Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Soundtrack for a Senior Year

This is a qualified apologia for not allowing children to quit music lessons, particularly if they show any hint of musical ability. Active Son would have quit playing piano several times over if we had let him, but mean old parents that we are, we didn't. (I told him that if he could produce even one adult that said they were glad their mom let them quit piano then maybe, just maybe I would listen to his pleas to quit. He never did find one.) It gets worse. We made him sit for piano exams, endure a theory course, and "pushed" him to play for people. I guess our strategy could have back-fired, but knowing this particular son as we did, we sensed that it wouldn't.

Our long term goal was never to produce a concert pianist or the like, but to give Active Son a gift, albeit a gift for which he would have to work diligently, that he could enjoy throughout his life, and in turn, a gift that he could give to others.

The two YouTube recordings are pieces that Active Son is working on for his senior recital--he isn't the musician in these videos; he says he still has lots of work to do but I think the pieces are sounding pretty good. Good enough to inspire me to write this apologia and good enough for Artist Son to break into spontaneous applause when Active Son finished practicing the Rondo Capriccioso this afternoon.

But what makes my heart sing (and my heart sings much better than my voice) more than hearing Active Son play these beautiful pieces is watching him enjoy playing the piano and keyboard with other musicians in their youth band and to hear him tell his older sister that he is looking forward to jamming with her and his brother when she is home for Christmas.

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