This is just one of the things that I am learning to do more consistently now.
Listening attentively. To words spoken. To those left unspoken. And to nuances of everyday life.
A good but rather sad news prompted me to write tonight. Because this is one of those times that I need to listen to what life is telling me.
Our piano teacher is leaving to work in a music school in Singapore. It is good and I am truly happy for him that he has been given this opportunity. I have given him a glowing testimonial when he asked me for one, and it was not an empty one. He really is very good.
We are sad to be losing him, though. Jude has just started his piano lessons this summer, and already he has shown the dedication and commitment to the craft. He never needed prompting from me to practice. And Bea has been looking forward to the more difficult pieces that the teacher has told her to be the ones she will begin to study after the recital this coming Sunday. So this news that our teacher will be leaving before the month ends gave me a bit of a letdown. We need to find a new teacher immediately, as I don’t want to disrupt the younger kids’ momentum.
So what has this got to do with attentive listening?
Since last year, Bea has been bugging me about her desire to play the violin. And Xia has her heart on playing the guitar. The piano is for me. It has always been for me. For the dream that I do not believe I’ll ever realize. And I’m trying to reach my dream through my children.
I’d like to defend myself and say, well, the piano lessons started as part of their MAPE class. And I know I have all the best of intentions. I want them to learn how to read notes. Another skill I never developed because I cheated in music by simply using my ears. Oido. Oh, I can read notes. If it’s in middle C, or if there’s a gun pointed at me, and my level of motivation will be about the same.
Another point I tell the children, there are no violin nor guitar teachers within a 15-kilometer radius. Well, if we make it a 20-kilometer radius, teachers actually abound. Smart kids that they are, I’m sure that fact occurred to them. After all, we do drive 20 kilometers to get to soccer training. But obedient kids that they are, they have simply kept quiet.
Last Christmas, I knew that Xia really wanted to have an electric guitar, but she already has the acoustic, so I asked her to defer on buying the electric one. And Bea has been going around music stores canvassing for violin prices. Last week, she was so excited to have found one that only costs Php3,500. But, baby, there are no teachers.
Before they started their summer piano lessons last April, we made a pact. They can each begin their lessons in their respective desired instruments after the recital, but they will still continue to have piano lessons. Bea agreed, Xia was non-committal, and Jude said he’ll just continue to play the piano. Happy mom, I am!
And today, this news that we are losing our piano teacher.
Well, we can always look for a new teacher. At the very same place where I can find a violin and a guitar teacher. Ironic, right?
A line from the musical “Joseph, The Dreamer” resonates: “God, are you trying to tell me something?”
It’s like there is some Higher Force telling me: “Give up already! Your kids want something else. You’re a mom! Your job is to nurture whatever talent your kids have been gifted with, not shove your dream down their throats! Rejoice in what they aspire to achieve. Be supported of their own dreams.” The Force is onto me. He knows my excuses, and is now giving me reason not to have to make them anymore.
So yeah, I’ll have that trip to the city next week to look for a violin teacher, a guitar teacher and of course, a piano teacher for Jude. They have lived my dream for two years, about time I support theirs for the rest of my life.
Now, here’s the kicker.
Bea: Pero Mommy, itutuloy ko pa rin ang piano, pwede?
By all means, baby. By all means.