Last week in the car, Andreas confessed he feels very relieved that he has quitted piano. Why, because now he is not at the receiving end of any nagging, unlike Ivan, whom Andreas knows I’m very unhappy (daily!!) with because Ivan has failed to practise regularly for his grade 8 exams which is coming soon. I’m unhappy because money aside ($500+ for exam fees, plus monthly lessons), examination text would change next year and he would be even busier with A’levels, so this exams is very crucial in a sense. I suspect Ivan is just waiting for me to give him the go ahead to quit too.
The conversation started when Andreas requested for his parents to pay for a course for him. I told him he would have to pay out of his own pocket for any other ECA courses he is attending, including driving lessons. After investing so much for his piano lessons and that he has now quitted, I’m not going to waste anymore money. He should appreciate the fact that his mother paid for her own driving lessons while at NUS, from money earned through part time work. He is lucky we pay everything for him.
That’s because I have no interest in piano, he protested.
How many people have the opportunity to learn piano? Many adults I know regret the fact that they were not given the opportunity to learn any musical instruments by their parents when young. Even if his interest has waned, I feel it is a waste to not complete at least the grade 8. Perhaps it’s a little premature to ask Andreas if that’s the message he hopes to leave his future kids. No interest anymore? OK, just give up. But nevertheless I wanted him to consider things from his parents’ point of view.
In the story of Great Chinese philisopher, Mensius – 孟母三迁, Mensius’ mother moved three times just to give Mensius the best environment for education, only to learn one day that he had played truent. In anger, she took a pair of scissors to cut the almost completed cloth she was weaving. To her, a half woven cloth is as useless as an incomplete education. This lesson taught Mensius to always to strive hard and complete what he has started out to learn.
Perhaps my kids can also learn this lesson.