I have now played the piano for over 23 years. That really seems like a long time! I should be better than I am, but that's a different story.
It wasn't an option at our house of weather or not to play the piano. My mother's motto was "you can quit playing the piano when you are in college, or when I die." I guess that's a bit better than what my grandma told her kids: "You can quit playing the piano when you decide you don't want to eat anymore." So, just like my dad and his five siblings (one which makes his living by playing the piano!), I played the piano. My parents told me that someday I would be grateful for it. I never believed them, but (like most things) they were right.
Since then I've not only played (for myself, for church, for school, for all kinds of things), I have also taught. I should have kept track of how many students I have taught. I think it's about 100. At one point I taught a lot--23 students. I taught every day after school and twice a week before school. It was kind of crazy. When we moved to Colorado, I said I would limit it...now I have 9, including my two girls, and I am very full. So, twice a week. It's do-able.
Last weekend was our recital. I was so nervous! I'm not sure why. Maybe because I felt like I hadn't given my kids as much time as I should have (May totally snuck up on me this year! Maybe it was the snow every other day!). They were awesome though. Every one of them did so well and I even managed to pull off my song without too many mistakes.
I also performed a duet with my oldest student today in Sacrament Meeting. My prayer all day was, "help those who hear it feel the spirit." Technically, it went really well (other than the fact that my foot was on the wrong pedal for the first half of the song, I hate it when I do that!). I just hope my prayer was answered.
So, teaching piano with 4 kids, and homeschooling seems really crazy sometimes. I often wonder why I teach at all with so many other things to do. The answer keeps coming back to me over and over that I need to teach kids to play the piano so that they can play for church. It is sad to me that pianists are getting more and more rare. It used to be that every good LDS kid played the piano, but it doesn't seem that way anymore. My heart sank when I found out that new LDS chapels were getting digital pianos so that they didn't have to have anyone play, they could just start the recording. I think it is sad.
Every time I think of quitting teaching, I just get the feeling that teaching these kids to play in church is so important! So I will keep teaching until I receive the revelation otherwise. Maybe I can stop buying fabric and save enough for the serger I've been wanting :)