I’ve done a fair bit of reading lately about kids learning to play music, why it’s valuable, how it should be approached, how to choose an instrument, etc…and we have posted some of the ones we like here on the blog, on our Facebook and Twitter. My 6 year old daughter wants to learn the violin. I’d rather steer her towards piano because in theory it’s great for…well learning music theory. I have given her one mediocre lesson with the help of a learn piano app.
Our house is full of music and dancing (most days) and occasionally I pull out the acoustic and self-indulgently rock out some covers for the suffering fam-fans. Having said all this, I still don’t feel like we’ve gone over and above on the music education prep. My son did a term at one of those toddler music classes but on the occasions I attended, I found it somewhat underwhelming (although to be fair, I’m not the target market).
So when, in two separate walks/jogs last week, I passed the sound of people practicing scales on the flute and I think the oboe, I took it as a cosmic sign to finally get things moving and practice what I preach (the latter, my wife’s words). Some of the articles out there recommend just throwing instruments together in a room and letting them play. So tonight my 3 year old boy and I pulled together everything that resembled a music-creating object in the house (except the precious Maton) and created the beta “Music Corner” in the play room (complete with MUSIC CORNER sign in case of any doubt).
Within a minute he was walking around the house, belting out the harmonica like Dylan so I guess day 1 of the experiment is a success. Do I trust the little ones with my Classical guitar from Granada that travelled on my back around Europe for a year in 2000?
UPDATE 1: I put out the Granada guitar, my son started strumming with his toes. Have communicated that this thing is precious and toes aren’t allowed.
UPDATE 2: Found a Stylophone in my old band case. Put batteries in and it was a huge hit. They’re now fighting over that and the harmonica and no-one’s looking like going to sleep.
UPDATE 3: Having seen a recorder and triangle for $5 at K-mart, I think we can afford to add to the Music Corner fairly regularly. They’ve requested a drum as the next addition…
One last thing: I just happened upon some nicknames for the harmonica and thought they were worth sharing. They are: hand reed, mouth organ, mouth harp, Hobo Harp, French harp, Reckless Tram, harpoon, tin sandwich, blues harp, Mississippi saxophone, licking stick, pocket sax, toe pickle, ten-holed tin-can tongue twister, blues burger, moothie or harp. Who knew?