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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Practicing Piano in the Car

There is a point in life where a person needs to admit they are doing to much. I hit that point today.

While cleaning house I saw the girls' electric keyboard tucked into the closet. Suddenly it hit me, piano lessons are tomorrow! And Eldest hasn't practiced in over a week! She has a new piece to play for her teacher and she hasn't even glanced at the music!

Not to worry, I told myself, she can practice this afternoon. Except speech therapy is this afternoon and we'll be in the car for two hours.

"Two wasted hours?" a little voice asked.

"Why... yes! Yes that is wasted time! I can put the piano in the car and she can practice while I drive!"

At that point, ladies and gentlemen, I admit sanity reared her ugly head and knocked some sense into me. When you need to practice piano in the car there is a problem with your schedule.

In this case, we are an over-committed family. I am an over-committed author.

I originally started the month with a goal of writing 50,000 words, finishing off two novels, and subbing two short stories. This is insane. I realize that now. I'm scaling back to 30,000 words, editing part of a novel, and subbing the short story Boy Named No.

My daughter will finish her homework during the down time at speech so she can practice piano at home. And, somehow, we'll all stay sane.

The burning piano from the Keith Emerson CD shoot in Borrego Springs March 2008. Posted on Flickr by Photorant. Used under fair use non-profit laws. Copyright and many thanks to the original owner.


  1. No piano in the car?

    Is it bad that I play penny whistle while driving?

  2. I did that to myself last year and ended up with a serious health issue. When the school year ended, I cut back EVERYTHING. Sports, boardmembering, volunteering, even writing. And I stuck with that until Jan. 1st. Now, I'm gradually adding back as I can. Sadly, I'll have this health issue the rest of my life. Doing too much is dangerous. You're smart to fix it while you can.

  3. It's so easy to over commit, isn't it? It's as if when everything's well and balanced, we feel like it shouldn't be *that* hard to just do *one more thing*...

    Yeah. I do that all the time.

    Good for you for recognizing it, and taking steps to scale it back down. Reality checks are hard, but worth it in the end.

  4. Paul - I was seriously considering letting her try to practice piano while in her booster seating as we cruised at 70mph down the highway. Every wrong note *twitch* Every missed beat *twitch* No radio *twitch twitch*

    I'm so glad sanity won out,

    Amy- All the commitments sneak up on me. I didn't plan for an activity every afternoon. But I guess I didn't plan not to either. And that's where the problem is.

  5. Jamie - It's so easy! Just smile and nod and no one gets their feelings hurt... and... and... and then I set my hair on fire. It's really not a good idea. But it always sounds good at the time.

  6. Why, I play piano in the car all the time! And I'm learning to drive right now, too. So I learn new songs and learn to drive at the same time.

  7. Scott - You are so talented! I used to practice drums in the car, and then they invented airbags. Not a good combination...

  8. Ooh! Yeah, definitely not. Even worse than playing stand-up bass in the car (which I also play ;)).

  9. I'm glad you've scaled back a little! I haven't seen you since you disappeared on chat the other day. I was going to help you word race!

  10. Scaling back is very good. I have similar problem to Amy - doing too much is a Bad Idea. Toning things down is more than acceptable.