You can read more about it on my "Teaching Scales with a Story" post
As he described the life of "Sad" who had no shortage of disappointments in her life, "Mad" who angrily blamed and compared herself to others, and "Glad" who didn't let others stop her from singing despite her imperfect pitch, I could see myself in these sisters.
At times I fall into the trap of being sad when comparing my weaknesses to others strengths, or mad when my children don't do their chores to my expectations, but I want to consciously choose to be glad every day. I suppose all of us can fall into these roles at times, including our piano students!
Sad is a victim to others and focuses on their weaknesses instead of strengths. "This song was just too hard for me." "I'll never pass notes in the fast lane!" "My brother plays better than me."
Mad shifts the blame to others. "My school teacher assigned me so much homework I didn't have time to practice." "My sister took the car with my bag of piano books so I couldn't practice." I once overheard a student playing the wrong note on their Piano Maestro song and they exclaimed in frustration "I know I played that note right but Piano Maestro keeps on telling me its wrong!"
But fortunately "Glad" pops its head into my studio even more often. I just loved to hear the excitement of a student who energetically exclaimed "I love this song!" and hopped onto the bench and started to sing to his own chord accompaniment as he played the Primary Chords to go along with the "Lava" youtube video. When a student finally passes off a Boss level in Rhythm Swing after working on it for several weeks it is so fun to see their excitement when they don't get eaten by the crocodile. A student showed up one day with a special "surprise" for me that he didn't want his mother to leak. He memorized his piece and learned and memorized the next piece in the book that I hadn't even assigned. The sense of accomplishment that new students radiate when they master a Piano Safari rote piece is so fun to watch. It's these happy moments that make me feel so thankful and glad that I have the opportunity to teach music to children.
Sometimes it is actually the "sad" in failure that propels us to just persist until we perfect something difficult. My own daughter literally cried in frustration when she fell short in her Notes in the Fast Lane challenge after multiple attempts, because she had her heart set on a certain prize in my piano treasure box that she wanted right away! But she overcame her initial frustration and after trying over and over she eventually mastered named and played all the notes in the challenge in 60 seconds.
If you liked the Tale of Three Sister you may enjoy a few of my other favorite messages from President Uchtdorf:
Optimism: Great Aunt Rose
Forget me Not