Monday, November 30, 2015

Piano update

Biscuit and I got to his piano lesson about 10 minutes early today, only to find his teacher's driveway empty. We usually arrive a few minutes after his teacher gets home from his "real" job of being a music teacher at an elementary school.

But it was rainy and messy all day today, so I allowed for extra travel time.

Turns out, it wasn't needed. Biscuit's teacher called about 4:56 p.m. to say that he was going to be late getting home for Biscuit's 5 p.m. lesson.

So Biscuit and I hung out in the car and talked for a little bit.

He didn't get to practice much this week because he had his last lesson last Monday, then my parents came into town Wednesday. My brother and his family came in on Saturday. And by Sunday, we were all exhausted. So when I told him to practice Sunday evening, he struggled.

I remember when I was taking lessons as a kid, and I would just get so frustrated because I couldn't do what I knew I needed to do. Knowing what's supposed to be happening and not being able to do it is beyond frustrating. My Daddy plays guitar and sings, but he can't read music. So he and Mama couldn't understand just how hard it was for me sometimes.

And because I believe everything happens for a reason, I think that everything I experienced when I was taking lessons will be beneficial to Biscuit. Including understanding when he gets all torqued out over not being able to play a song the way he wants to.

When he practiced Sunday evening, he got so mad at himself. I mean, he was playing "Frosty the Snowman." How could you possibly get mad when you're playing "Frosty the Snowman"?

He was doing such a good job until he got to the part about "There must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found." The notes for that part are pretty different from the rest of the song, and he just couldn't get it locked in.

So when he and I were talking in the car, I told him, "Listen. You need to just tell him that you didn't get to practice much this week. He'll understand that."

And when we got inside, he did just that. And luckily, without any prompting, his teacher said, "You know what? You don't have any control over things like that. Holidays are busy, especially if you have family at your house."

"I did play for them," Biscuit said.

"That's great!" his teacher said. "I know they loved it, too."

"I think they did," Biscuit said.

Then Biscuit played a song he's been working on for a while. He'll be playing it for two competitions after the first of the year.

After he finished, his teacher went back and picked a few nits.

"I hope you don't think I'm being mean when I tell you these things," his teacher said. "I just want you to get better and better."

Then the teacher looked to me for backup.

I said, "You know when you're working on your writing at school and your teacher points out that you wrote a letter backwards? This is just like that. By pointing out parts that need work, it'll just get better and better."

Biscuit seemed to relax a little bit. I worry sometimes about how intense he can get about things. And how hard he can be on himself.

As Biscuit was packing up his books, his teacher whispered to me, "There are some of my students that I wouldn't be that picky with, but he is just so musical. He has music in him. I truly believe that he's going to do something in music, whether it's vocational or avocational, I believe it."

I tend to be skeptical when people seem too complimentary, but I can see it, too. And I'm really glad we found a teacher who can recognize Biscuit's talent and help him be as good as he can be.

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