Music is something I grew up with. My brother was a talented brass player, and so I had to do it as well. While I enjoyed the playing and the performing, I wasn’t dedicated enough to do the tedious hours of practise. I am resentful to a certain point of what the weekends lost to band practise and concerts took away from my growing up, but on the other hand I am grateful to the experiences I gained, the people I met, and the place I visited as a direct result of the music. I do wish I had kept it up to some point, but it was never going to be the be all and end all of my life, so when a career came a long, the music went, and I never looked back.
That is, I never looked back until the last few years when the boys have shown an interest in music, and I wish I could still play well enough to teach them more than the basics. But, I can teach them how to read music and how to keep time, and with those tools, if they want to take it further, we can get them help.
At Christmas, old person bought them a keyboard. It is brilliant, and I have sat down at it occasionally to see how little I remember!!! The boys love bashing at it, but have shown no real interest in wanting to learn how to play properly. That is until a couple of weeks back when D insisted on a lesson before he would go to bed one night. Rather than have a row at bed time, I showed him some basic things. He was in his element.
Both boys have excellent timing and rhythm, so music should come quite easily to them. There has been a lot written about the logic of music being good for those with autism, so if it is something that might help to give a focus to the brain then its worth pursuing to some degree.
The only instrument taught at their school is the violin, and as a brass player, I could not allow a scraper into my home with a happy heart, so neither boys will be getting that option! I just don’t think I could bare the sound of someone standing on a cat’s tail for hours on end during practising! I am though on the look out for a cornet for D as he can do amazing triple tonguing without an instrument, so if he could do that with a mouthpiece in place, he could really enjoy playing. Time will tell on this one!
Today though, was all about practising a piece to play to his Daddy tonight on the piano. In one of the old music book we have, he found the theme from Star Wars. He of course wanted to learn it. I have put stickers on the keys, and written the notes names against them in the book. He has done really well with his two fingers. Of course he is getting very frustrated when it isn’t going perfectly but, he is actually sticking with it. He has his tantrum about never being able to do it because he is rubbish, and then he goes back and tries again. This just shows how much he wants to achieve with this. Other things he has tried and doesn’t get right first time result in mega meltdowns and him refusing to go near the activities again. I do think he has learned it by heart rather than following the notation, but does that really matter at this stage? I think not, he is enjoying himself and that is what really matters.
His practise has even had M telling him how brilliant he is. M actually asked where the tune was on the pre-recorded settings! I am proud of M for encouraging his brother in this way, not something we normally hear!!!!
The first performance by the naked piano man will be tonight when his Daddy comes home. I know he will do brilliantly, but I also know that he will get angry with himself as he expects nothing less than perfection, something he has to learn is rarely achievable, and to accept that as long as he is doing his best we can ask no more of him. But perfection is always worth striving for!