Monday, June 27, 2011

The Circle Comes Back Around

The Musician is the one who made the choice for her current name on this blog to be: the Musician. I think she picked this name because the big extracurricular interest for her in high school at the moment is the high school marching and concert band. She enjoys being with her friends but she also does want to play her parts well.

I forget what made us get the Musician started taking piano lessons. I think it was because she wanted to take guitar, and honestly, Mr. BTEG and I felt that piano was a better choice to actually learn to read the notes and learn about scales and chords. I imagine we were open to her learning guitar but we wanted her to have a sound musical foundation first. She did well; she even performed in front of judges for a competition, which I thought was impressive considering she was only about seven or so.

Her piano teacher was also a former opera singer. The Musician sang the words as she played some of her piano pieces, and her teacher suggested she take voice lessons as well. She didn't do the voice lessons for long, but to my lay ears you can tell that she did have some training. She also picked up a few extra instruments and played around with them: a flute carved out of wood, a Scottish whistle, an Irish drum. She wasn't a prodigy; we never thought music would be her life, but she did show a musical bent.

So what happened next? Well, she didn't want to practice. I suppose we could have forced her to do so, but it seemed like a really good way to kill any little interest in music that she had left, and it would have been as much work or more for us to make her do it.

She still played around with instruments occasionally, inherited a student guitar from a friend of ours and picked up some chords. Fast forward to public school in eighth grade, when she decides she is interested in learning percussion. We didn't have an extra lot of money lying around, so we advised her to ask her music teacher (from whom she was taking general music) if he knew someone who could teach her percussion inexpensively. He suggested she join concert band and she did for the second half of the school year. She lacked experience but could still read music fairly well and picked up percussion quickly, leading her to being in pit in the marching band, and playing bells and similar in concert band.

Now a friend of ours, who has a musical background, has starting giving her voice lessons after hearing her sing in church. He will also be teaching her how to play the cornet. She borrowed that from a friend whose mother used to play it. She's also expressing interest in playing the organ, although goodness knows how she'd practice. She'll still never be a professional or anything, but her father and I are glad to see a deeper interest in music coming back. And that those piano lessons we paid for were worth something!

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