Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Music Appreciation

Last night we attended a fabulous Area Band Festival where my older son joined other kids from 5th grade through high school showcasing their amazing instrumental skills.  I give HUGE kudos to the music instructors in our area who somehow teach these kids how to play a myriad of different instruments and then organize that into a harmonic demonstration of their new-found abilities.  It's amazing to watch the growth from a few years ago to now, and to look forward to the stuff that is still to come.  Any parent who has endured that first school concert knows how hard it is to keep from visibly cringing a few times.

Of course, I always knew my children were musically gifted - like all parents, right?  I mean, my brother gave us a drum when Zack was 2 and he banged away on that thing until it "broke" and had to be given away.  Tragic.  And then there was the harmonica stage.  What an auditory treat that is to hear a child huffing away on a harmonica.  So we decided to encourage their musical journey.  Luckily our school still offers band and musical instruction so Zack was eager to pick an instrument and get going.  His first choice was... the flute.  He's a bigger-than-average kid and also a boy (hopefully that part was clear) and we worried that the flute might be just a bit too - well, girly.  When's the last time you saw a burly guy playing the flute?  They don't have that at the Scottish Games.  So he settled on the oboe which is a woodwind with a double reed, similar to a clarinet.  His first day with the oboe he tried to "impress" his younger brother by playing it as loud as possible directly into the ear canal.  Logan reared back and knocked the instrument against Zack's tooth - thus breaking the first reed and costing us $20.  Smashing start.

We took a different approach when it came to Logan.  We gave him a guitar for Christmas when he was almost 6.  He opened it with the usual "Oh wow!" exclamations, and then as the wrapping paper floated back down to the floor he asked, "Uh, why did you think I wanted this?".  Fast-forward a few years to guitar lessons.  Logan asked for the typical beginning guitar songs to practice:  AC/DC, Metallica, Linkin Park... you get the picture.  The boy wants to shred.  I have heard the opening of "Smoke on the Water" a million times already and we've moved on to parts of "Another One Bites the Dust".  In order to get a sense of the timing he's watched some Queen videos on You Tube.  How do you explain Freddie Mercury to a 9-year-old?  You just don't.

So yes, maybe I see them up on a stage somewhere in the future.  A world-renowned symphony or an arena rock band.  It could happen!  For now I will settle for listening to them practicing from other ends of the house.  Metallica vs John Williams: it's on!

1 comment:

  1. I knew my kids had a musical future when I was the recipient of a "bathtub serenade" - hypothetically intended to enhance my relaxing - performed outside the bathroom door on accordian, drums, and kazoo. It's my own fault, I bought the instruments.