In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Musical Life Lesson

Christa's taking piano lessons this summer, following in the musical footsteps of her sisters Katie Beth and Amy. As a matter of fact, her lesson books are tucked inside Amy's old piano bag--the one decorated with white and black piano keys and embroidered with her name.

Once again, a little girl sits at our well-used piano and oh-so carefully bangs out--I mean, plays the notes. And, just like her sisters did, Christa gets frustrated. I hear a little huff of impatience, a pause in the music as she repositions her fingers on the keyboard.

"Remember, Christa, it's practice, not perfect."

And Christa tries again.

And once again, I learn something from my six-year-old.

Much too often I aim for perfect when I should let myself practice and learn how to do something. Or I don't even bother trying something new because I know I'll mess up.

But not Christa.

She forgives herself for making a mistake. She believes me when I say that practicing is okay. She knows I'm not expecting her to play a complete song at this point. Right now I just want her to enjoy music--not focus on perfection.

And that gives her the freedom to try again.

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