Today is my sister’s wedding! It’ll be gorgeous! I’ll be taking lots of pictures and posting them on Monday.
I need to tell you what else happened at the piano concert. I was inspired. My son, Eli, is a diligent piano student, and I knew that it was time to get brave for him. I have often lacked the confidence or faith to go after the things that I want to do. There are always “reasons” why I shouldn’t try. Faith, my seventh value, is ACTION. It’s not staying put. It’s getting out of my comfort zone and seeking for the best things.
It was time to meet the mother of these two accomplished young women. After the concert, we went up on stage with the family and friends who were hovering around Lindsey and Stephanie. We tracked down the mother, Sally Brinton. She was very gracious to me. She gave me her e-mail and told me that she would answer all my questions.
I e-mailed her the next day, and she e-mailed me back telling me how she helped her daughters become such magnificent musicians.
Here are some of my questions and her answers:
Q: How much did your daughters practice at first? How did this change as they got more advanced?
A: One half hour when they were young; it evolved into 2 hours a day.
Q: How much did you practice with them?
A: I always practiced with them through sixth grade. Then Dr. Fox likes the students to develop responsiblity for themselves.
Q: How did you motivate them or were they self-motivated?
A: They were typical kids. It was hard work and not always fun. It was just something they were required to do each day like brushing their teeth.
Q: Do you have any advice for a mother who is starting her children on piano?
A: Be courageous. Realize “beginner’s enthusiasm” will wear off. Teach them discipline and remind them of all the people you know who . . . wish they had stuck with it.
Mrs. Brinton also told me they had taken from the well-known Dr. Peery-Fox, a name often attached to the lastest international piano competition winner. turns out you can just contact Dr. Fox and ask her if she’ll teach your children to play! You don’t have to have any special connection or have children that are music prodigies. I simply e-mailed Dr. Fox, and she got back with me to tell me that she would take my 3 year old when he turned 5. I will need to have Eli try out with her this summer.
Wow. Opportunities are out there! I wanted to give Eli the best opportunity with Dr. Fox. We went to another piano concert at BYU, the university where Dr. Fox teaches. The concert was full so we couldn’t go in. Eli was listening through the open door and loved the music.
I asked Eli, “Do you want to learn to play like that?”
“Sort of,” he said. (He’s like his mom. He lacks confidence.)
“There’s only two answers, Eli,” I said. “Yes or no.”
“Yes,” he said, and he beamed.
I knew what I needed to do. We went next door to the university’s music building and went downstairs to the practice rooms. I listened for the best pianist I could find, and then I knocked on her door.
“Excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you, but are you a piano major?” I asked.
“Yes,” she said.
“Do you take from Dr. Irene Peery-Fox?”
“Yes,” she said. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. I told her that I was looking for a musician that could help train my son for an audition with Dr. Fox. She couldn’t teach Eli, but she knew a young woman who were getting her masters in piano performance and had taken from Dr. Fox since she was six. She gave me her phone number.
I called the masters student, Christine as we got into the van. She answered. She told me she would be happy to prepare my son for an audition. She’s going to actually come to my house to teach him and she’s very inexpensive.
I’m so EXCITED. The only thing I still need to find out is how much private lessons are with Dr. Fox. I realized that we may not be able to afford her, but even if we can’t, I found this fabulous inexpensive teacher that can teach our children now. It’s amazing what opportunities you can find when you just try.