We know that budget cuts are forcing more and more schools to remove or drastically reduce their music and art programs, even though there are significant studies indicating a direct correlation between increased math and science abilities and musical instruction. I teach kids of all levels and degrees of interest, but when it comes to bringing that life skill to my own children, I continually drop the ball. I frequently am asked if any of my kids play violin, to which the unfortunate answer is “No”. My oldest let me teach her for a little while when she was young, but she and I have extremely different personalities, and we did not do well as a student/teacher combo.
My younger daughter expressed an interest in learning fiddle, and while we did briefly start lessons, we also moved three times in three years and that most decidedly got us off track. She has now decided to play the cello in school (the one stringed instrument, along with banjo, that I do not play; OR drums. ) And while my young boy may have an interest, he’s little and we’ll see what develops.
I suppose what I find intriguing is that when it comes to other people’s kids, I have near-infinite patience to allow them to learn at their own rate. With my kids, I expect much more and tolerate less. Hence the concept that the cobbler’s children have no shoes — I spend so much of my time making the path easier for other kids (and adults) that I have not been able to set aside time to teach my children something I feel is valuable to know.
I don’t expect any of my kids to want to do what I do. I just want them to be able to experience the fun of making music. It is around them day in and day out, as I teach and practice at home. I guess I just have to make a point of (like so many other things) making it happen. It’s about time my kids quit having to go barefoot.