Longtime readers know that I am the fourth of ten kids. I don’t know that I have mentioned before that all ten of us play at least one instrument: violin, viola, or cello. Most can also play at least a little bit of piano. We started music lessons because my oldest sister was interested, and then my parents found a great violin teacher who was also affordable. Since we moved every 2-4 years, and since my parents were raising ten kids on a fairly limited budget, we didn’t always have music teachers. Luckily my mom knew how to play the piano, and she had paid close attention to our violin teacher’s instructions so that she could spend hours helping us practice every week. Over the years, my mom became one of the best music teachers I know – especially for beginning students!
Internet Piano Lessons
I told my mom several times over the years that I wished she could help me teach my kids piano and violin. Then this spring we decided to give it a try – in spite of the 2,500 miles between our home and hers. We have Wi-Fi in our house, and we use that to call Grandma via Google Hangout. it took some trial and error to rig our tablet so that she can see the kids at the piano, and for her to get her tablet set up to show her keyboard, but we got it to work, and lessons are going well so far! She emails assignments for the kids to complete between lessons, and they enjoy their weekly lessons with Grandma. They are building some great musical skills, and – even more importantly – they are nourishing their relationship with grandparents they only get to see in person about once a year.
Have you ever tried something like this? Is there a skill your parents could teach your kids?