Thursday, February 08, 2007

Spinning Song not Spinning Wheels

Are you enjoying my little film festival? I'm apparently a little video happy nowadays. Here is a video of Evan this morning playing Spinning Song. The video is to help him see what he still needs to work on and what areas may be shaky under pressure. Lord willing, he will play this piece and another at a music festival in April.

About a month ago, I began to wonder if he'd ever get his pieces pulled together. Everytime he practiced he just played the pieces and kept practicing the same mistakes over-and-over. It drove. me. nuts. I told him that when he made a mistake, he needed to stop and practice that measure and the measure before and behind it until he could play it perfectly several times in a row. He was just getting depressed by his mistakes instead of correcting them.

Several weeks ago, I asked the teacher to do something about the aimless practicing, and she began to write down short mini-goals for him to work on. It helped him that she said that she didn't care how many got accomplished at each week and at each practice, as long as he worked on them one at a time until he had met each goal.

Now he has a practice log. Each day he writes down a goal(s) and how many measures he actually accomplished with that goal. Last week at piano lesson, his teacher sprang up and shouted "Yes!" after he played his piece better than ever before. He blinked and pursed his lips to try to hide his smile, but his eyes danced with pleasure.

Often Evan is a perfectionist which means he gets discouraged easily and has trouble accepting correction. He often sees tasks as impossible. We have discussed that when he faces a seemingly insurmountable problem (in his head), whether it be in piano or in math, that instead of fretting, he needs to take it to the Lord in prayer and trust God to help him. We have discussed that Evan's weaknesses are opportunity to trust God's strength and to seek His glory in all things. Our discussions are reminders to myself as well, because guess who is a lot like Evan!

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