Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's Not Too Late

I just finished rereading a remarkable book called Sensibility and Education by Haruko Kataoka.  Haruko Kataoka is credited as being the founder of Suzuki Method for Piano.  Shinichi Suzuki developed the method for violin and created a wonderful world of possibility for children everywhere.

I am a Suzuki piano teacher and I owe much to Dr. Suzuki, Mrs. Kataoka, and countless others, for Suzuki Piano Method has enriched my life.
In Sensibility and Education, Mrs. Kataoka tells of an orchid plant she received as a gift.  Orchids are tricky to grow, and seldom bloom in the second year. Apparently only professional orchid growers are able to achieve this.  Knowing this, Mrs.  Kataoka was pleased to see her plant developing buds in January of the second year.
She called an acquaintance—a professional florist, and asked what she could do to help the plant.  She wanted big full blooms. 
Her florist friend replied, “It is too late to do anything now.  To have nice big flowers, how you take care of the plant from spring to summer is the key.  If you didn’t take care of it properly at that time, nothing will work later.  It is just a waste of effort.”
I couldn’t help thinking as I read that story, of many similar things in life, for which there are few if any second chances. 
Mrs. Kataoka related this story to the importance of choosing the best teacher for child’s first piano study.   As I piano teacher I can relate to this, but I am inclined to take it a step farther. 
Is there anything more sacred, more important than the early years and moments of a child’s life?  Sometimes we are too busy, too distant, too distracted to be the best parent, the best teacher, the best friend.  Meanwhile, children’s needs go unmet.  What are we thinking? 
What is the cost?
Those precious moments, once lost, will never return, but it is not too late to make a difference.
Make a difference for a child. Nothing is more important. Don’t wait until you are not busy or distracted.  That day will never come.  Do it today.

Linda Garner

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