Friday, November 23, 2012

A Different Kind of Lesson

Lately I've been toying with the idea of having the kid take some kind of music lesson. There are several reasons for this. Though a few not to, of course.

To start, the kid loves music and has quite an affinity for it as well. He was singing (with excellent pitch, I might add) when he was younger than baby E is now. He has great rhythm. Also, music seems to - as it does with many of us - help him focus and be still for awhile. Which is a huge plus in my book.

Much research exists that extols the benefits of music for children and learning. There are links between music involvement/instrument playing and increased academic performance, testing scores and skills in science and math, also reading. While I could care less about test scores, the rest of that is good in my book.

And, to top out the list of pros, I played the violin for I don't remember how many years (13?) and loved my orchestra experience.

The negatives of involving him in something else boil down to this - I am struggling with deciding how to strike a good balance between scheduled activities and free time. I know, I know, this is a common problem. However, I feel very strongly that free time is so, so very important for kids of all ages. Play is the work of children (quick, who knows who that quote can be attributed to?) and when we schedule too much for them, we don't allow them to have the unstructured time they need to explore their world on their own terms.

Kids spend all day while they're at school being told what to do and when. It disallows them the opportunity to decide for themselves what to do and when (which is one of the reasons why I so love Montessori - because it offers greater freedom for children in this, but that's a post for another day). He's already involved in gymnastics (something I don't think we'll be stopping any time soon), so adding in one more thing may be too much for him. Heck, for us all.

So, what to do, what to do...

I *think* what we'll do is wait til after the holidays and try lessons then. If he seems overwhelmed by it, then we'll stop. No big deal.

I've discovered that my orchestra teacher from elementary and middle school is now teaching private lessons. I loved her way back in the day, so it seems like a good place to start. Oh, and I think we're going to go with cello. Because the kid got all excited when I played recordings of cello music. Also, if he happens to be good at it, college scholarships are more easily accessible with cello than many other instruments. What?? A momma can dream.

Today's Lesson: Music tames the wild beast. Or so the saying goes. I'm hoping the creation of music works even better to soothe said beast than simply the listening to it. Because that only works sometimes.


Anonymous said...

I also play the violin - it helped me immensely.

Music lessons can be as infrequent as once a month. So don't worry too much about overwhelming him. He has lots of time to get skilled at the instrument as he is so young, so less frequent lessons may be perfect for you. Then he can practice an hour twice a week, and it's not overwhelming.

JE Melton said...

I can't wait to see a kid-sized cello!!