6 May
Posted in: parenting
By    Comments Off on Confidence Built Through Music

Confidence Built Through Music

Sometimes my feelings seem too much to handle. Life hits me hard, the good along with the bad.

Yesterday was intense, in a fantastic way. I was weepy on-and-off and spent parts of the day with a big grin on my face. I watched our middle son stand in front of several groups and play a solo on his flute. His band, from a local performing arts center, was touring schools talking about instruments and music opportunities for the summer months.

I struggled not to blubber through his entire performance. He’s the one of our four children I worry about the most. It’s been that way from the beginning, 10 short years ago. As a baby he was a poor eater and struggled to thrive those early weeks. He despised sleep for the first 13 months of life. His personality is nothing like mine. He’s more like his father. They’re both quiet, reserved, and non-emotional. I struggle to connect with him.

He’s always been creative and mathematically driven. Building things and art are his passion. They both come easy for him. Confidence, however, in his abilities has always been somewhat lacking. In the fall, he wanted to take recorder lessons because of some issues in his school music class. We found a teacher willing to give it a try. That passion for the recorder, yes he is passionate about an instrument most parents cringe at, morphed into a desire to play the flute.

boy holding a flute

The same teacher made trying a flute a reality. J looked at flute books and videos and taught himself to play over the last few months. He joined the band, and the encouragement he received from that group and his teachers has helped his confidence soar. He agreed to play solo at seven different schools. Yes he was nervous, but that child, who doesn’t enjoy making eye contact or long conversations, knew he could play that flute. He was confident and brave. I thought my heart would burst the first school I watched him play that solo.

Having people come alongside us and help encourage our kids brings me to tears. It’s one thing to ask people to help cart children from place to place to help meet a physical need. It’s another thing altogether for people to join you in helping raise your children showing genuine love and kindness toward them.

We have friends who watch athletic events for our kids when they could be doing their own thing. Someone just delivered something for our oldest today because she knew he’d love it. We have some teachers and staff at school who know what to say and how to say it to my kids and me. There have been coaches who didn’t want just good athletes but wanted morally upstanding young men. J has found the thing that speaks to him in music. It unlocked his ability to feel confident, and I’ve watched it affect other areas. He has people in his life that went beyond what was necessary to help grow our son.

I remind our kids often to never underestimate the power of showing up. You might be exactly what someone needs even if you don’t realize it.


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