Meet the Strum family Caleb and Tricia; Melody who is 8, Jasmine who is 5 ½, and Chase who is just 7 months! They currently in Georgia, though they due to move again by the end of the year.
Q: What’s your musical background?
My (Tricia) mom is a music teacher. So is Caleb’s mom. And his dad. These kids are doomed (in a good way).
I was started on piano in preschool but didn’t really practice until my 9th grade year. That was the year I was homeschooled, and it didn’t take long to realize my mom wasn’t going to pull me off the piano to do school work. I also started violin in 4th grade, chosen specifically because it wasn’t a band instrument and my mom wouldn’t be able to be my teacher.
Caleb did piano lessons for a time but prefers his baritone. He can read music but mostly plays by ear.
Q: Anything fun or unique you’d like to share about your family?
We have lived in the Midwest, the west coast, and the south, and do a lot of our travel by car. The girls have been in at least 23 states and have spent the night in at least 15 of them.
Q: How do you structure piano lessons/practice for your family? Any tips to share?
I generally try to stay out of the practicing. It would be very easy to helicopter over it and try to fix each mistake, but instead I ask questions. “Do you want help working on that part?” “Are you ready for me to check anything?” “Have you practiced anything from your lesson book today?”
Q: How did you learn about Busy Moms/Kids Do Piano?
Q: Do you have any stories you’d like to share about your musical journey with piano lessons?
The girls are very competitive. Melody started lessons with me at age 6, but when Chase was on the way they stopped completely. By the time we were able to try again with the help of Busy Kids Do Piano, Jasmine was old enough to want to participate. She also wanted to keep up with her sister while figuring things out on her own. We ended up transitioning her to weekly Skype lessons with Nana. Since the girls have different teachers and books, they aren’t in direct competition with each other. At the same time, they tend to pay attention to what the other is doing and build off it. (Last week we had the discussion that “No, practicing piano is NOT more important than obeying Mom.”) They are currently practicing up to a dozen times a day, but often in very small doses and not always something for lesson progress. I hear the older, easier songs over and over as well as little tunes they make up on the spot.
I want them to have a solid foundation in music so that they can build on it in any areas of interest in the future. Music, language, art and math are tied together in an amazing way, and piano is a great way to positively impact all of them.