Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In which we ponder music and tone deafness

They owe their musical abilities to the genes of their non-musical father. Not exactly tone deaf, more lacking in any innate music sense. Laura can't follow a tune and rarely remembers the words to songs. Owen has got the rhythm of a tap dancing goat on coffee beans, God bless him. That doesn't stop them from loving music.

We started them in the Music For Young Children programme a couple of years ago. The MYC thing is excellent, covering everything from notes to music appreciation in an engaging way aimed at their age levels. Laura made it through a couple of years but just couldn't keep up. That's alright. I got over it and she has a fair understanding about music so that if she should choose to pick it up in the future, she won't be completely clueless.

Owen made it through to the end. Today is music day and he is working towards doing his preliminary theory exam in a month. Wow! Who knew?! It's not the piano part that is his forte. That boy loves his theory. It is full of logic and math principles - right up his alley. He plays poorly but his music teacher is very understanding. However, he loves music! He probably "gets it" in a different way than most people do, appreciating the patterns, pointing out facts about musicians and recognizing music styles.

We went to the NAC Family Concert Series on the weekend. Owen sat riveted, listening and watching the orchestra play. Laura giggled with her cousin and watched the dancers. They both get something out of it, even if they can't carry a tune. I am fine with this.

Sure, it would be great to have kids that could sing and play Christmas carols that seems somewhat recognizable. That ain't happening. Meanwhile, they like music. They participate in the school choirs, sing along poorly with CDs and tolerate their mother belting out show tunes. Who knows what the future holds but I do know I don't have to save up for Julliard. That works for me.


  1. "Tap dancing goat on coffee beans", snort! It's funny, 'cause it's true! Ah, lots of people have led perfectly productive lives while not being able to carry a tune in a bucket.

  2. Bibliomama stole my comment! The goat on coffee beans phrase is brilliant. I'm still giggling.

    And overall, I just loved this post. It's so warm and happy and loving and...musical. Your kids are so delightful!