Saturday, April 13, 2013
L is for Lessons
I didn't grow up in a home that contained musical instruments. We had a stereo and lots of my parent's LPs: Zeppelin, Paul Simon, The Stones, the Who, Rod Stewart, Phoebe Snow, Linda Ronstadt, Willie Nelson and Judy Collins are the album covers that immediately come to mind. I also was taken to many concerts as a kid, but not out of a sense of exposing me to music as much as not wanting to pay a babysitter. There was a guitar at one point. I might have been twelve when my father, living with his second wife in Santa Fe for five years at that point, bought me an acoustic guitar for Christmas. Extravagant. It served as a constant reminder of what I wasn't: a kid who took music lessons. I couldn't afford to learn how to play it, didn't know how to tune it and it sat, mute, and ultimately was sold when I moved out of my mothers house and left for college. I think I got 50 bucks for it and put it towards my first semester's books, so it served some useful purpose.
My kids started playing instruments when my middle son was in fourth grade and Santa brought a drum kit. His older brother started taking classical guitar soon after. Then the drummer added bass lessons, and his older brother added electric guitar, then suddenly they both played everything you could shred. My daughter was in fourth grade when we inherited my mother-in-law's piano, so I had my first piano player. At one point I was employing four musicians for six lessons a week divided amongst the three kids.
It goes without saying that I feel very fortunate to be able to do this. I am grateful that my kids love playing music and very blessed with the caliber of musician mentors in their lives. It is a language of expression I never had, and I appreciate how it grounds them and enriches their lives and their interactions with others.
This weekend I took my middle son to check out the college he will be attending in the fall. I hung back as he strolled the campus and eventually fell into a conversation with some music students. He became a different person before my eyes. We stopped at a music store on the way back to the hotel and he happily sat for 30 minutes playing a vintage dobro. Total bliss. Harmony.
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