Future Musicians

Many children take music lessons. There are numerous academic studies touring the benefits of this. There are just as many kids complaining about “being forced to practice” every day as there are studies saying it is good for them.

When I was a kid, I took accordion lessons for three years, both starting and stopping of my own accord with my parent’s support either way. Years later, in high school, we bought a keyboard so I was able to transfer my skills to that at least for the right hand keys, but those left-hand chords were a bit different between the instruments.

Today’s question is do you think that kids should be forced to continue with an instrument they no longer wish to play? Some people say they are glad their parents made them continue because they were able to enjoy the talent as adults while others have horrid memories of crying all the way through daily practice.

There was only one time, many years later, that I wish I had stayed with the accordion. An episode of the sitcom Who’s The Boss featured an old friend of Tony’s from Brooklyn. Before the character appeared, Tony mentioned that when they were kids, everybody would tease the person because of his accordion playing. When the character appeared, the other characters remarked about his huge biceps, which he attributed to playing the accordion. Someone should have told me sooner!

Snow Days

We had a blizzard here in the Northeast on Sunday. Of course yesterday (Thursday), it was 56 degrees. Currently there is no snow left at my house. Welcome to New England.

Anyway, schools were closed on Monday and the kids on the news sure seemed happy about it. You remember snow days as a kid, right? It was snowball fights with your friends, building snow forts, making extra money shoveling, hot chocolate, sledding, ice skating and best of all – no school!

As an adult, how the times change. Teachers hate snow days with a passion! They wreak havoc on the lesson planning books and the sequence of events. What if tests are always scheduled for Friday, but now there is one less school day in a particular week? Parents have to suddenly find different day care options or stay home from work themselves. They could always bring the kids to work. See my previous post on that.

For some reason, shoveling is not so much fun when you own the house and it’s a responsibility rather than an opportunity for extra cash. It’s much tougher driving in the snow than it is throwing snowballs at passing cars, isn’t it? Next snow day, forget all the negative stuff and go sledding with the kids. Throw in that extra spoonful of cream in your hot chocolate. Try to recapture the care-free attitude that used to come to you so naturally on snow days.

Super Bowl Parties

This could tie in to my last post about kids learning bad words, but it could also stand alone.

How do parents handle hosting Super Bowl parties if they have kids?

Now that the Super Bowl has just passed, this is not a theoretical question, but a question of practical application. What did you do? Did you let your kids attend a Super Bowl party at your house or at a friend’s house?