Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I wish I was more musical.

I enjoy music so much and I get so much pleasure from singing (even though I'm lousy at it and would never sing in public) that I think playing an instrument would be amazing.

Right now I can pick out a simple tune on a recorder which is pretty standard for anyone of my generation. We all learned it in school, I think because it was a cheap instrument and very portable. When I was about 5, my parents signed me up for piano lessons but I found them "boring". My parents instantly pulled me out of them. Looking back now that I'm a parent myself, I suspect that the real reason they were okay with my quitting was that the lessons were too expensive. I'm sure when the teacher suggested we get a real piano so I could practice at home, that was the end of it. Remember that this was the time before cheap portable electronic keyboards.

I've always wanted to play the cello. It's an instrument that sounds like it needs a hug. And the way you play it looks like you're doing just that. When I watched Fame on tv, I always wanted to be Lori Singer. Realistically, since the cello takes years of dedication, time and the nimble fingers of youth, that's out of reach forever. I'll have to be content to live through my kids.

I'm so impressed with our public school system's music programme. In middle school, they are asked to choose an instrument and are taught to read music and play in a group. It's usually lovely. I say usually because if you've ever heard a middle school Junior Band Christmas show (which is only 3 mere months of just learning which end to pluck, bang on or blow into) , it's the bizarre feel-combo of being slowly and painfully water boarded, plus the most intense pride you've ever felt.

Audrey plays the flute and Elliott plays both the saxophone and the bagpipes. They play their instruments quite well. I'm so amazed that they are able to do this thing that I've always wanted to do myself. I often ask where they get their musicality from. Can you really inherit physical ability from the mere desire to try something? Obviously... because they have.


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