I received this email from another mom (who happens to be my mom…) and thought it was particularly appropriate with our recital coming up on Saturday:

In today’s fast-paced and over-wired world of Iphones, Ipads, computers, video games, etc. etc. we have become a society with very short attention spans. In addition we have become a society with heads buried in electronic devices, giving half attention or none at all to what is being said or to what is going on in real time in the real world.

Music education gives us as parents an opportunity to combat both of these problems. We want something more for our children and participation in music lessons as well as music appreciation can lead us in a better direction. We turn away from electronics when we practice the violin or piano. We turn away when we participate in group lessons and recitals. We sit still. We let the music (at every level) speak to us and fill us with delight. If children play with Ipads or other electronic gadgets (because parents think it is keeping them quiet and still) during recitals they are missing the opportunity to grow and mature. If parents overbook family activities so that it is necessary to rush in at the last minute or even worse, late, or leave right after their child performs, again they are missing the opportunity to grow and mature.

We must slow down. It is important for our children and it is important for us.

So we can add to our list:

How to pay attention
Being still
Appreciating the work/effort of others
Scheduling/recognizing when a schedule is too packed
Taking a time out to experience something beautiful