I just returned from taking Allison to piano lessons, then we made a trip to Music Doctors, a music store in our area. As Allison was looking at violin music I turned and looked at her and saw the sheer delight on her face as she thumbed through the music books looking for violin music that would challenge her.
Watching her reminded me of a message we heard at church recently about “training up a child in the way he should go.” We learned that this means to train the child in his way. No, don’t give him his way, train him in his way. In other words, in the way that he/she was created. From a very young age when Allison started taking piano I could see that she learned very quickly. Then when she began violin it was reiterated in my heart that God had gifted her with musical abilities. She had an ear for music, an ability not just to play, but to understand the music, interpret it, and love it.
Don’t think that because of that she was always eager to go to lessons! I can’t tell you how many times I had to proverbially “put my foot down” and tell her “no” to the plea to quit taking lessons. It wasn’t that I just wanted another musician in the family. I felt so responsible to develop the talents God had given her. I prayed about people that God would lead us to as instructors that could teach her and develop her skills. I told her that until she went to college she would continue both piano and violin; after that it would be her decision.
As we train our children, we must ask God to show us the way we can train them in their individual way, according to their gifts and abilities. He will answer that prayer! For our family training Allison in “her way” was the music way. The result? She looks forward to both of her lessons each week and practices many hours in preparation. The greatest result is that she is desiring a music major when she begins college next year so she can serve the Lord with her music. To God be the glory (and the musical praise)!