Thursday, November 01, 2001

Play it again. And again. And again.

One disadvantage, I've found, to making a unlateral decision and choosing what instrument your child will learn how to play is that you can't blame them if they don't like it.

If my daughter decides, after five or six weeks of trombone playing, that what she'd really rather do is play the trumpet, I can't say, "No way, missy, you wanted to play the trombone, you begged me to get you a trombone, and now, by golly, you'll play the trombone." Because she never wanted to play the trombone. She'd never heard of the trombone before I picked it for her. And there are nights she never wants to hear of it again.

I still think I made the right decision. I chose the trombone not out of any undying love for "The Music Man," but because the instrumental music teacher suggested it was a generally under-attempted instrument that would make it easier for her to get into band in middle school and high school. Thirty kids in her school learning the flute, three learning the trombone, you do the math. I did, and we have the shiny brass tube-y thing in our house to prove it.

I'd say she's doing surprisingly well with it. After five or six weeks, the notes are starting to sound more like music and less like bleats. She doesn't put up too much of a fuss about practicing. But she thinks the trumpet would be smaller, lighter, easier. The trombone hurts her thumb. It's heavy and clumsy.

I tell her that every child hates the instrument they're practicing at the time, and there would be something about the trumpet she didn't like, too. I myself once threw a flute across the room. Hating practicing is normal, and in time she'll come to hate it less.

Is that the way to instill a deep and abiding love for music, or what?

No comments: