Blog by Michele Beresford

A parent recently came to me after the a few lessons and asked, “So, how long until my child plays really well?  A few months?  A year?”

I think this question comes up more and more often.  When I first started teaching in 1999, cell phones were still on the crackly side, online bill pay was in its infancy and texting teenagers still broke the bank with overage fees.  Let’s face it, 18 years later, we live in a more “instant” world.

I consider myself blessed to have my feet in two worlds.  While I blog online, text with my parents over schedules and  live stream performances on Facebook, I still play instruments that were invented hundreds of years ago.  Instruments were invented by people who knew nothing of digital distraction.

As the summer approaches, I often hear parents complain that their children don’t practice music and instead are on their tablets all day.  My answer to the whole digital addiction is simple.  Balance.

While music teaches a basic art form, it also nurtures more in any persons life.  We all learn about discipline, dedication, goal setting and goal achievement when we learn to play an instrument.  Imagine how much time any of us would have to give to our dreams if we lived in a world sans the call to the digital demands of our current society?

While there is no turning back from modern life, there is an option, for 20 minutes a day, to turn back the clock.  Balance comes when we leave behind the blue glow of the tv or computer screen, the Netflix or the instant access of the things we love to binge digitally and come home to our piano, violin, guitar or harp.  Spend 20 minutes with that instrument per day and forget the demands of a fast paced, instant world.

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