Meet Greg and Robyn Byus from northern Virginia! They have four lovely children Zach 25 who is an audio/video tech, Jon 20 who is a graphic design student at Liberty University and quad drummer for Jersey Surf drum corp, Ben 17 who is a high school junior, all-state clarinet player, and Emily 9 who is a home school student.
What’s your musical background?
I [Robyn] took 5 years of piano lessons in elementary school, then played flute and oboe in band through junior high and high school. I continued to play flute in church and community bands and still do. My husband Greg took guitar lessons for a year or two in late elementary.
Anything fun or unique you’d like to share about your family?
Our daughter Emily came to us at 13 months old through the blessing of foster adoption.
How do you structure piano lessons/practice for your family? Any tips to share?
We make piano lessons/practice part of our homeschool day. I sit with Emily and help as she watches and works through the lesson. Lately as the music gets more difficult (we’re nearly finished with level 2) we may take 2 days to do a lesson. She practices for 3 or 4 days until she can play the pieces easily, then we move on to the next lesson. Lesson days take longer, but practice days are usually only 10-15 minutes.
How did you learn about Busy Moms/Kids Do Piano?
Internet search for online piano lessons
Do you have any stories you’d like to share about your musical journey with piano lessons?
I taught all my boys piano myself for a year or two when they were early elementary. The older two moved on to other instruments (saxophone and drums) in later elementary. The youngest really excelled at piano so he moved on to other teachers and continued lessons through his freshman year of high school (and also started clarinet in 6th grade and tenor sax in 9th grade). He hasn’t played piano at all in months but started playing again a few days ago (made my day!) He’s considering a career in music. For Emily, I taught her for about a year when she was 5-6. But it got to be too much and we were both frustrated. I honestly think she just wasn’t cognitively ready. We were ready to try again this past fall (at 8 yrs old) and I was going to put her in lessons at a local music store. But the cost sent me looking for other options and we found Busy Kids. It’s been a great compromise. I have the musical background to really help her succeed, but we get the lesson structure and teaching methods of a great teacher all on our schedule and a reasonable price!
What is your goal with having your children learn to play the piano?
My goal for my kids’ has been for them to learn to read music. If you learn piano first, you can go on to play any instrument. Plus I think learning piano helps develop the brain in ways nothing else can. And I love music and I want my kids to love music and they all do!