Tuesday, October 17, 2006

We do hard things

I've been working with my piano students for about a month now. I really haven't done any advertising so I still only have two students. One is 7 and one is almost 9. They are polar opposites in terms of personality.

The older one loves to make up songs, plays by ear, memorizes quickly and easily, and gets quite frustrated and stuck when songs like her simplified "Ode to Joy" are written with different rhythm than the original. She is very talkative and she likes to tell stories throughout the lesson. Her grandpa actually wrote "One eyed one horned flying purple people eater"! We just introduced the grand staff this week and she said, "Oh great. Now my head's really going to hurt! If learning multiplication in school wasn't enough!"

The other girl is very, very quiet and quite shy. I was a little worried when she started because neither of her parents are really musical, so I didn't know if her home practicing would be very effective. I've found that she catches on quite quickly to the rules of music (though keeping a steady rhythm is sometimes lost on her). She's very methodical, and in my mind she has made significantly more progress than the other girl (though she is still behind in songs). She cracks me up because after every single song she plays she sighs and quietly says, "that was hard!" even if she plays it perfectly.

A couple of weeks ago I heard someone say that their family motto is: We do hard things.

I LOVED that! Life is hard and I think it's really good to teach kids that it's GOOD for them to have their heads hurt a little. It's GOOD for them to be challenged. It's GOOD for them to try new things and work at difficult things. It's GOOD to feel the burn. You can't just give up because it isn't easy! What's the reward in that?

Sometimes I think kids have too many choices, are over protected, and are unchallenged. It's not for lack of good intentions on the parents' part. Most parents want the best for their kids. But sometimes the best is teaching them to do hard things so they don't crumple up in a little ball of helplessness at the first sign of an obstacle.


Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

Case in point:

Tonight Leno was talking about a school banning the game of tag because it was too dangerous and was bad for kids' self esteem.


Anonymous said...

"We do hard things"...that is a good motto. And something I should try harder to keep in mind when things get tough and all I want to be is lazy.

Celia Marie (W.) B. said...

I know...it's all to easy to be lazy isn't it?

Mrs. Hass-Bark said...

That's awesome. I need to put it on the fridge for sure.

Th. said...


I was all for us adopting it until I realized I never do hard things. Ever. I'm not really even in favor of getting out of bed in the mornings. Or any other time, for that matter.