Growing up, my mom made all of us sisters play the violin. All four sisters play the violin to this day and we owe it all to our wonderful mom! When I say she “made” us play, I actually mean that. There were SO many times that I did not want to play the violin because of all of the practice involved. What teenager really wants to spend an hour or two perfecting a Mozart Concerto? I would think that it is pretty typical for a parent to make their child practice every day to get better since kids and teenagers don’t have the motivation at a young age to practice on their own. Am I grateful my mom made me play the violin and practice ‘only on the days I eat’? ABSOLUTELY! Do I make my own kids play the violin and practice ‘only on the days they eat?” ABSOLUTELY! There are so many life lessons that can be taught from playing an instrument and here is what I learned:
1. If I didn’t have my mom pushing me to practice and to get better at the violin, I can guarantee that I would not play the violin today! Even though it was hard work to get better at the violin and to practice daily, I will forever be grateful to my mom for giving me the gift of music. It is a gift that will bless me for the rest of my life.
2. Having music a part of my life as an adult has blessed me more than I could have ever thought. I have taught violin lessons to many children and adults, I have played in many weddings, church and special events, and I have been able to teach my own children how to play the violin.
3. Playing the violin taught me to be a disciplined person in life. I feel like the lessons I learned as a violin student have made me a hard worker, dedicated and appreciative. Practicing the violin is hard work which in turn has made me want to be a hard worker. Playing the violin takes dedication. I now feel like I am dedicated to other aspects of my life because of that same music dedication. Playing the violin has made me appreciate music in general and appreciate what hard work and practicing can become.
4. My mantra for my kids is what I grew up on. ‘Only practice on the days you eat’. Dr. Suzuki said that. Basically, if you eat, you practice. That is the secret to get good at ANYTHING! You want to be good at basketball, practice every day! You want to be a good reader, read every day! If you want to be a good musician, practice every day!
5. Acknowledge the people in your life who are helping you to get better and realize it is only for your good. If I could go back as a teenager and not complain as much or actually thank my mom for making me practice every day, I would! She is the reason why violin and music are such a big part of my life and my kids life! THANKS MOM!