Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Home "improvements" and Piano Lessons

It is piano time again!

Let me say right off the bat that I love teaching piano. Love love love it.
The kids are a hoot, I am challenged by all their personality types and finding the right by to help them advance and it may be sappy, but I get really mushy feeling about knowing I might be teaching a few kids who grow up to be so grateful for their ability to play the piano in whatever setting the choose to and I got to be a part of that.

But, there are always speed bumps to making piano go smoothly.
I currently have 3 such speed bumps who love to chatter with my students, draw them pictures and bring out toys and find other well-intentioned but still very unwanted ways to distract me and my students.

Sigh.

Sometimes Sam is home during lessons, but we all know his schedule is fairly fluid and lately he has been all over the place with it. I can't plan around him, and that is okay. But I needed some way to keep the kids in the playroom while I taught my 1-3 hours a day (I shoot for 2, but some nights are 3 and one night is... more. I have been blessed with a lot of students and it really makes me happy, but it gets busy).

It took some thinking, but I came up with my solution.




Ta Da!

I know, it is a closet door.
But it is more than a closet door, it is salvation.

Behold...


That's right, I put a tv in my closet so I can lock it away until piano time.
By then the kids are starving for tv, I've blackmailed them into all of their chores over the course of the day and they are so happy to get to watch it that they easily leave me alone for an hour or so.

See?

Ah, my little zombies.

So, I grappled with doing this because I hate the tv and I am perpetually trying to find the guts to throw them all out of the house. But they keep being useful to me!
However, I must limit the time or I feel like a crappy mom. And I have rules for the kids that they (mostly) follow:
1. Take turns picking the show
2. Don't pick something just to agitate a sibling
3. It needs to be educational
4. I need to know what show it is and I have to have said YES to that show at least once before.

The kids play fast and loose with the "educational" rule ("But MOM, Hello Kitty teaches us about cats!" Right.), but other than that they do okay.
And my lessons have gone much more smoothly since the tv was put in the closet.

But, I still needed to give the rest of the house more separation from lessons. It is hard for Sam to feed the kids some nights when extra students or their siblings wander in and want to eat too. Plus, sometimes I don't want to clean my kitchen before piano and it is way easier for me to be lazy if people can't see my laziness.

So I made this:


Oh, sorry, let me pull that back.



This!
Ta Da!
I made a curtain out of extra fabric from my window sheet curtains and some baby carrier fabric I have!
Doors cost too much, If I found a new fabric I had to make pillows and other stuff to go with it... boo.
So after a week or so of agonizing about how to go about making this curtain I just got over myself, took a deep breath and carved up some fabric!

I am happy with it.


Here is a close up shot that is not true to the color (the pic above it though), but shows how I layered it.

So now, this is a bit of a deterant for kids who don't belong to me to wander through my house and it gives some privacy to the rest of my family while I teach. Though I wish they would remember it is made of FABRIC and is therefore NOT a sound-proof barrier!

Oh well, one speed bump at a time.


1 comment:

  1. We have always done very limited TV. When the kids were little/in Montessori, the school was adamant about NO TV/screens of any kind for kids under 6. It sounds so extreme, but I have found limiting TV to be one of the best things I have done in parenting. And one small reason is exactly what you've noticed - if it is rarely on, it's a guaranteed free babysitter when you DO need a break. The big reason, for me, is that I'm sure this is a large contributor to my kids being big bookworms/advanced readers at young ages. Without the TV to compete with, reading is great entertainment. Has it been hard to limit TV, at times? Absolutely. Have we gone through periods of allowing more TV? Sometimes, but I can always tell when it's too much, because their behavior gets worse. Overall, limiting TV has been one of those parental sacrifices that has totally paid off for our family.

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