Last weekend, I went ice skating with my husband and his kids, Caden, Hannah, and Hope (they are 8, 6 & 4 respectively). The two oldest have had a healthy competitive spirit since the day Hannah was born, and last year Caden just started to get pretty good at ice skating. Of course, Hannah is not far behind. This weekend she was skating far more aggressively than she should— she hasn’t quite gotten the balance part down yet, and falls down after a few “steps”. We all know how frustrating falling can be, and how much effort it takes to get back up off a slippery surface. Danger: fatigue injuries are ahead!
I turned to her and said, “You know what my harp teacher taught me? Sometimes when I get really excited about finally learning and putting a song together, I play too fast and learn to play a song with mistakes in it. The same goes for you as you learn to ice skate—learn to skate well at a slower pace, and speed it up gradually.”
Then I challenged her to skate slowly in a complete circle around the rink without falling down. …And what do you know, she made it! In just one hour, her skating had vastly improved. She was so proud! (And me too.)
What life-long lessons have you learned from playing an instrument?
Emily is a student and friend of Stephanie’s, and helps with occasional harping/blogging enthusiasm.
Stephanie Claussen teaches harp lessons out of her home in St. Paul, Minnesota. She strives to ingrain in each student not only correct hand position, rhythm and a sense of musicality, but also a love for making music.