When you have a child that has struggled with everything external, you rejoice when others “get” them.
We have a tradition in our family of listening to “iTunes” radio while we drive. It means we are not listening to the same music over and over, and we often find new favorite songs. Last school year we had a 45 minute drive to and from school. With three boys in the car mama had to find some way to stay sane.
My boys loved listening to Disney radio on iTunes radio because they knew most of the songs. We would play “Name that tune” and try to guess the name of the song, or the movie the song was from, or what character sang it, or what was happening in the movie/show at that time. My oldest really enjoyed when Cruella De Vil from 101 Dalmatians came on. He would talk about how great that would sound if he could play it. He said it sounded like a really tough piece to play. I encouraged him to ask his teacher. Last year he did not believe he could ask her, or play it. This year, I again encouraged him, and he went for it. One month into lessons, his teacher found the sheet music for him. He has loved learning it, and has until June to perfect it as he and she have already decided he will do it for the recital.
Why is this important?
Because my oldest has sensory integration disorder, and the fact that he can even play piano is wonderful. the sound was a sound that bothered him years ago. Also because his teacher takes in his sometimes quirky requests and embraces them. She knows her students and is always willing to find a way to make learning piano interesting for them. This means that my boys enjoy piano lessons and practice because they love the music they are playing.
Music is so important for learning because it is a whole other dimension for my boys. They get to use many senses all at once to create music. They are learning a skill they will never regret by learning to read music. I feel that they are learning to become better thinkers as the problem solving music involves, the quick thinking, and the physical repetition helps them to grow. I also enjoy hearing them play as I know how hard it can be, and I am amazed at what they are capable of.
The have other skills as well. They run track, and cross country, read books, color/create, do origami, and play video games (full disclosure), but we often forget that there are other dimensions to learning. We need to remember that their interests are important to encouraging continued growth. They can grow from the opportunities we present them.
All of these help our children to grow…all of them.
And for your viewing pleasure, my oldest attempting to play this very difficult piece. Practice makes perfect only if we keep correcting and trying!