Friday, April 16, 2010

Flashback Friday - Lessons & Recitals

Welcome to Flashback Friday!
If you have a child in your life, your calendar for April and May is probably quickly filling up with end-of-year activities - performances, recitals, etc. Did you take lessons as a child? Piano or another instrument? Gymnastics or dance? Other types of lessons? Were they weekly? How much were you required to practice between lessons? Did you participate in recitals? If so, do any of them stand out in your memory? Did they foster a love or a hate for that activity? Did you want to take lessons in a certain thing that you never got to? And if you have kids now, how did your experiences with taking lessons like these impact the activities you had/have them do?

Life was very different back in the Dark Ages when I was a kid. People didn't schedule their kids' lives every waking moment. I did take piano for a couple of years in junior high. I liked playing piano. I h-a-t-e-d practicing. Of course, that's not unusual, but the teacher was part of the reason I didn't like it. She was very classically oriented and always assigned me sonatinas and sonatas.

(Rabbit trail: Her son was a piano genius - when he was in high school they enclosed their garage, soundproofed it, and made it into his bedroom, including a piano. He would get up at 4:00 am every morning and practice for 3 hours or so before school. I just googled him and was not surprised to discover he's an award-winning composer and internationally known musician.)

Anyway, I wanted to play popular songs and church songs, not classical music. Practicing 30 minutes a day was torture, and I eventually quit taking piano. I can play hymns decently, but like most people, I wish I hadn't quit!

Recitals weren't awful, but they weren't my favorite. Of course, at the end of the recital, each student received a small composer bust statue! I had three by the time I quit; have no idea what they were - probably Brahms, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky!

Piano was the only thing my parents let me take. Gymnastics and dancing were way too expensive and slightly scandalous to their conservative minds. I would have enjoyed voice lessons, but I don't think they realized what a benefit that would have been.

When my kids were in early elementary school, they each took gymnastics for a couple of years. When it looked like the next step would be mortaging our house and surrendering every waking moment joining a team, we quit. My girl took dance when she was 5 for one year. (Of course she was 5 for one year! I meant that she took dance for one year! See what misplaced modifiers can do?!) That came to an abrupt end when their recital dance was a Playboy Bunny song! The lessons that have stuck with them have been piano. Neither has ever wanted to quit. Practicing is hit or miss with my boy, but my girl can hardly walk by the piano without playing a few chords!

What about you? Share your memories on your blog and link your post here!

(BTW, I will read everyone's flashbacks but I'm leaving about noon for lunch with a bloggy friend (pics to come!) and then go to our ladies retreat. I'll likely be out of pocket until later in the day on Sunday.)


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quilly said...

I do not remember a single recital. I know we had them. I remember dressing for one and taking the violin to have it polished and professionally tuned before hand. I don't remember actually playing, but I am certain the polishing and the tuning didn't really help.

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I have the same Beethoven "statuette."

Cathy said...

I had forgotten about the statues. I got several of those too! Thanks for stirring up those memories again Linda.

Beth said...

I never got the little statues, but went to many recitals. I took piano from Kdgn to 11th grade when I refused to cut my fingernails! My senior year I took organ lessons. Both my girls took lessons in Wisconsin and we have videos of them playing duets. They still play some, the younger one has more time to play. I like to sit and play through old hymns. I, too, was taught a lot of classical music which does NOT help when trying to add to hymns. My girls and I all disliked the theory part of lessons.

Barbara H. said...

I came from the same "Dark Ages" where kids just didn't take all kinds of lessons. It's a challenge now to balance giving them opportunities but not over-scheduling.

I did not take piano lessons as a child, but my kids did, and they never got a statuette. Maybe that was "the thing to do" back then? I did love that their teacher had them play hymns as well as classical pieces.

riTa Koch said...

I'm in an airport right now wishing I could have some Mocha with you! However, it is fun to read what you and the others have recalled from, yes, the Dark Ages ;)
I was in a hurry yesterday, there was much more I could have added:
organ lessons, including a recital & wedding; a concert where I played a difficult Debussy piece that I could only dream about later; and after many years of no piano or instrument, how I now have a keyboard, a Christmas gift from my amazing husband a couple years ago; and how I enjoy playing through all the carols during the Christmas season and entire books of Ted Smith hymn arrangements at one sitting.
Oh, the memories!
Thank you, Linda!

CeeCee said...

I took dance lessons but couldn't write an interesting blog post about it to save my life. I enjoy reading your memories from the Dinosaur age I mean your childhood. LOL. I'm right there with ya!

P.S. Comments won't let me strike out Dinosaur age! The joke is lost with italics!

Unknown said...

Sometime I think it would be nice to learn to play an instrument or take voice lessons but then the desire fades and I take comfort and enjoyment in the talent of others.

Hmmm, maybe one day I'll be belting out a tune and playing the piano (NOT)

Hope you have a wonderful time with your friend and an even better retreat! I was not able to go on our last womens retreat so I am feeling the need for some solitude...


bp said...

I didn't have very many memories today, I guess cause I didn't do any lessons except piano for a short time.

Enjoy your retreat!

Bonnie said...

Oh my! Playboy Bunny song? What were those people thinking??? For five-year olds! Good for you for putting that to a stop!

Kim said...

Sad that I don't have time to participate in FF this week but am enjoying reading those on my blogroll who did. Piano seems to be running far and away ahead of the pack :-)

I took 2 years piano, two years dance, spent 2 years in band... seeing a trend here? :-) I didn't stick with anything, being uniformly bad with anything having to do with music/rhythm. Ah well, I can at least play my iPod! LOL

Teresa said...

It would seem piano is the popular answer this week haha. Enjoyed reading these.