At the workshop, Mrs. Obama also tried to encourage the students, including some aspiring musicians, by noting that it took years of perfecting their talent for the artists perched on stools in front of them to get where they are.
She recalled playing the piano as a young girl and said she regretted not sticking with it. But she said the skills one learns by studying music are useful in other areas of life.
"The discipline, the patience, the diligence I learned through the study of music, those are all skills that I apply every single day in my life," Mrs. Obama said. "I applied them as a student, as a lawyer, as a first lady, and definitely as a mother."
Since February 2009, "In Performance at the White House" has highlighted the music of Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, plus Hispanic music, music from the civil-rights era, Motown and the blues, Broadway and country music. The series itself dates to 1978.
The Memphis soul concert is set to air next Tuesday on PBS stations. It will also be broadcast at a later date over the American Forces Network for service members and civilians at Defense Department locations worldwide.
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