Passing along the joy of music

This weekend, I picked up a pretty nice guitar for my kids.  I feel quite fortunate in how this guitar came into our life, an “anonymous” donation following a silent auction when I watched the price climb higher than I could afford to bid at the time. You know who you are…. thank you!!

It’s been in Daniel’s hands for the last couple of hours, and he’s already learned a few chords, and sounds not bad for the first day.  Ben was playing it earlier today, and looked very natural with it strapped around him, leaning back in the hammock and noodling around on the frets until he found a sound that worked for him.   They each have their own approaches, and I want them to discover for themselves, in their own way, how it works.

They seem to have acquired the “music bug” from me – we’ve been singing in the car together for years and lately, we can even make three-part harmonies work.  Both Daniel and Ben have taken up the saxophone for band, and Stephen sings like an angel.  But I’ve never pushed them to practice, and never put them in formal music lessons.  I went down that road myself when I was a kid, and as much as I loved music, I really didn’t enjoy lessons all that much. And I certainly hated practicing – I would much rather “play”.

This attitude followed me into motherhood.  With two ADHD boys (out of three boys altogether), I was afraid that forcing the discipline of practice on the kids would make music into just another “chore”.  I figured if it was really important to them, they would find music and it would draw them in.

I’m pleased to report that, thanks to modern technology, this approach is working!  The boys are used to finding out pretty much everything they want to know on the Internet, so the first thing Daniel did when he picked up the guitar was pick up the netbook as well, and look for the chords for his favourite song.  We have lyrics and charts galore at our disposal, and videos of the best musicians for technique.   We can listen and play stuff back until we’ve got the sound “right”.  We can even record our efforts and see how they sound.

Now Daniel would like to learn more about composition.  He’s got ideas in his head that he can’t get out… yet.  But I figure the answer is probably here online somewhere.

What discoveries are happening in your home that have been made easier with computers?