Friday, November 19, 2010

Music at our house

I thought I should clarify my last post regarding all the musical instruments. Yes, we currently have a lot more instruments than we have musicians. Actually, the only one of my children who has taken music lessons out of the home is Lily, who has taken violin, piano, and cello lessons (although not all at the same time, I was trying to give her a feel for both string instruments so she could choose herself what she wants to study; I would like all my children to have some basic piano competency.) I tried to start Luke in violin lessons last fall, but he wasn't quite ready to stay still and pay attention. I play violin and viola, and especially enjoy playing in groups when the opportunity arises. Most of the instruments in my house are not in current use--I basically have one in each child's size, and one in each future size because I found instruments I liked at a good price. And yes, I have duplicates of a couple--because I found something better later! I'm working on finding new homes for the duplicate sizes, though I sometimes loan an instrument to a friend to help them get their child started--I think the whole world benefits when more children are exposed to music.
I have a hard time explaining why music is so important to me. I am far from being the most musically accomplished of my own family, and am definitely not professional musician caliber! I always loved music, but lacked the discipline to practice consistently. I still love music, and still lack discipline--I guess some things never change! I especially enjoy ensemble playing. From the time I was 7 or 8 my siblings and I played trio and quartet music together, especially at Christmastime. As more children joined in (I am third of ten children) the ensemble grew. At home we stuck to violin, viola, and cello, although in high school I enjoyed playing flute in the band (we had a really awful band, but it was fun anyway). In college I played in a couple of orchestras and for one semester in a small celtic ensemble. I have since found opportunities to play in community and church orchestras, and very much enjoy them.
So when I think of music for my own family, I imagine a whole family enjoying making music together. I suppose that is why all the various sizes of small instruments have been so tempting for me--somehow I feel that if I at least provide an instrument (yes, even for the baby...) I can make that vision a reality. If any of my children become serious musician that will have to be through their own drive and ambition--if that is their calling they will know it. What I want to do is make music a part of our lives, part of our family, something that we can share with each other and with those around us.

1 comment:

Maile said...

I think that is an absolutely beautiful vision. For our family, it was singing - my mom would gather me and my siblings around the piano and "make us" sing. She volunteered us to sing in sacrament meetings and at our own baptisms. This was at times mortifying and at times annoying, but now that I'm grown up I'm so glad she did it. A number of the songs I sing to my own kids now at bedtime are songs my mom taught us and I'm now teaching my own kids. I love it! And I would love to get all of us involved more in music making with instruments. I played piano long ago and Peter used to play violin but I'll admit we haven't made it a priority to keep up with them. I'd like to change that and I've been trying to figure out how to fit piano practicing in (although we only have an inexpensive keyboard right now).