Friday, October 5, 2012

Music "Class"

I'm embarrassed to tell you how long I've held off on my deeply-desired music lessons for the girls (although if you can remember the guitar recital that signaled the end of Willow's formal lessons at the age of five, you'll know exactly how long I've held off, sigh).

For one, Willow is fiddly with adults, and I wasn't convinced that it was worth paying for lessons that she might loathe. For another, the kiddos' schedules are always my version of "packed," in that I simply don't like them to do more than one or two activities per season, combined with playgroups and playdates and our weekly volunteer gig; I like our at-home time! And for a third, music lessons are pricey! Worth the money, absolutely, but also easy to put off when finances are perennially tightly budgeted.

It took me a silly long time, and more than one conversation with a dear mom friend, a hard-core DIYer who has never put her kids in a scheduled activity but instead gives them things like karate DVDs to do at home (I'm waving at you, Betsy!), to realize that, you know, we could teach ourselves our instruments at home!

Bad habits? Who cares! The "proper" way to play an instrument was invented by somebody at some point, and I simply watched Youtube videos of people playing amazing music by using conventional instruments in unconventional ways until I felt better about the fact that we won't be learning piano on a keyboard with weighted keys (ours is from Goodwill!), and that the kids' violin (also second-hand) probably isn't perfectly sized to each of them.

Instead, we're going to have fun!

I've set the kids to practicing strumming on the guitar (when they can manage to pluck only one string at at time, we'll try a song), and while Sydney asks every day to do bowing on my adult-sized violin (their small violin needs a new bridge--oops!), Willow has taken off on the recorder, which is so satisfyingly easy to teach and to learn.

And she loves it. Doesn't fight me about it. Comes to me to teach her new things on it.

And yes, I do know how we sound in this video that Matt took of us playing and singing together. But again... who cares? We're having fun!

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