A Letter to my First-Grade Self
Dear First-Grade Katelyn,
I know you’ve been taking piano lessons for a couple years and you are sick of practicing scales day after day. You are tired of constantly being corrected about your hand position, not remembering the dynamics, or forgetting your lifts at the end of phrases. Everything seems too hard and you want to give up, but don’t quit now. Believe me, you’ll regret it if you do.
I know you are frustrated by all the things you have to remember while playing even the stupidest sounding pieces, but soon you will get better and will choose what longer pieces you want to study—and those pieces will be really cool.
If you want to be logical in your decision whether to quit piano or not, keep in mind that sticking with your piano lessons means . . .
- You’ll learn how to have better focus and attention to detail after figuring out how to memorize all the fingerings, tempo changes, dynamics, and repeats in a piece
- You’ll learn how to budget your time by having to find time to practice every day on top of getting your homework done
- You’ll gain patience realizing that your hard work may not be rewarded right away with getting to play cool songs
- You’ll have more courage in the future when you are performing or speaking in front of large audiences from having played in all those monthly piano recitals
- You’ll learn how to take criticism better and not be so sensitive later in life when teachers, bosses, and other people say mean or critical things of you
Besides all those logical reasons for sticking with it, there are plenty of other reasons too. Once you become a better pianist, you will be glad you can sit down and sight-read any piece or compose a cool song.
Playing piano will inspire you, energize you, refresh you, and help you cope with difficult times. Your ability to play piano will be kind of like a superpower for you—there at the ready, should you need it to save your day.
So please, Katelyn, think over what I’ve told you before you decide whether to quit piano lessons. I hope you stick it out and show that piano you are not so easily defeated!
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about quitting an instrument?