In the last post we explored some of the obstacles for missionary kids who want to take piano lessons. Even though there are definitely challenges, there are also benefits that make it well worth finding solutions! We’ll discuss some of those benefits together in this post.
As I mentioned before, missionaries are constantly traveling. Your kids are always facing change and saying goodbye to people. Their extended families. Their church friends. People they meet at all the churches you visit on deputation or furlough. Their friends on the field. Someday to your family if they choose to return to your home country.
With all of the changes and goodbyes in an MK’s life, they will often crave consistency of some sort. For a young child that may be their car seat, a blanket or toy. It could even be your display table that you stand beside at every church! As kids get older they will want to have something in their life that stays consistent. Music can go with them anywhere as they can play their favourite songs on any piano wherever you are.
Learning music may help your child socially during furloughs, college and anytime they are in their passport country. Musicians often connect with each other very quickly because they can communicate in more ways than just their words. Kids who take music also have the confidence that comes from working hard to learn a skill!
When grown, MK’s will find their training in various aspects of ministry, including music, helpful for serving in their church. They can be well-rounded and versatile in ministry because of their time on the field.
As your student learns to play the piano, they will be able to contribute to your ministry with this skill. You may be in a location on the field where your 10 year-old is the most advanced pianist in the church. Even if they can play once a month, this may be a blessing to many people. It may also encourage others to start learning to play too, (if in an area where pianos are obtainable!). Older teens may be able to help start a music academy as a free ministry or a source of income!
In the teen years an MK may offer to play a piano solo in churches while you’re on deputation or furlough. Perhaps you want to sing a solo/duet and your son or daughter can accompany you. This relieves uncertainty for both you and a church pianist since you’re prepared when you arrive! Churches enjoy seeing MK’s involved in ministry and appreciate a family who serves together.
Whether on the field or in their passport country, a well-trained musician can create a job by teaching piano. Even if this is not a long-term career plan, teaching music can be an excellent college job or back-up income. One can also get paid to perform or accompany others who are performing!
As you can see, you need to carefully weigh the obstacles with the benefits of your child’s music training. This skill will serve them for their entire lives, not just as children! Since it is part of their overall education, you should consider the solutions in spite of the challenges. Join me in the next post as I share some ideas to help you incorporate piano lessons into your home!