We all listen to the music at weddings. But did you ever take a minute to watch the band? Next time you’re at a simcha, take a minute and count the number of boys hanging out by the bandstand. Kids are fascinated by music and by musical instruments. And at some point in time, your kids may decide that they really want music lessons. Piano, guitar, flute: pick an instrument. (I’m leaving drums out of the equation for now. Drums are a whole different story and may, one day, rate a post of their own.)
Naturally as parents, we want our kids to grow and develop their G-d given talents. So we call around, speak to friends and relatives until we find the right teacher. Let me tell you right now
it’s an expensive proposition. Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky few whose kids love their lessons, practice diligently every day and are always polite and respectful to their teacher. Or maybe not.
In all likelihood, at some point in time, that same kid is going to come back to you and tell you that they’ve decided that music lessons are just not for them. They’re ready to quit. Should you let them?
It’s not an easy question. For starters, there’s the whole life lesson thing. Commitment. Responsibility. Sticking something out and giving it a fair chance. But let’s say you’ve given it a fair shot. And your kid has zero talent. Or zero time. Is there any point in making them suffer and spending all that money unnecessarily?
But let’s say your kid is good. Really good. But they’ve decided they’re just not interested anymore. Or that it’s not cool. Should you let them quit because they’ve decided that they’ve had enough?
My vote? No way. They’re kids. And they don’t always get the big picture. There are decisions I let my kids make for themselves. And then there are decisions my husband and I make for them. And this is one of them. Because I know too many talented people who’ve told me that how much they regret giving up their music lessons. How they wish their parents had pushed them to continue.
So my kids get to give up their piano lessons when I tell them they’re ready to stop. And not a minute before. I’ve told my kids to come back to me in 20 years and tell me if I was wrong. And I’ve promised to apologize profusely if I am. But I’m willing to bet I’m not.
Check back in with me in 20 years. I’ll let you know how it all worked out.