Beauty comes from difficulty, not from ease.
Between Christmas and New Years, our family decided to take a drive to Southern Utah, to see Goblin Valley where a scene was shot from one of my favorite movies, Galaxy Quest. I could see how the producer saw a certain desolateness of a foreign planet in the rock pillars that crop up everywhere. I also saw a raw beauty in the soft red rock. I asked my husband, who loves geology, what happened to form the rocks this way. He said it was constant wind erosion over millions of years. The valley is very distinctive from the surrounding landscape and yet the same soft red sandstone is everywhere in over a hundred mile radius. I wondered why this particular place got eroded in this way and not the rest of the area. I’m sure there is a scientific explanation.
I think sometimes we feel difficulties are unfairly targeting us. “Why me?” we may ask. If the rocks of Goblin Valley had a consciousness, as Galaxy Quest screenwriters fancifully depict, would they ask “Why me?”. Would they look at themselves today and see the reason why? Without adversity, beauty goes unrecognized. Our character goes unmoulded. But with adversity, we learn what real joy and accomplishment is. Our struggle is to our advantage.
Practicing music is one of those struggles that often becomes a fight between parents and children. Parents never win and often students quit. The parents are then relieved because the fight is over. But what if we kept the struggle an inner one? What if you, the parents, step back and let your child find their own reasons to practice? Our Academy gives one big reason: Musical Ladder System wristbands, certificates and trophies are a visual reminder to students that practice is rewarding. When they accomplish a goal, they often want to show you, either in a home performance or in a recital. Invite them to perform for you. Praise them. Brag about them. They will see the beauty in their struggle and work all the harder to feel that feeling of accomplishment. Your relationship with your child is saved. And you, as parents, can just enjoy the view.
Holly Fielding, Director