano that we have it old. It was my grandmother's. My father practiced piano on it when he was a child. It is the piano my sister and I practiced on. Now my kids practice on it too. Shortly after we moved here I began my search for a piano teacher. There are two well known ones here in town. One does not start kids until second grade. So the other it was going to be. Emily loves playing the piano and she does well at it. I still sit with her during most of practices and it has been so good for the two of us to work on this together. She loves her teacher.

Once a month the two teachers in town have a recital at a local nursing home. This too has been so good for her. Before she begins to play she is required to announce her name, age, school, and piece that she is going to play. Public speaking!

About a month after Emily started playing I noticed that Palmer constantly hovered over her while she practiced. Palmer had always loved playing on the piano. On this particular occasion I saw something that really surprised me. Palmer was correcting Emily. If she didn't hold a note long enough he told her. If her hands were in the wrong position he would tell her. I even heard him play a song later that she had been playing.

So I started to work with Palmer out of Emily's books. Bret was in strong support of talking to the piano teacher about starting Palmer in lessons also. At first she said no. The teacher told me that she waits until they can read. At least kindergarten she said especially for boys because of their fine motor skills. Palmer can't read but he is so close. I asked her to try it and see. I told her that I had been working with him already and that since I am home during the day we can take a morning or afternoon lesson. She finally agreed to try it and see how it goes. I offered to pay for the full time even if he only lasted 10 minutes.

The teacher was amazed and told me so. She said that in her 25 years of teaching she had never taught a student so young (he is 4) and was very surprised at how well he does. Palmer has had two recitals now and he loves it more than ever. Both of my kids played for their great grandmother's 93 birthday party at her nursing home. Palmer plays everyday sometimes by himself sometimes with me. It is so good for him to be challenged and engaged in something.

I had another mom ask me who Emily takes lessons from and I when I told her that both my kids take lessons from this certain teacher the mom smiled. She said that teacher played for her church and was talking about this amazing four year old she was teaching. Our teacher is very talented. One of the most talented pianists I have seen. At one of the last recitals she played a piece that was incredible. Palmer loved listening to her play and said he is going to play like that someday. Maybe. For as long as he loves it we will continue to encourage it. If tomorrow he doesn't want to play anymore we will take a break for a few years and see how it goes.

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