Monday, May 23, 2011


I don't think it would be a very big stretch to say that lots of kids start piano lessons at some point in their childhood.  My oldest sister started lessons first in our family and just loved playing the piano.  Practicing, lessons, and recitals - not so much.

I think Leslie only took lessons for about three years before she begged our mother to let her quit - which my mother very reluctantly gave in to - but Leslie did keep playing the piano, she loved it so much.  Instead of having to play the songs that her strict, (mean) piano teacher made her play, Leslie would buy sheet music of songs that she enjoyed playing and singing along to.  She spent hours at the piano and became quite good at it.  She still is too.  And she is a great accompanist.

My mom continued to encourage the rest of us to play the piano as well.  I don't know how many times my brother and I started and stopped piano lessons.  My two younger sisters have the same story.  The thing that we all remember the most is being embarrassed to go to our lessons because we hadn't practiced nearly enough, and our one teacher who gave us candy bars whether we had practiced or not.

(Winebrenner family stats for piano players: one out of five.)

I am also fairly certain that all of those same moms who started their children in piano lessons said, "You will thank me for this when you are older."  Or, "You will wish that you played the piano when you grow up if you don't practice now."  And all of those moms would be right.

And then all of us kids, who didn't practice the piano, would repeat the cycle with our own children. All of mine had lessons for at least a little while - two of them play, at least a little bit. McCall and Haley stuck with it long enough to be able to read music and enjoy playing on occasion.

Elliott took cello lessons when he was in elementary school one year and actually did really well, which was a very good thing since he was the only cello player in the orchestra and at the recital you would know if he wasn't holding up his end of the song.  He was going to continue playing in middle school but bullying the little guy with the big cello became a problem on the bus and he wasn't interested anymore.  Sigh.  I can't say I blame him though.

I figured since the fingering was probably about the same, he should take up the guitar.  I was very encouraging ... Elliott, girls love a guy who can play the guitar and sing.  Really.  I bought him one for Christmas one year.  Haley bought one too.  She thought it would be fun to learn to play together.

On my last trip to Tennessee to visit my girls before they came back home, I heard Haley playing and singing softly in her room next to mine.  I had forgotten that she knew how to play a little bit.  It was really sweet for me to see that.

And then just last night I heard some soft little strumming and singing in our living room.  I walked into the hallway and there was Sophie, sitting on the chair, looking at guitar chords on her phone.  Saturday she decided that she wanted to learn to play as well.  We have four guitars in the family - so far only one knows how to play.  Maybe this will change that.

(Wood family stats for guitar players:  one and a half out of five.)


  1. I LoVe to hear strumming and singing like the girls were doing! How sweet! I hope they keep it up and then they could add some songs like that to the Wood Family Christmas CD 2011....cause they are all home there are no more excuses! tee hee

    I CAN'T WAIT...more Wood music on my IPod!

  2. awww! My hubby and oldest son play the guitar. They LOVE it! I have zero musical talent and don't have any desire to play! heehee!
    When we were teenagers ... oh when V played that guitar ... swoon!
    I would LOVEEEEE to be compared to any of those beautiful ladies! WOW!
    Thank you for your comment ! I am working SO hard to make something out of Bringing Pretty Back , to make a difference.
    Hugs to you !
    Have a pretty day!

  3. i so want to take up piano again. i just wish i had more time! and i am definatley making libby take lessons. and never quit. ever. she'll thank me for it when she's older. right??

  4. I never played an instrument. My husband did one year. My son decided he wanted to play the jr tuba this year. Thankfully he doesn't have to cart it back and forth. They let you keep one at home and have one at the school. (he just brings his mouth piece back and forth)

  5. Gifts that we all wish we could do..but it's so much work! I had a scary piano teacher and I ended up quiting but then over the years I did the leads in the musicals and I was glad about that. Wish we all could do it all! ;D