The following is a guest post from Megan Desmarais of verypiano.com–
Thanks for having me, Candace.
I love what Candace is doing here at Working Momx because she’s giving moms a healthy perspective on reality when you’re juggling work life, family life and taking care of yourself.
It’s pretty awesome that “self care” is a bit of a buzzword right now. Yeah, social media is making it seem like this trendy thing to do and showing you all the ways you can justify it. Let’s hope this trend never goes out of style because, let’s face it, it’s crucial for the wellbeing of our society, of our families and of our future.
Put your own oxygen mask on first, then help your child secure theirs.
This simple fact that we all know and have all heard over and over is the crux of why self care is essential.
We can’t pour from an empty cup. We can’t be there for our children, our husbands, our families, our friends and our colleagues if there is no life left in us to give.
As moms, we’re pros at feeding ourselves guilt-laden assumptions about all the ways we must be falling short.
Whenever you’re tempted to do this, zoom out 20 years and try to think about what your kids will remember from these hectic days.
They’re not going to remember how many days in a row they ate mac and cheese or how many different babysitters and caregivers it took to fill in the gaps while you were working.
These things don’t ruin kids. Instead, they’re going to have an example of a parent with a strong work ethic. They will have seen firsthand what it means to be well-rounded, disciplined and persistent.
As you’re choosing your preferred means of self care, I highly recommend taking up a creative hobby such as learning the piano.
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As a pianist, piano teacher and mom, I can assure that playing the piano is the ultimate form of self care, especially if it’s something that you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t had the chance to learn.
I run a bustling piano studio with over 70 students out of my home. While most of my students are kids learning the piano as an extracurricular activity, I’ve always enjoyed teaching a handful of adult beginners.
Adults make fantastic piano students because they are conscientious, motivated and eager to learn.
The only problem is, most adults like you and me lead busy lives. We have other people to care for, work to complete, a household to run and more. Our families schedules usually take priority. Stuff like travel, appointments and sickness often throw a wrench in our plans.
I would often feel frustrated on behalf of my adult students who would excitedly get started with piano lessons only to realize their weekly lesson plus some daily practice time was an unrealistic goal.
But, as a problem solver, I was determined to find a way for busy adults to check learning piano off their bucket list.
After yet another piano student called to cancel after his second lesson due to his frequent travel schedule. I was more motivated that ever to find a way to get adults to the piano.
I created Beginning Piano For Adults with composer Will Baily as a fun and simple alternative to in-person piano lessons. And, it’s a fraction of the cost of traditional piano lessons, so it’s a low-commitment alternative.
Beginning Piano For Adults uses the Recreational Music Making approach to teach adults how to play the piano. The course offers 8 lessons that mirror exactly what you would do if you were to show up to my studio for a lesson.
But, because it’s all online, you can work through it at your own pace. If you only have a few minutes for a lesson, you can just save the rest for later. And of course, you can access the lessons any time of the day or night. Many adults find that playing the piano is a nice way to wind down at the end of a busy day. Others enjoy popping over to the piano here and there throughout the day.
The beauty of playing the piano is that it’s always ready for you. You don’t have to get in the car or coordinate your schedule with any one else. Just sit down and play whenever you have a minute.
I’ve seen what a life-giving hobby it can become for people. Learning and playing the piano is equally a creative outlet and a technical skill. It’s so satisfying.
When children learn to play the piano, it’s very much an extension of the learning they do at school. They work through method books, perform in recitals, and possibly compete in competitions. They’re seeking the approval of their families and peers.
On the other hand, an adult learning the piano does not have to answer to anyone except herself.
Nobody else cares how much progress you’re making, what you sound like or how difficult or easy your music is.
The only thing that matters is that you are enjoying your new hobby. You’re learning something new and experiencing the rewarding process of making music.
As a parent, your whole family will benefit from your new piano hobby. Many parents in my studio who have taken the course report that when they sit down to play the piano, it makes their kids want to play the piano.
Can you imagine have a family-centric hobby that your kids are flocking to? Wouldn’t it be great if there was something in your home without a screen that your kids loved spending time with and that you could do with them?
Although Beginning Piano For Adults was designed for adults, it’s not too hard for kids, especially if you’re learning alongside them.
The course includes a 32 page ebook with over 25 songs in it. Each song has an accompanying audio file for you to play along with. These audio tracks represent a huge array of musical styles and make you feel like you’re playing with a real band or orchestra. It’s so fun and you’ll feel like a real musician from your first lesson.
And, I’ll be there every step of the way. Once you’re enrolled in the course, you’ll have access to me through a private Facebook group to ask questions and get feedback on your playing. I genuinely want you to have the best possible experience as you’re learning the piano and I understand what an important role I can play as your teacher.
Plus, playing the piano is just one more way to show your kids that you are a well-rounded, disciplined person who is always learning new things.
You can check out Megan’s course here