Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm Thankful For . . .

Not long after we moved into our home, my parents bought themselves a baby grand piano and they had their old piano shipped to us. We were delighted and very grateful. Even though it's old and a bit out of tune, it's the piano I played on as a child and the keys are so familiar to me. We bought some beginnger piano books for Neal with the idea that I would teach him how to play. That didn't really work very well but armed with the books, Neal taught himself the basics. He played all the time and was making pretty good progress. He'd make up his own songs or play from some of the more simplified piano books I had. And then he just stopped. He wouldn't play the piano for a few years. Absolutely refused to touch it.

Utah Dad and I were distressed because we really wanted him to continue with his talent and Amberly was getting to the age where we really wanted her to be able to learn too. We discussed it this summer and reworked our budget (we had to tighten our belts a little, but heaven knows we could use some of that) to include money for piano lessons for both Neal and Amberly. Neal threw a fit. He did not want to take piano lessons. Amberly wanted to learn to play the violin or the guitar. We insisted and since we're the parents we won.

They started taking lessons from a woman in our neighborhood when school started. We've created a piano-playing monster in Neal. We love to hear him play and we are so thrilled but there are times when we almost have to beg him to stop just so we can hear ourselves think. He plays for several hours a day and is improving rapidly. Amberly, starting from scratch, is progressing slowly. I have to fight to get her to sit down and practice.

This morning they both performed in their first piano recital. I'm posting the video mostly for the sake of their grandparents who couldn't come. The kids enjoyed themselves and I think they were both inspired by some of the other performers to continue to work and practice (I hope).

There wasn't really an earthquake during Neal's performance--Lilly and Molly were both climbing on me while I was trying to film. You can hear them giggling.

I'm so thankful for music and how it touches and blesses our lives. I'm thankful that my parents gave me years of piano lessons (I never did get very good) and voice lessons. I even pretended to play the flute for several years in middle school and junior high. I'm thankful that Neal and Amberly have the opportunity to learn the piano and I'm thankful for their dedicated and very cool teacher.


Heidi said...

I'm so thankful for the gift of music too and for such awesome kids to teach!!! I love them both. They are so much fun! We're starting on Christmas music so hopefully this will get Amy anxious to play! ;)

Shilo said...

Wow. Neal is so talented...I can't believe he played all that without the sheet music...
Actually then again, knowing what I know about him - maybe I shouldn't be surprised.
Either way, they both did great!
Thanks for sharing!