Friday, April 14, 2006

Music lessons

When I was a child, I wasn't exposed to music much at home. As far as I can remember (and my mom can correct me if I am wrong) our collection of records (or "Those really big CD's " - 5yr old Leo) consisted of 3 records, one of which only used to make an appearance around Christmas time. It did expand slowly, so that by the time I was 14, we also had Chris de Berg's Spanish Train, The Best of John Denver and Abba.

Back in Ireland, my cousins were learning to play musical instruments (I thought the recorder was something you put cassettes in!) and having singing lessons. At least joining the school choir and the church choir gave me the opportunity to nurture that musical flame that barely flickered inside me. Marrying someone who was able to play the guitar and sight read music did nothing for my musical self-esteem.

In an attempt to avoid the same thing happening with my children (actually this is unlikely, since our CD collection numbers over 200) I have been applying the technique of strewing in as many ways as possible. I found a piano advertised for €100 (about $120) in the newspaper and brought it home - although I think that my dh and 2 other males who helped load, unload and carry it in would probably object to the use of the word "strew" in this regard. We already have 2 guitars, but guitars lie shut away in cases - it's easy to forget about them. A piano stands there, saying "Come and play me!" Rowena has just started getting piano lessons, at her own request.

Our two youngest, Leo and Adrian, who is 3, are really into classical music at the moment. Adrian dashes around the house, singing "Ollie yo yo, Ollie yo yo" (the Hallelujia Chorus). The source of this is the Leap Frog book, "Hit it Maestro". Their favourite section is the one on Tschaikovsky and the Nutcracker Suite, which they already know from the Barbie movie, "Barbie and the Nutcracker". I remember how I pooh-poohed these things, Barbie movies and Leap Pad, when I first heard of them. Seeing how they are bringing my children to an enjoyment of classical music has really taught me a lesson.

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