As I sit here at my computer, Bria and Joel are playing a game together. I feel pretty confident in saying that it isn't likely that your husband plays this particular game with your children, although I won't rule it out entirely. This game consists of Joel taking Bria's violin and playing a Christmas tune on it, and then handing it over to Bria to see if she can repeat it.
You should know that Joel may be an orchestra teacher/professor, but he is not a violinist. And yet, he plays the instrument fairly decently when you take into account that his primary instrument is the trumpet. You should also know that he has two of the world's best ears, and though Bria has my unfortunate eyes, she also has his blessed ears. (I do not have great musical ears, it's something I've had to work really, really hard at, and was the bane of my existence in college.)
Guess what? He's gone through Frosty the Snowman, Away in the Manger, Winter Wonderland, The First Noel, Carol of the Bells and several others and Bria has been able to play them all back with minimal mistakes, and also in the same key that Joel played them in. She amazes me daily. For instance, the other morning during her practice hour she kept asking me what song she should play and I started throwing her for loops and saying things I knew she hadn't learned on the violin. Just hymns and Primary songs mostly, but she was able to play them all without a problem and without stopping to figure out notes. Even when I thought I had her by asking her to play Turkey in the Straw, she totally came through (and now plays it nonstop, I might add). I must say that it's a good thing she inherited my lack of focus and organization, or she'd be some crazy prodigy violinst playing in Carnegie Hall next week. Oh, wait, maybe that's a bad thing?
Chloe started on the violin at age 3, just like her sister, but she was a spectacular failure. Not because she couldn't do it, but because she wouldn't do it. The fact that she refused to learn Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star after a year plus of lessons is proof of this child's amazing stubborn streak. So, we quit. I wasn't happy about it, but we finally felt that it was a giant waste of money we didn't have in the first place. She showed some interest in the piano, so I started to teach her a little myself and she enjoyed it, but we butted heads quite often about musical principles, so we stopped. Because she was wrong, and I was right, but she refused to accept it.
Well, she's been pestering me to take lessons again, so I found a teacher and we started up on Tuesday. I'm crossing my fingers that she will think her teacher is amazing and wonderful and believe everything she says and be excited about practicing and not refuse to play things just because. So far, so good. She was excited to do her theory worksheets and couldn't wait to practice something, even if it's just playing all the C's and D's on the keyboard. Oh, and she adores her teacher so far.
So, today, I'm thankful for music. It has blessed my life immensely, in many different forms. I'm thankful for the opportunities I've had since living here to perform a bit more, simply because it is a small, but artsy, town. I'm excited to solo with the Messiah chorus this December (all y'all better come see if you live within an hour of Cedar) and also to solo with the women's chorus at the Christmas concert (ahem! See above). I'm glad that my children also love music (even if they can be stubborn about it) and have been blessed with musical talent.
I can't wait to see what kinds of music we can make as a family as our children grow a bit older. We will have so much fun!