I’m always learning something from my kids, and this week’s “lesson” was from my son. Tristan started playing the flute a year ago, and with his music teacher away for the summer, I’ve taken over teaching duties. It’s been more than 20 years since I took music lessons, myself, but I know enough about reading music to keep him going for the summer. Last week I assigned a particularly difficult piece and when I sat down to listen, he wasn’t able to play it through. He repeated it several times but still made a few mistakes. He was frustrated and even got a little teary when he realized he wasn’t going to be able to get it perfect that day. I assigned it for a second week and we moved on to another piece. 

All week long he practiced that piece. When I was watering the garden outside his bedroom window, I would listen to him practice. He’d yell out, “Does that sound right?” and I’d say, “Not yet,” and sing the melody to him to remind him. He’d keep practicing. After days of playing, he finally got it right. He was so excited to be able to play it, and I was glad that he stuck with it!

I know too well how hard it can be to stick with things. I’ve been working on my website for the past two months and I’m having to learn new software in order to complete it. Some days I really enjoy the process, but there are other moments when I just want it to be done! It’s hard not to understand something the first time I read it. It’s frustrating to work at things a little at a time. Sometimes progress is so slow it is tempting to stop. Tristan’s experience was a great reminder:

Do you find it hard to keep working on long projects, too? How do you keep your “work in progress” progressing without giving up? Please share your thoughts!