The Dulcet Tones of Music in the House

As a child my parents did everything they could to avoid having a violin player in the house. In fact, I never picked up an instrument until I was in 6th grade. That year I tried trumpet, guitar, and flute. None were a good match for me, so I moved on.

I wanted my children to have an appreciation for music along with playing an instrument. I hear my husband at the piano one or two times a year. I love that he can sit down and just play. I wish I had that skill. Perhaps when all kids are gone and I have time!?!

When my youngest moved to a bed, I took this pic of all 3 kids with their Winnie the Pooh quilts in the crib one last time.

When my youngest moved to a bed, I took this pic of all 3 kids with their Winnie the Pooh quilts in the crib one last time.

I made sure all three kids were exposed to music as babies through tapes and classical music CDs. Our absolute fave was a lullaby tape with the song “Bye Bye Baby Bunting, Daddy’a Gone a Hunting” all about a hunter with a rifle shooting a rabbit. Nice! But, it was my daughter’s bedtime request, so my husband and I would entertain ourselves miming shooting with a rifle while she dropped off to sleep in her crib. What can I say…stress and sleepless ness and too much work can lead to new parents doing odd things to stop each other from going over the edge.

My oldest did a Mommy & Me music class from 18 months through 3. She did a Kindermusik class called “Growing” from 3 through 5 with my good friend Gigi — to be precise she was Miss Gigi to the kids and moms. We tried a couple of semesters of the Kindermusik program while she was in kindergarten but she was too tired from school. She started piano in 2nd grade. By 5th grade she was desperate to stop. She literally has not touched the piano until this year. Her 8th grade music teacher gave the kids a choice of demonstrating their music knowledge through playing. She played a song from 5th grade for her teacher and did well.

My middle daughter started Kindermusik in the babies class with me. In fact she attended Kindermusik classes as an infant as my oldest attended a music class. It was a welcome break to take her to class each Saturday morning — special time for both of us. My friend stopped teaching when my daghter was 3 so we found a new Kindermusik teacher. She took a fun class for 3s about Trains called “Go” or “Vroom.” Another class that always kept us engaged was “Milk and Cookies” — still remember the song for dusting and cleaning. We would dust with a scarf. Hey, maybe a music CD would help me clean. Strangers things have happened.  She loved playing with egg shakers and bells and making up songs. She stopped music around 3/4. Picked up piano in 2nd grade. Stopped playing in 3rd grade.

My daughter — age 11 —  plays the clarinet. She has played since 4th grade. She played piano in 2nd and 3rd grade, but wanted to drop when her sister dropped piano in 5th grade. We were not happy with her dropping, but I was getting frustrated with her not practicing, not doing the written exercises while I was paying for lessons. My oldest was doing the same thing. Kids!

I told her the deal for getting to play clarinet. I would not nag her to practice if she would conistently practice. She held up her end of the bargain. I try to keep my nagging to a minimum.

The middle child made it in to GT Band in middle school. V. proud of her. Considering upgrading her clarinet since she has played for over 2 years.

Around the time she switched to clarinet she was newly diagnosed witn ADHD. With medication she is a different child. Able to read longer books, practice her instrument, and work on longer projects. The clarinet has helped her to focus.

My son is a conundrum. I didn’t do a Mommy and Me music class with him as we had at least 5 Kindermusik CDs and a huge basket of instruments. He and I would play music and dance!

The kid aged 2 banging away at a drumkit.

The kid aged 2 banging away at a drumkit.

When he was 2, I got an opportunity to do a home business selling Kindermusik Do-Re-Me & You products. It was a good fit sicne we love music. The tough part was scheduling the parties. Suddenly all my friends were busy. It’s hard to maintain friendships when business is involved.

As part of the program I had to recruit other Kindermusik teachers to sel the products. I dragged my son to 3 classes and he was just not interested in sitting still or participating. I didn’t push the issue as we were doing music at home.

I joined a Moms club — Parents at Home — and became the music/storytime person. I thought this “jon” would help my Kindermusik business. Again, I forget the part about peopel running a mile when you mention hosting a class.

100_3482My son is now 6. He’s mentioned drum lessons. I keep telling him he is too young. Perhaps next year. I’d love to try piano with him. Maybe have someone come to the house instead of driving to lessons? he may do violin at school in 3rd grade. Now, wouldn’t that be funny if I got a taste of what scratchy violin practice was all about!

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