One Mom’s New Year’s Resolution to Her Piano
Three months have passed since we declared our New Year’s resolutions. I can proudly report that this is the first one I have successfully been able to keep. The year before I swore to get more exercise. I had all the best intentions to follow through with a promise I made to myself to improve my cardiovascular system by taking up jogging. But after four days of jogging in the morning I trailed off my path to better health and onto one of zero motivation.
It goes without saying that when I swore before my friends and family that I was going to learn to play the piano, they raised an eyebrow while kindly wishing me luck. But there are many reasons why this resolution has lasted longer than any other.
Keeping my word
As stated, there are a number of factors that played into my successful ability to stick to my New Year’s resolution. When looking back on my failure to stick to a jogging program, I realized that I didn’t have passion or motivation. I don’t mean to sound negative but sometimes just having a wish backed on good intentions isn’t enough.
If anyone out there has thought about taking music lessons but the dedication proved too intimidating, I can relate. Following are some tips that helped motivate me to stick with my music lessons.
Finding the best teacher
Finding a good teacher who offers private lessons is paramount to success. While juggling a full-time job, two kids, and a husband who travels for work, finding a flexible instructor was important to me. I really lucked out. I found one who gave me lessons in my own home, and who also offered lessons from his private studio. I found that by changing locations I was able to stay fresh and more motivated. My teacher is also very experienced. Furthermore his flexibility, personality, education and natural skills fit well with my needs. Make sure you not only find a qualified teacher, but one who can work within your schedule.
Continuing a family tradition
My grandmother passed away last October, and the Victorian Hardman grand piano that generations of my family learned to play on, was left to me. It soon found a home in what was once my husband’s gaming room. This factor alone motivated me to stick to my lessons and to honor my grandmother’s memory. I was also motivated by the fact that I was in a situation where I could continue my family’s tradition of producing women pianists. Not only did I see this as a way to invest in my self, but also in my family name.
If you are trying to decide on an instrument to learn, look into your own family tree’s history. If you had a grandmother who played the violin or a great uncle who was known to be an exceptional guitarist, give that instrument a shot and see if you inherited any of their musical gifts.
When you invest money into a goal, you are more likely to succeed. Although my private lessons were very affordable, just knowing I was putting my hard earned cash into something created a greater sense of urgency for me to get a return on my investment. This in turn helped motivate me to pursue piano lessons without hindrance or making excuses.
There are other ways to use money to motivate your self. For example, investigate a website called 21 Habit. This site allows one to make a 21-day challenge. All you do is deposit $21 of your real cash into a holding account. On every day you are successful at sticking to your goal you earn a dollar back. If you don’t succeed 21 Habit donates your money to charity.
You can do it
I promised my piano (and my self) that I would learn to play it. In fact, my goal is to be able to play a song for my family this Thanksgiving when it is my turn to host the dinner. Finding the right music teacher matters. Also, personalizing your goal by adding some little motivating factors will only strengthen your determination to turn an endeavor into an enjoyable routine. Who knows, it could also become a favorite hobby or a passion.
Author Abby Evans is a journalist, aspiring pianist and proud mother of two. She is currently considering giving music lessons from TakeLessons to her niece.
Image source: http://img.chinasmack.com/www/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/pixietea-playing-piano.jpeg