Sunday, December 23, 2012

Recognizing Abilities?

Music seems to be on my mind today. It's a topic that actually is very near and dear to my heart but one that whatever talent I was blessed with has pretty much gone to waste or to pot (not the leafy kind either) over my lifetime.

And remember now too, my lifetime involves a lot of years, ya know!

As a child, I was fortunate enough that we had a big old piano here in the house and my Mom insisted on my taking piano lessons. I think I started when I was about in 3rd grade to take lessons but I was not exactly a good student because I definitely did not like the teacher I had as she was old (VERY old) and EXTREMELY strict too and my responses to both the circumstances of her instructions there wasn't what my Mom wanted, for sure.

Okay -I hated to practice!

When I was in 4th grade, the music teacher we had back then, tested every single elementary school student at the 3 elementary schools in our township for their musical ability and as a result, those who were found to have what he felt was a modicum of talent for music, were then selected to take home papers to their parents extolling the benefits of signing said child(ren) up to take instruction on various instruments. People were asked to search their homes -attics in particular -to see if there might be an old instrument or two, hidden away, unused, that their child or perhaps some other child, could use to learn how to play whatever instruments could be found.

It was then discovered that at my Dad's family homestead there was an old violin that one of my uncles had learned to play and that I could use it to sign up to take violin lessons. Which I did and for three years then, I took violin lessons at school plus occasionally continuing with the piano instruction too.

Now, if any of you know anything at all about beginning musical instructions on any instrument but especially on a violin, it is a very arduous and often painful process to endure for those around the student!

It was a blessing that my grandfather's hearing wasn't very good by the time I began the instructions on the violin because the screeching sounds that came from my putting bow to the strings -well it was pretty darned ugly! But my grandfather -who apparently truly believed I could do no wrong -would always tell me how nice my violin playing sounded. It was either that or he had gone completely deaf!

So now, at the age Maya is -as I've mentioned before, we've had an excursion down the recorder path and she has, from time to time, mentioned learning to play a REAL instrument. She does have some musical ability -that much we've seen and yes, because I had the opportunity to at least learn to read music and to stumble through playing the piano (also really stumble through playing the organ at church in my teen years). putting my grandparents through the hell of a learning musician too not just with the piano and violin but eventually in 6th and 7th grade, with the French Horn then too, (my grandparents were both obviously heading for sainthood), I'd love to see Maya be afforded the opportunities or at least one, that I had as a child.

When Maya was a mere 2-3 year old, she began exhibiting some signs of interest in an instrument -at that time, it began with a toy guitar but based on the way she held it and tried to play it, her dad -along with another family member -both thought that perhaps she would do well to learn to play a guitar. I think this was a trifle too early for her but it was pretty neat to watch her in action with a larger guitar she got one year for Christmas as she would insist then on watching the Country Music Channel on TV and she would then emulate in posture as well as fingering, dance moves as well as learning the words to many of the songs that were popular at that time. It was one of the early things she did that really shocked and amazed us at her abilities for her age.

Over the next 3 years, she managed to have 2 guitars in addition to the toy one, given to her. One was a relatively inexpensive instrument but it was the real thing, none the less. (Obviously none of the two larger guitars were even close to being an affordable epiphone but still and all, it did awaken all of us to the fact that the girl does have a lot of talent.

Now, the key factor is how do we determine which instrument would be a wise choice for her and one that would/could also fit into the family budget?

That's the hard part of trying to find a way to allow a child the opportunity to learn some very valuable and useful knowledge  for future use.

Well, that and getting a child to practice, too!

1 comment:

terri said...

I took piano lessons as a kid too. And I hated to practice as well! I just didn't have it in me. I didn't enjoy it and couldn't stick it out. Such a shame. I wish I could play now.

If Maya is exhibiting talent and interest in playing an instrument, I hope she gets the chance!