For some months now, my son’s piano teacher has been asking him to learn to play Christian worship songs using just chord sheets. My husband and I didn’t push him over the summer – he got the summer off from lessons (Actually, I got the summer off from listening to him complain that he needed to do something other than playing on the computer!).
He started lessons again last week, and was asked again to pick one song to work on. Later this morning, he started picking on his sister, so I suggested that he must be bored, so why not practise piano (he truly loves to play, so I wasn’t trying to be mean, just trying to help him stay out of trouble). He noodled around a bit, and then I remembered that he had yet to tackle a worship song. So I told him he needed to pick a song.
Let the excuses and procrstination start!
son: I don’t know any of the songs my teacher gave me.
daughter, looking through his sheet music: I know you know this one.
son: I don’t know what the notes are supposed to be.
me: You have an incredible ear (he actually has a perfect ear – but being from Minnesota, “perfect,” is culturally difficult to accept, “incredible,” is already pushing it!), so I am sure you will be able to figure it out. But you don’t even need to do that, just figure out the chords listed on the sheet.
son: stalling, stalling stalling…
me: Where is the chord sheet your teacher gave you? Get that out. That will make it easier.
son: rolling head on couch, still stalling
me, getting out his chord sheet and placing it on the piano next to the song sheet: Come on, you can do this.
son: No, I don’t want to. You can’t make me, etc, etc.
me pulling out all of the stops: You will not get to play on the computer tonight until you try to play this.
son, pouting as he sits down on the piano bench: Help me, mom!
me: OK, where’s the A chord? OK, so this is what you do (playing the chords listed on the sheet, painfully slowly, and with many an error).
daughter: Mom, please stop! Please let my brother try it!
son, also all too happy to have me stop: Ok, I think I get it.
Next commences 15 or so minutes of perfect chords. He then switched to almost perfectly plunking out the melody.
Thank God I know just enough piano to be painful to listen to!