The Pyrenees---Southern France

The Pyrenees---Southern France

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Perseverance Pays Off

     A couple of years ago I took violin lessons right next to my third grade students. I did it because--year after year--I tried to encourage them to keep practicing, to not give up... I talked the talk, telling them they would learn so much in less than a year, that it would get easier.

     It was incredibly hard when I walked the walk. My fat, uncoordinated fingers strained to produce close approximations of the notes. The violin teacher cheated--I think--and passed me on some songs simply because she didn't want to hear any more of the caterwauling my bow created.

      Most of my students learned 8-12 songs that year. I learned 3 (and at least one of those "passes" was a gift from the violin instructor)...and I sweated bullets each time I had to perform as I was tested on each song.  

      Today one of my kids reluctantly went to violin class. Last week she had a tough time during the lesson. I'm hoping she sticks with it. She'll be really proud of herself in a few months if she doesn't give up.

       What did your family teach you about persistence and perseverance? What have been some of the toughest tasks--or the funniest--to slog through? Non-musical minds want to know... 

18 comments:

  1. Funny you should ask...my family taught thank you notes, respect to people even if they did not deserve it, putting away your things-always, and finish what you start. Today I ran into one thing after another that challenged what I had learned. I find it tiring to live in today's world!

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    1. Claudia--I get exhausted as well...

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  2. You should have kept up with the violin. I'm forcing myself to learn guitar and it is getting better in baby steps. I think violin is harder cause you don't have frets, how you learn where to finger is beyond me.

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    1. Joeh--It was beyond me, too. I started guitar lessons when I was a pre-teen, and quickly gave it up. Perhaps I should start voice lessons? (Oh, I'm hearing a resounding "NO!" from everyone around me who's ever heard me sing.)

      Good luck with the guitar. Sometime soon, maybe you could start your own garage band? ;)

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  3. Blogging, freelancing...talk about perseverance! You've got what it takes, Sioux. Get those fat fingers back on the strings, then perform your hidden talent for the WWWPs.

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    1. I only played the one year, I was horrid, and I like you ladies too much to subject you to such torture...

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    1. A virtuoso at torturing strings with a bow... Yeah, that's me.

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  5. A winner never quits, a quitter never wins. We were an extremely competitive bunch, in my family.

    And when I say "were" I mean "are." (But we can't seem to quit being competitive.) :-)

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    1. Oh Cathy, I imagine your family gatherings involve bloodshed, right?

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  6. I suppose my dad taught me about not giving up when I was little and cooking for him. I found out the first meal he ate, he went to the bathroom and vomitted, but continued to tell me what a good cook I was... and well, I am now. :-) Keep up with the violin...

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    1. Lynn--What a wonderful dad you had. And considering what a phenomenal cook you are now, it was worth him getting sick.

      Sadly, it was only one school year with the violin. (The violin is quite happy it's no longer in my grip.)

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  7. I'm impressed. I've always thought the violin was one of the coolest instruments ever!

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    1. Tammy-It's not cool when it's being tortured. ;)

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  8. Once you start something, you must finish it. Even if it's a serving of peas that your mom dumped on your plate, and you have to sit at the kitchen table by yourself in the dark, past the start of The Carol Burnett Show, when she answers questions from the audience, which is your usual bedtime. Oh, and I Iearned that it's easier to suppress your gag reflex when the peas you're eating are warm than it is when the peas are cold from laying on your plate for four hours.

    Basically, they taught me that I really don't like peas.

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    1. Val--I had a family like that as well. I love peas, but deviled eggs, potato salad or fried apples ended up being my companion all evening, because I knew if I ate those things, I'd hurl.

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  9. Blogger ate my comment again. AFTER it posted it! I commented on this a few days ago and it looked like it took. This is really frustrating. Gak!

    I don't remember my original comment, so I've thought up a new one. :) I'm impressed that you took violin lessons. The violin seems as if it would be super difficult to learn. When I was in middle school I played the clarinet and gave it up when the orchestra teacher started throwing pencils and books at people who messed up. (Not exaggerating). He terrified me, so I quit. On my own at home I learned the piano. Not well. My mom was an amazing pianist, and she sort of taught me, but I was never really very good. I had to work at it. I loved to sing, though, and since I couldn't bring a piano with me I took up guitar and began writing songs. Wrote a bunch over the years, too. What I learned from my childhood days is that working hard for stuff really does pay off. I'm doing The Artist's Way (thank you Lynn Obermoeller) right now (I just started week three) and one of the things she says is: You bring the quantity, God will bring the quality. I like that. :)

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  10. Lisa--The violin IS super difficult. At least it was for me. But the clarinet, and the piano, and the trumpet, and the tuba--they ALL seem like they'd be hard.

    I played a little guitar (a very little for a very little time period) when I was on the brink of teen-dom.

    Shame on that orchestra teacher.

    You've written a bunch of songs? You can sing, and people don't pay you to stop singing? I bow down to you...

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Thanks for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to stop by...