Yesterday my son Alejandro graduated from high school. It seems only yesterday he was 3 years old and asking me to learn to play piano. In September, he’ll be starting college at Brown University. We are so proud of him. As parents, we keep our kids under our wings while feeding their growth. We hope to spark embers of confidence early on. And we yearn for them to go to the edge, but not too far…not too soon! We want to give them time to grow wings to fly on their own.
Photo by Miles Schiff Stein
And our greatest fear?
What if they lose their way? What if they get lost in the brambles and thorns of life? What if they fall in with the wrong crowd? What if a misunderstanding, a wrong place at the wrong time? But what can parents do? We try to feed them the proper foods. We teach them what’s right and wrong, to be kind, to be generous and polite. We give them opportunities to try new things. And we hope and pray it all works out. But what we’re really trying to do is to build character. We want to instill a mindset of resilience, wonder, self-worth and joy. To give them a sense of limitless possibilities. “There is nothing impossible to him who will try.” – Alexander The GreatWhat you focus on is what you manifest. These past few months have been dark days for many. There’s been a lot of negativity, hopelessness and despair. It’s been hard to not get overwhelmed by all the bad news.
Now is the time to reset this energy
We do not have to be slaves to negativity. We can choose. We can refocus. We can grow our minds, bodies, feelings and change the energy in our world.
Music too is energy
When Alejandro asked me to teach him piano at 3 years old, I didn’t realize it would change my life so dramatically. My desire to homeschool in music has expanded to teaching children and teachers around the world. But it was always more than just teaching music. It was a series of teachable moments that used the metaphor of music for character development. And of all the life skills learned from music, learning how to practice is perhaps the most powerful.
Practice is really the discipline of focus
In today’s world of millisecond attention spans, the ability to focus deeply on a single activity is as rare as seeing a black swan. This ability to focus is what can lead to new vistas, horizons and more. This symphonic journey with my son is far from over. But the first movement is coming to an end. I’m thrilled and excited to see (and hear) what he focuses on next.