When I started piano in first grade, my mother and I lived in an apartment complex in the flats of San Francisco's East Bay Area. My two-block radius was home to kids whose families had moved to the neighborhood from a range of cities and countries. Neighbor kids and I played together outside or in each others’ homes, using our imaginations in combo with toys, big and small. I still have scars and bone warps from learning to ride a bike, roller skate, tumble and excavate. To be honest, I did not have a lot else going on. My mom raised me on her own and every structured activity was a luxury. She funded piano and choir inspired me to make the most of these. This included asking me every weekday whether I had practiced piano, doing her best to make sure I did that a few times every lesson week, and driving me to and from lessons and choir rehearsals in far-away parts of town. I'm so glad she did. There were times I would not play. Times when I practiced and ignored my teachers' instructions. Somehow I lived to tell you about what I call 'home play,' a brain-friendly term for 'practicing.' Looking ahead to summer, I hope you can build time into your family's schedule to rehearse whatever it is you love, whether it's piano, softball, painting or robotics. I’m not here to add another task to your already-full plate. However, I would like to make it easier for you get more joy through your family’s learning. As you may know from my last note to you, I made How to Home Play to help you do just this. Download it and apply these three simple things to ANYthing your family learns.
Elisabeth C. Swim
Playful Mindful Music Guide