A Letter to Kids and Parents: Just Keep Making Music

Dear Band Family Person At Home:

I woke up at 4:30 am and I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about you and your kiddos at home. This is not new; I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about my students often, even in "regular" times. Like most every teacher out there, I care about your kiddos so much. I regularly wake up in the night staring at the ceiling and wonder... Will I ever find time to write out Star Wars for Mindy? Am I challenging Brody enough? How can I reach Tommy? Among a million other questions and worries, here is my most important question: What can I do to ensure that your kids keep on playing and don't quit?

Your kid knows she shouldn't puff out those cheeks.
(Getty Images.) 
These are hard times, and we have a lot to do. The lesson plans we're getting are carefully and lovingly thought out by our amazing classroom teachers—but they are a lot. Each activity is reasonable and fun, but I know I can't get my own kid to sit down for three hours even on the best of days! Our first week of homeschooling was a few steps away from disaster. But we got through it, and Thursday was way better than Tuesday (and not just for the kid... the "teachers" did better too.) I'm planning to do it even better next week; I'm not giving up because though we had some failures this week, I think we can improve and find our groove. It will never be perfect, and it may never be the full three hours, but it will be something and maybe he won't forget stuff he's been learning already this year. I'm counting that as success.

So, parents: I hope that you can fit music in to those daily studies, and here's why. I know that learning music will help your kids in every subject they pursue in their lives. Music opens pathways in their brains that no other discipline opens, and research shows us that kids who learn music do better in academics, too. There is so much research to back up these assertions, and I won't go into it all here. You'll have to trust me, but if you don't, start here: 20 Important Benefits of Music in Our Schools.

But more important than its benefits to other areas of our lives, music is its own reward. it offers us a way to be happy, or to be silly, or to be angry or sad. It gives us a way to explore those feelings we can't even put into words.

Learning music is not always easy; like everything else we learn new in life, there is challenge, there is struggle, and if we stick through the struggle, there is growth. And as a result there is big happiness—but to get there, we have to stick through the hard parts.

My plea to your kids this morning is this: Never give up! Keep at it. Even if it's hard right now, and you don't have a teacher to see in person, just keep playing. Play whatever you feel like playing. Hot Cross Buns every day for five minutes? Sure! Why not? Keep trying and trust that if you do, you will get over each little hurdle, step by step. I know you can do it, and I am here for you now and I will be here for you when we get back to school. (And I'm thinking that all of your teachers feel the same way.)

Let's keep at it, together. I believe in you! We can do this.

Mrs. Lindsay