Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Piano Lessons

Lamb 1 began piano lessons the end of September. He has done so well that a few weeks ago I had to buy him some more books because the beginner book was too easy for him. Each week he practices out of his beginner book, a beginner hymn book, and a beginner Christmas songs book.

Practicing for piano lessons two weeks ago was awful for him and for me. I think it was the first time it was difficult for him, not easy to just sit down and practice what was assigned. When we went to lessons last week the teacher spent extra time answering all his questions and making sure he was ready to practice "Away in a Manger" for his recital on Dec. 16.

I expected this week to go better after the teacher spent extra time with him. On Friday he kept asking me questions and when I didn't know the answers he wanted me to look them up on the computer. I didn't understand his questions enough to even look them up. I reminded him I only had 6 weeks of piano lessons and I never had a music theory class. When he calmed down I tried again to answer his questions. I figured out he wanted to know about sharps and flats. I don't think I answered all his questions, but enough that he was satisfied.

On Monday I watched him while he practiced. He had a blank music staff and he composed one line of music. No wonder why he wanted to know about the black keys on the piano! I assumed he was just writing it down. I asked him to play his music he wrote. I was shocked that he could play it. I think all this came from reading biographies of Bach and Beethoven to the boys recently. He also asked me to print off music for "Beethoven's Fifth" and "Ode to Joy" and he started practicing those. (Amazing what you can get online for free, just by typing easy piano sheet music!)

After he played his music then he told me that he wants to learn "O Come O Come Emmanuel" because that is an Advent song and his recital will be during Advent. I asked if he thought he could really learn two songs before his recital and he said he has to because he needs to play an Advent song. I wouldn't be surprised if he does.

He originally started piano lessons because the deal in our family is a year or two of piano lessons and then you are allowed to add or switch to another instrument. He wanted to play trumpet. Last week Lamb 1 told me he just wants to play piano so that he can do well on one instrument. We'll have to wait and see what he thinks next year, but he obviously likes piano even after a week that was difficult for him to practice.

Ram and I think that Lamb 3 is smarter than Lamb 1. What am I going to do when Lamb 3 gets to piano lessons if Lamb 1 is composing music less than 3 months after he began lessons? Lamb 2 is anxious to begin lessons in January.

I'm not trying to brag about Lamb 1. I just wanted to blog about how I'm shaking my head, that I was not expecting this part of homeschooling.

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