Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Now What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

We love music in our home. All of us are musical - from playing instruments in band, playing the piano, and singing. My youngest daughter has taken piano lessons for a few years, takes guitar lessons from my dad, sings in the school choir, and now is trying to learn how to play the drums. She is hoping that we will get her a harp someday. Now this would all be wonderful if she would actually practice.

She likes to spend her practice time writing her own music. She'll write guitar chords down, make up lyrics and then sing her little heart out. The most interesting is when she decides to write drum music. Her favorite right now is called "Crazy Girl". You can imagine what that sounds like. She needs to learn some real drum technique so it isn't just banging. (Her dad gets to teach her that.)

After Christmas the kids all quit taking piano lessons because the teacher retired. My oldest daughter has moved on to voice lessons, my son is just being encouraged to play every day, but I told the youngest she wasn't done yet. So guess who the new teacher is going to be? That's right...the mom as piano teacher thing. Should be interesting.

Last night she wasn't practicing her guitar very effectively, so when she was done, I sat down and took it from her. (My dad tried to teach me as a teenager, but I really wasn't that interested.) I opened her song book up and picked a piece of music. Using the chord chart at the top of the page, I stumbled my way through "Home on the Range". She sat and helped me get some of the chords right and informed me I would have to cut my fingernails if I wanted to be any good. I agreed, then challenged her, promising I would learn the song before she did.

The challenge must have done some good. When I got home this evening, she was playing the guitar with my dad, and that's the song they were working on. She's determined to learn it before I do. So I guess if I want her to work harder on the guitar I need to appeal to her competitive spirit. I don't think I really wanted to play the guitar, but it's just one of those crazy things I do for my kids.

So what have I gotten myself into? Not only do I have to teach her piano lessons, I've got to teach myself guitar lessons. It's all worth it if she can use the skills to develop her songwriting talents. I'm excited to see her develop her musical abilities. And maybe I'll actually learn a new musical skill in the process.


Debbie said...

Sounds like a good deal to me! You'll both benefit.

Julie Wright said...

how totally cool that you have the ability to inspire that way! Sounds like a fun adventure. I can't play anything but the radio . . . I wish I had that talent of music.

Anna Maria Junus said...

Count yourself fortunate that you can afford to do this and that your parents were able to give you piano lessons.

So is there going to be a family band?

Heather B. Moore said...

The challenge sounds awesome! What a great motivation--I guess you'll have to learn guitar :)

Josi said...

You're such a good mom--I could never do this, I lack the patience (and the talent :-)

Jenn said...

I just recently took on the task of teaching 3 of my kids the piano. A couple of them have taken piano from a teacher in the neighborhood, but events conspired and I decided to go for it. And so far it's going well. Good luck to you on that!

As far as learning the guitar in order to motivate your daughter, I think that's a great way to go! Sounds like a win-win. :D

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