Music Lessons

Do your kids love music?

Mine sure do.
It was probably 4 years ago now, and I was driving out of our subdivision with all three boys in the van – Gabe was in Kindergarten, which makes Nick 2 1/2 at the time and Matt around 6 months. From out of the back I hear the boys talking about playing musical instruments.

“Mom,” Nick starts, “Can I have a drum set?"

I grin, “Maybe someday.”

“Can I have a Tuba?” Gabe interjects.

“No.” I laugh out loud at the image of my son, much smaller than a Tuba, attempting to play it.

But, that planted the musical seed for all of us.

Flash forward four years, and I am contemplating putting Nick and Gabe in Piano lessons. Why Piano? Because it seems that might be the most convenient to actually attend. And, Nick tried Drum lessons at three different locations, but he was just too young at the time. Not to mention, I don’t want a drum set in the house, but could live with a keyboard. I bet you’re shocked that I am not interested in a drum set, huh?

My husband is very musical – or at least what he might lack in ability is greatly made up for by enthusiasm. Although he isn’t belting out original songs, he enjoys playing the guitar (he began teaching himself about two years ago and he has gotten pretty good), and played the drums for 10 years during his school days. It is fair to say that Jeff is a music lover. And it is guaranteed that if my husband is home, there is music playing.

I, on the other hand, am against any added sound in the house during the day, so the enjoyment of music tends to be mostly had on weekends, and mostly in the backyard.  Which is kind of a bummer.

But our family-music times are such easy and enjoyable moments, that I am longing to take advantage of them, and widen our scope.

Hence, the music lessons.

I am not sure how Gabe would do in music lessons. I can think of a billion reasons it might be hard, but I can also see that if the stats like, “Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs). Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report. Reported in Houston Chronicle, January 1998” are true (and I can see how they would be), having a hobby like music might be a healthy and long term way for Gabe to find stress relief. I do wonder if his hands have the level of dexterity and endurance that would be required, but the flip side is that music lessons might give him the workout his hands need to gain those things.

I think that Nick would love it. He isn’t thrilled with the idea of piano (“Why not drums, Mom?!”), but I think once he is there, tickling the ivories (or more like pounding on them), he might just warm up to the idea.  Nick is the most vocal about wanting music lessons.  He has had drum lessons, as I mentioned, and owns a guitar which he attempts to play occassionally with my hubby.  Nick has also started learning to Beat Box (something my husband does very well) as has Gabe.  Which, I am not gonna lie, is hysterical.  HYS-TER-I-CAL.  I think Nick has the best chance of really sticking with music lessons, and truly learning to play.  But, Gabe could surprise me.

And Matt? Well, he is happy to listen, dance and sing at this point. Perhaps once he gets preschool under his belt he will be better equipped to take direction – of any kind. Until then, Matt isn’t exactly the ‘lesson taking’ type of kid that instructors dream of.

I kind of consider this to be my own personal form of music therapy for the kids and for us as a family. I know that is a broad term, but there is definite stress release for my kids when they are enjoying music. Playing, singing, laughing and dancing – it is great for their minds and bodies and I want to encourage it for all of us.

At this point, I am going to look into piano lessons for both Gabe and Nick. I am hopeful I will find someone within walking distance of our home, and then I can send the boys down one at a time – with supervision – instead of driving to yet another appointment and sitting in the van with Matt for an hour.

Wouldn’t it be great if it worked out so seamlessly? A girl can dream.

Anyone take your child to music lessons?  Any success stories?


Video:  (I can't get the video to work -- technical glitch -- and it is enough to put me over the edge. I will attempt to post it on facebook -- join the HLW3B group to see it!) My husband and Nick in the backyard doing a 'duet' -- Jeff on guitar and Nick beat boxing.  I personally really like the 'mixing' sounds he adds in.


Patty O. said...

Last year, the kindergarten music teacher suggested I enroll Danny in piano lesson. I kind of pooh-poohed the suggestion, thinking of all the reasons I thought it wouldn't work. Still, I wonder if I should talk to a piano teacher about trying it out. I think it could be really helpful.

And I know what you mean--I never have music on in the background at home. I can't handle much in the way of competing background noises. It's enough to have the noise the kids make, I don't need to add to it. I guess I have some auditory sensory issues.

Terri Mauro said...

My son did great with piano as long as he only needed to use one hand. Once it got into two hands doing different things, he got extremely frustrated and wouldn't, well, play along. If you have a kid who has trouble with crossing the midline, that's something to consider. We wound up getting voice lessons for my son, so we could bypass the hands altogether.

Hartley said...

That is a great point Terri -- I will have to see how his hands hold up to this type of work out. Not sure it is his 'thing', but we'll see...


Heather B said...

I can't wait to watch the video!

We've considered piano lessons for my son. I'm terrified of how he'll do. But I'm certain that he'll end up surprising me. He has gently played on my piano since he was old enough to sit on the bench. It will be interesting to see how it goes!

Hope Nick and Gabe enjoy it and find the sense of peace and unity that music can bring!

Hartley said...

The video is up! You can find it by clicking on my "Facebook Badge" -- too funny!


Erin said...

all of my kids love music...each play a different gives them something to do.if i can handle the noise they love the music..also..don't they have the digital drum boards that have headphones? it might be an option.

Hartley said...

@Erin -- Thanks for the digital drum idea and for commenting! : )