30 August 2007

Music Man

From well before he was born, Jack has loved music.

When we went to circles where there was drumming while I was pregnant, Jack would "dance" as long as the drumming lasted. When we were around music loud but less rhythmic music, he would be very, very still while the music played and then he'd wriggle and thump until the next piece started.

When Jack was four months old, we took him to his first concert. Fruit, an indie band from Rod's hometown was playing at the Ark in Ann Arbor, and so we all went together. I was startled at his response -- he was so little that I expected him to sleep through much of it, and I had expected to walk outside for at least part of the concert. But Jack was just mesmerized for the entire first set! It's hard to say what he was experiencing or thinking, but his eyes never left the stage and he squirmed anytime he couldn't see. He also kicked and squirmed between pieces until he was satisfied that the music wasn't stopping. (When we took him again the next time Fruit visited a year later, Mr. Jack was more interested in singing along than in listening, so we went outside and listened through the speakers.)

Jack plays music most days. He turns on the stereo or he seeks out music on his computer and then he dances, or he brings out his percussive instruments and plays along. He has a little electronic keyboard attached to a book of music. You know, the kind with dots to represent the keys required to play the song... He plays that and sings along, trying over and over again to get the right key with his voice and the right rhythm with the keyboard. His persistence is amazing.

Given all this, Rod and I had been considering getting Jack music lessons. Jack's Goddess Mother, Dame, suggested Suzuki. She had taken Suzuki violin as a child and thought it extremely worthwhile. Interestingly, both Dame and Rod felt that piano was more useful for all the benefits that music offers a growing brain. (I had wanted to learn to play since I was a small child and first discovered the piano in my Aunt Elsie's parlour!)

We looked into it, but Suzuki teachers don't consider an electronic keyboard "good enough", so we figured it'd be a while before we could afford a real piano and then the $3000 a year + for the lessons. Mind you, they sound wonderful and we are going to find a way to do it -- but maybe not this summer.

Then, yesterday, Rod and Jack went to give a hand to an acquaintance who found herself in, shall we say, an unfortunate domestic situation. Somehow or other, she came to give Jack her piano. Really! She just gave it to him -- all we have to do is move it! Jack was in tears at having to leave "his" beautiful piano behind. He was blue most of the evening, and last night he spent a long time working with his tiny keyboard and singing.

We called around and found that we can get it moved just just slightly less than the amount covered by the unexpected check from our insurance company, which currently resides in Rod's wallet. So, of course, we're going to do it.

I'm not sure where the money for the lessons is going to come from, but I have a hunch that as with anything else Jack wants this badly, it's going to work out somehow.


  1. Jack has an amazing talent for manifesting the things he has his heart set on. I had not actually discussed piano with him, however he had heard Misti and I discussing it in terms of learning music... and that was enough. He obviously set his heart on one, and when our friend said "anyone need a piano?" I saw my exhausted boy stop dead in his tracks, looking at me expectantly.

    I mentioned to out friend that I could use one, and at that point my ever-patient boy was starting to melt. When we started to leave without the piano, he melted down and refused to leave "his" piano. He'd have slept with it if he could.

    Of course, he had seen us moving all sorts of things all day that were, in his mind, unimaginably huge and heavy... why not a piano?

  2. Wow, that is good fortune!I hear a piano is one of the best ways to really learn musical expression. I'm sure jack will thrive with it when lessons start!

  3. We're amazed at our good fortune, too, Kim! Thanks for stopping by!


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