Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Trombone Lessons = Life Lessons

Recently, Grace (my 6th grader) participated her music contest .  This is her second year playing the trombone and this is her second music contest.  She is becoming a really talented musician and her band teacher is noticing!  :-)  Last year, she got a Division I and got raving reviews from the judge!  That totally inspired her to keep at it!

Fast forward to October 2012.  It was time again to sign up for music contest.  She was struggling with adjusting to middle school....and everything that comes along with that.  She decided to sign up for contest, anyway, because she loves to play.  So, her band teacher picked out her music.  It was a considerably harder piece than she played last year.  Only one month into it, she came to me in tears. "Mom, I can't do this.  It's too hard.  The notes are too high.  I just want to quit."  My heart broke for her!  I could tell that she was really struggling.  But, I talked to her about how she made a commitment and how if she practiced that she would get better and better.  I also told her that Mrs. H knows what she can do and wants to challenge her to do her best.  She reluctantly agreed and she asked me to help support her.  We set up extra practice times with Mrs. H. after school....we found the song online and let her play along with that....she practiced 30 minutes, every single day for MONTHS!  

Fast forward to last Saturday.  She was so nervous but SO excited and relieved to be there.  As she and I sat in the gym, waiting for her turn, she said to me, "Mom, thanks for always helping me and pushing me to be my best."  

Below is the video of my girls performance.  

Grace Playing "Cantilena"

I am extremely proud of her for doing her very best!

After we found out that Grace got a Division I (highest rating possible), I spoke with Mrs. H alone.  I told her how Grace wanted to quit and how she was really discouraged in the beginning.  Do you know what the Mrs. H said?  She said that only three students had been assigned that piece.  Two of them where eighth graders.  And, Grace plays that as well as those two eighth graders.  She told me that she believes that Grace could handle the challenge and that she will continue to push her to the best she can be.  She went on to say that Grace's dedication and drive to NEVER give up, and to seek help when needed pushed her success.  

I walked away, in awe.  Of my little girl.  For not giving up.  For Mrs. H. For pushing her to face her challenges.  

Then, I thought about the times that life has gotten challenging for me.  When have I said "I can't do this.  It's too hard.  This journey is not worth it.  I just want to quit."  It's in those times, that I have a choice.  I could quit.  I could just walk away and not continue on this journey.  I could....but I CHOOSE not to.  I decide to seek out support from friends, who will challenge me to really look inside....who believe in me, even when I don't believe in myself.  Who don't give up on me, even when I give up on myself. Who push me to be the best that I can be.  And, even if I mess it up, I CHOOSE to pick up the pieces and I press onward, knowing that I am doing my very best. I CHOOSE to continue to work hard and to pray hard.   

So, thanks, friends for always challenging me to be the best mom, wife, sister, & friend that I can be.  

Who knew that a trombone could teach me so much?! 


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