Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Z1 learns the Piano

Music is very important to me.  I really love and appreciate all kinds of music and have always had a strong desire to make music either using an instrument or my voice.  I've played the recorder, saxophone, violin and piano.  The piano, though, has always been my true love and I sincerely wish that I had gone further in my studies.  

Because I love music, it's one thing that I knew I would have to share with my kids so we listen to lots and lots of it.  One day it could be all Ella Fitzgerald and next day we're listening to Burning Spear and then the day after that it's Yo-Yo Ma.  But I also really want them to play music.  Now, I know you can't force these things on children but I determined that I was going to do my best to expose them to all different kinds of musical instruments to see if they naturally took to any one.

Photo Credit: http://www.mysterytrax.com/Bio.htm
Well, we started Z1 with violin at a church a few towns over.  These are low cost classes with about 8 or 9 other children in the class.  The boy does not like the violin at all.  I think he finds it difficult to physically play the instrument.  May be will take a liking to it later on.  Currently, though, it's not his cup of tea.

So on the recommendation of some homeschooling friends we know, we started him in private piano lessons.  They are not cheap but he really, really loves it.  I don't have to cajole him to practice or go to his lesson and he likes his teacher.  I like her too.  She is funny and charismatic and just brings piano playing to life.  I'm very pleased with her style and how much Z1 is learning.  

We don't, however, have a piano.  We have a small keyboard on which Z1 practices.  I'd like to get a real piano soon but we really don't have a place to put it unless we move some things around.  We'd have to get rid of the television cabinet (which houses the television, VCR, DVD player, receiver and Roku).  I'm thinking we could put the piano there and get a small flat screen television to mount on the wall.  The other electronics could easily fit in a small cabinet that I'm sure we could find at the thrift store.   I'm fairly certain it would be easy to get a piano for a decent price just from taking a quick survey on Craig's List.  We would have to pay someone to move it and probably would need to get it tuned.  I'm excited about the prospect of having a piano in the house not only for Z1 but for myself.  I would love the opportunity to get better at playing.  

Funnily enough, Z1 learning a new instrument has reminded me about how much I have always wanted to play the bass guitar.  Sometimes I listen to certain songs over and over just for the bass lines:


With all the books, DVDs, and YouTube videos available coupled with my good foundation in music, I know that I could probably teach myself.  So I'm on the lookout for a bass guitar and an amplifier.  

Something has happened over the last few months to a year:  I've lost my passion for a lot of things.  Things that at one point I couldn't imagine not being passionate about.  Writing.  Knitting. Crochet.  Reading.  Cooking.  Baking.  Almost everything, it seems like.  I often feel like I am just going through the motions and not much excites me.  Even though almost every morning I'm reading about being mindful and present.  There are a lot of reasons for this--mostly deeply personal so I won't go into them here--but the thought of getting a piano and a bass guitar finally made something move inside me and I am hoping that this will re-trigger my other passions.    

Anyway, I am glad Z1 is on an instrument that he likes.  It means that I don't have to be all "Tiger Mom" on him about practicing and being diligent in his study.  

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