Monday, September 10, 2012

Music in the Soul

"Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent."  Victor Hugo 

I know it is like this in most of the country, but here in Texas, sports reign supreme...particularly football.  I know there are many parents who put their children in sports when they are just little things to encourage an active lifestyle, introduce them to sports, and encourage them to have fun.  But I have seen many lately who put them in sports early to start grooming them to be athletes, whether the children enjoy it or not.

I don't think there is anything wrong with encouraging your child to play sports.  I do have issues with parents who push their children in sports to the point that the children no longer have fun.  

Flower has played many sports in her 9 years; volleyball, soccer, basketball, and swimming.  She has excelled at some, and at others, well, not so much.  Flower and any sport that involves a ball hurling at her face don't usually go well together!  She and I talked about it not long ago, and I asked her how she felt about sports.  She said they were fun, but if she never played another sport again, she wouldn't be sad.  I asked her what her favorite thing about life was and her response was "Music, mom.  I love music.  I always have music in my head, and it will never go away."

A nickel on Flower's wrist, to encourage her to hold her hands correctly.

Our family is incredibly musical, so hearing that thrilled me to no end!

She is right, though.  The music is in us.  It isn't something our family plays.  It isn't something we listen to in the car.  It isn't something we sing.  It is something that is so embedded in our souls that we cannot live without it.

Flower's Papa, my dad, bought her a guitar for Christmas last year.  She was thrilled beyond belief, and spends many hours a week sitting in her room practicing.  It works out nicely that her Papa, grandpa, and 3 uncles also play, so if there is ever a question, it can quickly be answered.

Recently, I have found her sitting at the piano, pen and paper in hand.  Not only has she been composing small pieces of music, but also writing words to go along with her compositions.  Not that I am biased, but the words to some of her songs are better written and more clearly thought out than 90% of the music being played today!

I decided it was time for lessons.  I didn't want to push her too early, too much.  I was worried that if I did, she would become burned out, and would no longer enjoy it.  We have her scheduled to begin next week, with a sweet, old lady, who is also excited to begin working with her on not only piano, but also organ!  I also purchased some piano lesson books, and am working with her alone at home.  She is picking up so quickly, and I am so proud of her!  

(As I am writing this, I can hear her in the other room, singing and playing her own musical piece!)

The Mennonites say that teaching a child to sing and play music is as important as teaching them reading and Math, for no matter their path in life, a child will use music to praise God.  Music is in the soul.

What is your family's forte?  (No pun intended!)  How do you encourage your children to be the best at what they do, without causing them to become stressed and lose interest?
Little Man trying his hand at the piano when he was about 2 years old.

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