The Fam

The Fam
Family Photos Fall 2015

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Its time for piano lessons

When I was a kid my parents thought music was important and started to give us lessons.  In the first or 2nd grade I was taking piano lessons from really nice lady in Boise Idaho.  Wendi and I would go to her house once a week and go into her piano room to be instructed.  Her husband would get us cartoon books to read while we waited for our turn.  It was a really fun process.  Then something happened that changed my piano experience forever.  My Mom a very accomplished piano player decided to teach us at home herself.  This would save time money and in theory speed up the learning process by living with the teacher.  I honestly don’t remember exactly how the beginning was.  I just remember how it ended.  Me sitting in front of a piano for 8 years absolutely making up in my mind that I was not going to learn anything.  No amount of yelling, screaming, grounding or head slapping (all of these were involved) would change my position.  I did not have control over much in my life, but I fully recognized this was something that I did have control over and I exercised my free agency to its fullest. 

Fast forward 30 years later from the time this started.  I can read music and if there are no sharps or flats I can pound out something that resembles a song.  I never did learn how to use the petals.  In hind sight this was probably not the best use of my free agency. 

My sons came to me earlier this year and said they wanted to learn to play the piano.  I thought “I know some of the basics and could get them started”.  That worked for about 2 weeks.  When I heard myself yell at them from the other room “you missed a note try again” it was time for me to step back.  I had just crossed the line to the dark side and had a total oh my gosh moment next the head slaps would start.  Not a happy place to go.

We found a talented sister in our ward who teaches the piano and signed them up.  She has recitals twice a year.  Their spring recital just happened to take place after their 3rd lesson.  I was hesitant to let them perform but they really wanted to, and had started to practice their duet “heart and soul” already.  So they did.  Here is the video clip of Mayson and Harmon at their first Piano recital after only 3 lessons.


  1. You've got two Billy Joel's on your hands don't you! Don't let them hide under their bushels.

  2. Just for kicks and giggles, here is the rest of the story.
    I actually started lessons from another person. At 6 years old, I thought she was terribly mean. At 41, she is the best teacher mom could have found.
    My teacher taught me my notes. You started with Sister Drew Albert. She was a sweetheart and had stacks and stacks of comic books in two rooms of her house. She taught you and Heather to play by using hand positions. The theory was that you would eventually pick up on a few of the notes.
    One day you were playing exceptionally terrible and mom came in to help you. That is when she discovered you did not know your notes. Next she had Heather sit down and started quizzing her on her notes. She didn't know them either. In mom's mind, that was the biggest waist of money and time because you could not progress without knowing your notes. Plus, at $3.00 a lesson for three of us each week, that was a lot of money. That was the start of piano lessons from hell. It ended just like it started. Not one minute being pleasant.

  3. BOO ON RYAN!! I want Wendi to comment on my blog!!

  4. All of you make me LAUGH!!! By the way have many more follows than you know...I copy most of your Bogs and send them to friends at least to about 15 to 20 a day...THANKS FOR THE LAUGHS...and the Great Memories!!


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