Friday, September 21, 2012

The Friday Fights

I yell at Yahoo #2 every Friday.  I yell at him other times too, but this Friday thing has become a noticeable pattern.  Yahoo #1 is also a recipient of some yelling, but it's more of a random holler instead of a weekly episode.

Both the Yahoos are taking some piano right now.  At this point it's more of a forcing – I've inflicted my piano-loving will on the poor dears.  Piano is the tool I've chosen to teach them some work and discipline, and being as I see that teaching work and discipline is among my primariest of parenting roles, I'm going to say I'm forcing them for their own good.

Getting the Yahoos to practice is quite an ordeal.  First, I bribe with points; points that lead to real cash. Second, I sit down with them; I sit down with them for as many years (yes, it takes years!) as it takes for them to figure out how to focus and practice on their own.  For Yahoo #1, that was roughly four of those years.  Four years at five hours a week (give or take) is a lot of hours (1040, give or take.)

Yahoo #2 has been taking piano for just under two years.  His focusing skills have yet to reach maturity, so my services are required to keep his eyes on the music plan.  (That was my nice way for saying, "He's a boy.  He's eight.  He's got a deficit of attention.")

Now Yahoo #2 has some talent.  When he wants to focus, he's amazing.  He's pretty dang good at site reading.  He'll open something up and play it through with awesome accuracy the first time through.  If he's able to play something through with some accuracy, then he decides he's done and quits paying attention.  Or, he thinks he has it memorized.  Therefore, you ask him to play that something again, to refine and make even more accurate, and the kid produces a wide-eyed 'n blank stare that goes through the piano and the wall behind it.

Yahoo #2's propensity to play something well then tune out lends me to say things like, "look at your music" and "read your notes" and "eyes up." I say this a lot.  A lot.  For at least 30 minutes each and (almost) every day.  I remain somewhat patient until Friday.  But on Friday, something happens and both of us flip.  He quits listening altogether, and  I say "look at your music" and "read your notes" and "eyes up" until I loose it and start yelling.

At this point, I have three options:  1) Start the practice yelling – I'll get there anyway,  2) decide Friday is not our day and take it off, or 3) read this book that I bought a while ago but have yet to crack:

How to Get Your Child to Practice – Without Resorting to Violence!!
by Cynthia Richards


As an aside, I totally know this Cynthia Richards lady and she has raised a whole slew of music disciplinaries herself.   Totally makes this book a source to trust, yes?  If I choose to read this book then I could do a book report!  Yay!  Goody!  Yay!


megan said...

can you just write my blog for me? It's like I'm reading my life....but I settle for playing 5x''re an overachiever :) (okay sometimes I trick them into that morning and night)

Julia said...

Please read it and do a thorough book report or let me borrow the book. I am just starting the piano thing and I already feel quite stressed about it.