Practicing as a Child vs. an Adult


I am a senior now (our son calls my husband and I the “geriatrics”), and there are a lot of things I didn’t like to do as a child that now I crave time to do as an adult. For example … 

  • Reading: Some of my grandchildren find reading boring, and their parents have to insist they get their noses out of their devices to read a real book. As an adult, I never go anywhere without making sure the Kindle app on my phone is loaded and ready to go with my latest mystery.
  • Eating My Vegetables: Well, to be honest, that hasn’t changed much. I still don’t like very many veggies. But most adults have learned to eat a wide variety of vegetables by now.
  • Cleaning and Organizing: As a child, my bedroom was kind of a mess. Today I am OCD and everything has to have a place and be in its place before I can sit down and rest.
  • Exercising: I can’t lie. I enjoyed exercise more as a child. Go figure!
  • Traveling: I found sitting in the back seat looking out the window boring as a child. Last week, we bought another RV – this time a Class C, and now we’re planning our next trips.

What about the punishments we received as a child? My former punishments have turned out to be my rewards as an adult.

Now let’s consider the time we spend practicing. As a child, I couldn’t go outside to play until I had practiced the piano. And I couldn’t just run through everything one time. I had to practice 30 minutes during my grade school years, an hour when I was in high school and, as a piano major in college, I had to practice 3-4 hours a day to get good grades! Sometimes that was a drag.

Today I WANT to practice. I get irritated when life gets in the way and I don’t have time to pick up an instrument or turn on my keyboard. There are several reasons why I crave time to practice.

  • Freedom of Choice: When I was taking lessons, I only had time to play the pieces that were assigned. Today, the sky is the limit. I can choose to play whatever I want, on whatever instrument I choose to pick up that day. And that leads to the second reason I enjoy practicing more these days.

  • Greater Musical Maturity: My tastes in music have evolved over the years. Through college, I played primarily classical music. Today I enjoy listening to and playing along with bluegrass. When I was a kid, I had never even heard of that. And the older country music tunes usually have only 3 chords so I can keep up with the others on my guitar. But praise music is my all-time favorite, especially when playing along with a worship team.

  • Stress Relief: I actually don’t have much (if anything) to be stressed about these days. But noodling around on my hammered dulcimer is a relaxing way to spend an hour or two.

  • Creative Outlet: I am a creative person – well, actually, we ALL are creative because that’s the way God made us. These days, I especially enjoy arranging something new that I have never played before.

  • Social Connection: There’s nothing more fun that going to a jam session or a festival and touching base with others who play the dulcimer.

As you can see, people's preferences will change as they grow and mature, and what may have been unenjoyable as a child has probably become a source of pleasure and satisfaction in adulthood – especially practicing our instruments.

Happy dulcimering,



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