Of Cello Duets, Adolescence and The Art of Living ….

Two Celli, erie93

“Two Celli”

by erie93

Our youngest daughter and I play cello duets.

While neither of us is Yo-Yo Ma, I have experience powerful healing in this shared experience with our fifteen year old daughter.

Never mind she plays much better than I, her spirit resounds with all the goodness that music can and does encompass.

I count it a pleasure and a privilege to be able to do this with her.

And yet our times of practicing have not remained untouched by tension and conflict.

It’s not always easy to get a teenager to practice her musical instrument, even if she loves play a piece of music once having learned it.

But learning takes time.

Learning a new piece of music requires the skill and art of patience. If you are not careful you will become an artist at patience when studying a musical instrument.

I started piano lessons in first grade and continued throughout high school graduation. Did I, and do I now play well. I think not.

Do I love music and love to play music? Oh, yes!

Yet again, this requires time.

The difference between urging your child to practice when you do not play an instrument and when you do, most especially if you play the same instrument, is that you can empathize with the challenge of making time, the frustration of wanting to quicken the process of learning the movements and notes of a piece of music towards the goal of having mastered playing it.

You understand the eagerness and the disappointment of realizing how much time and effort is required, the perseverance demanded when faced with choosing being with one’s friends versus practicing. And this doesn’t even encompass social media vying for one’s time.

Moving through life involves many of the same skills required to learn and master playing a piece of music.

You can and never will play a piece of music perfectly. Room for improvement remains perpetual.

Neither can one master the art of living. Changes abound with every passing second. And from there arise fears.

It’s hard as a mother and parent. The process of growing up presents a great challenge as well. The path of adolescence involves at times steep learning curves.

Learning duets and playing cello with our youngest daughter reminds me of both these things.

My mother did not play a musical instrument.

An school teacher, she did not often understand the challenge of growing up, how frightening adults could be and were.

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