Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sherwood Conservatory & Daddy's Trumpet

Steve played the trumpet when he was around 12 and the guitar since he was 15. I can play the piano a little; I took six years of lessons and learned a lot on my own, but I haven't played for about 17 years now. It kind of makes me feel a little sad sometimes, almost like I wasted talent somehow. It's not like I could never go back to it some day, but as for now we don't own a piano, and it's hard with the kids. I just don't have the desire to put in the time.

Our kids love music. I've written about Jared's drum obsession. I think he'll go crazy if he doesn't get a drum set for his birthday; he asks about it almost every single day. Alexa loves to sing. She'll put different CD's in the player and listen for over an hour at a time.

I 've never wanted to push the kids into taking music lessons.  I've had a homeschool mom tell me I should put the kids in Suzuki lessons when they turn 4, but if they don't even seem excited about an instrument at that point, why should I go through the trouble of taking them to lessons and fighting with them over practicing (something I never want to do)?  I figure if they want lessons or to play an instrument, they'll ask someday. As for now, we just try to provide as many opportunities for them to touch real instruments, and see real musicians.

Recently, Steve brought up his old trumpet and played for the kids. They, of course, would rather try to play than listen to him most of the time.

We went to Sherwood Conservatory's Open House for the second time. Last year, the kids really, really enjoyed the instrument petting zoo and the wonderful jazz trio concert, running back and forth in front of the stage.

This year wasn't as great as last year, but still it gave the kids an opportunity to try out the different instruments. We started out the day watching a short concert put on by the Suzuki violin students in the Level 1 and 2 books. I think the kids liked it, although they became a little squirmy towards the end. Now, if there would have been drums and more variety, their eyes would have been glued to the stage, especially Jared.

We headed upstairs after the concert, where the kids ran right for the instruments. The big favorites this year were the violin, upright bass and saxophone.

We could have sat in on a few classes, but since we were going to Steve's sister's for dinner that evening, we cut out early. I am really looking forward to the warmer weather and concerts in the park.

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