Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Musical Wumpkin

Mr W is the nickname I use for my son Zach. After he was born, they brought him into the room and I said something like, "there's my little wumpkin". Or maybe it was pumpkin, but no matter, wumpkin stuck and he, as of this writing, will still answer to it.

He's an only child, and spends his time equally between his dad's house and my house; we all live in the same town so this usually isn't too much of a problem. He does well in school, and given the choice, he'd play on the computer or his handheld DS game thingy for the remainder of his free time. OK, that's not entirely true, but his dad and I (mostly I) felt that he should develop some other interests.

I did not come from musical people. This might be revisionist history, but I remember coming home in 3rd grade and wanting to play the clarinet. And my parents said no. As a parent of a kid who to date hasn't shown the initiative to say "I'd like to try X" I'm still surprised I got turned down. But my parents weren't musical either, so they didn't have a basis to know what they were getting into.

And, neither do I, but I'd like Mr W to have some musical background. A friend's son takes lessons from the terrific music director at our church, so I contacted him and was put on a wait list for private piano lessons. I think Mr W would benefit from the lessons, but looking back, I don't think he's ready to dive in. And, while Mr W's interest right now is an electronic keyboard, those lessons' point is to make him into a piano player.

This was a bit frustrating for me because I don't know what makes a good music teacher or program. I want him to be engaged and like it, despite the fact that he's got to practice.

And then, by chance, I found the place and program.

I was driving by our sad excuse for a mall (vacancy rate = 50%) and saw a colorful sign that said "Foundation Music School". Yup, I was attracted by the sign (hey look! color!). I looked at their website and they've got a program for kids 6-9 (Mr W is 8) that introduces them to piano through aural and visual means, and they play games and imitate sounds. I talked to one of the teachers yesterday, and she was enthusiastic and from the conversation, I think this would be a great introduction to music for the kid.

Phew! It's odd how chance played into this, but that's how it goes sometimes.

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Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.