Would you like to learn to play Beethoven’s Fur Elise?

Persistence & Patience Building in Young Children: How instrument learning aids these important academic & social skills

You could do this in perhaps 1-2 years of study. Or a concentrated month of doing nothing else:

You could do this in 7 years. Seven. At least:

For the average student, It takes generally 7 years of piano study to have the skills necessary to play the entirety of Beethoven’s very famous and beautiful “Fur Elise.” What is required? Patience throughout the time it takes to build the necessary skills. Persistence to learn, practice and perfect the skills. Persistence & Patience to learn the difficult piece itself over 1-3 months.

Piano lessons (or any private instrument music lesson studies) are not a race, they are a journey.

Patience is built through:

  • Attending weekly lessons, learning and slowly putting together the building blocks of music and piano technique.
  • Waiting for the necessary skills to develop to play desired pieces.
  • Working towards long-term goals that can be months away. 

Persistence is built through:

  • Learning fingering, scales, chords, pieces, and many other elements & skills that are a challenge and difficult at first.   
  • Pushing through times when it’s easier to quit than continue. Seeing past the present difficulty for the long term benefits and desired outcome.

How hard is it to keep going when things get tough? It’s difficult. But having patience to preserve through those tough times can bring some of the greatest satisfaction in life. Learning an instrument is difficult. You must be patient with your child and yourself. Our natural desire for big results now, is not possible when learning a musical instrument, slow and steady wins the race.

How do you encourage these important traits of Patience and Perseverance in your children? To grow them to be people and adults that don’t give up when things get hard? That are in things for the long haul and finish what they start? Even when it’s hard to say, “Try, try again?”

Music study is the answer for some.

Consider this quote from Einstein, even with the difficulty that comes, “I get most joy in life out of music.”

-Vashti Fairbairn is a local New West music and piano teacher, owner of Music Box Music Academy at the New Westminster River Market. You can read more about raising your children musically at musicboxnw.ca/blog/