Thursday, May 18, 2006
the joy of music
This scene was just a bonus gift, a case of being in the right place at the right time. I would not have seen this if I had not been driving Starflower and Mr. Attitude home from Starflower's first piano recital.
She has been playing probably the shortest time of anyone on the program, but she did well. She got lost during her first song, one she had played over and over at home, but I understand perfectly well the performance anxiety that was going through her mind! Unexpected things happen, and that's why actual performance experience is so important, not that the anxiety will ever completely go away , but with experience you learn to handle it when it happens. I still start shaking uncontrollably sometimes when I play a solo at church.
There was the usual assortment of students of different ages and abilities, some who hammered on the keys with no inflection, like a robot, and some who nearly took my breath away. One girl in particular, who was maybe ten years old, played with unexpected maturity, with an innate ability to capture the expression of the music. She could have made "Twinkle Little Star" sound wonderful. I hope Starflower was as inspired as I was.
Some people are gifted at music, many have gifts that lie elsewhere. But I think it is important for children to have the opportunity to discover their gifts through experience. Not everyone is going to be Yo-yo Ma or Edgar Meyer, but I think there are great benefits from going through the discipline of learning to play a musical instrument. At the very least, one learns that not all music has to be recorded and prepackaged. And I wish more of us could re-learn to listen to and appreciate homemade music.
I asked Calvin when we got home if he would like to learn piano, but he reminded me that I was going to teach him guitar. I am going to commit to a half hour lesson with him weekly.