We. Quit. Piano.
Well, it was a year in the making. I remember the excitement of that first week, ramping up, purchasing a keyboard, noticing for the first time how everyone in the family had exceptionally graceful, elongated fingers, perfect for playing piano, listening to demos on the keyboard followed by some serious dance parties to demos 1-5 and finally learning to place our fingers on the home row (?) Things kind of went downhill from there.
Hanna’s anxiety over practicing the piano became evident immediately after we said, “Okay, enough dancing to demo number three, let’s play a tune.”
I was virtually of no help to Hanna as she struggled through her weekly homework assignment. I could figure out the notes she was asked to identify provided I could hum, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. “ Before they started using words like solfege and si-fa-so, I was surprisingly helpful. I would smile, nod over her shoulder, make her snacks and cough out something while mumbling a mouthful of cookie, “I think the answer is smeary smeary” and she would look at me in disgust.
Two significant piano related incidents were the impetus for today’s resignation.
The first was the Christmas recital when a girl from Hanna’s class at school who began lessons six months after Hanna sat down to tickle the ivories in front of the crowd. I had politely suggested to Greg that this girl was just starting and likely wouldn’t be as advanced as some of the other students we would be hearing.
Jenna tapped her toe on the floor, then on the pedal twice as fast as I could snap my fingers and played what I might suggest is the best two handed rendition of Deck The Halls any of us had the pleasure of hearing.
Greg’s face said it all and as he mouth the words, “What The F%$#!” while glaring at me as though it was my fault Hanna was playing the “Smeary Smeary” Christmas march with a solfege kicker, I knew we were in trouble.
The second was when Hanna’s teacher called and asked us, “Does Hanna ever practice?”
“Sure! My goodness! Of course…does she? Practice? Are you…” What? Wait…piano? Um, er.”
I guess when the teacher loses faith and your child says the words, “Mom, if I fail my piano test, I don’t care.” These are some definite signs things are not looking likely for a place next to Jenna’s name on the solid gold Deck The Hall’s trophy.
As parents, we make mistakes.
Did we push Hanna into something she didn’t want to do? No.
Did she go into this experience with enthusiasm and a genuine interest in learning to play piano? Yes.
Did we let her give up too quickly? Perhaps.
Quitting doesn’t mean she will never take up piano again or another instrument for that matter. We weighed our options. We have a child who is busy at school and with extracurricular programs. I didn’t want one of her activities to hold her back, bring her down, weigh heavily on her eight year old mind or deter from the things that brought her joy.
It is for these reasons, I know, at least for now, we are making the right decision.