Monday, November 16, 2009

Question of the Week - Instrumental

We are a musical family. I have numerous posts in which I describe songs we sing, ones we've made up and ones to calm the Pumpkin down. We also sing songs to get the Pumpkin to do things she would otherwise balk at, like cleaning up toys, brushing her teeth or whatever we come up with words for doing.

I guess I thought it was normal to live in a musical. However, over the last few months, I've had a few people comment on how much we sing and how much the Pumpkin sings. She really does sing all the time, and like her parents, she often makes up words and even music. I remember my parents singing all the time, too, although my mom was one of the people who pointed out that the Pumpkin sings all the time, so maybe we didn't sing quite this much when I was a kid.

The Pumpkin also likes to play the various toy instruments we have, including piano/keyboards, one piano with xylophone, drums and maracas. Londo and I both played instruments when we were growing up, and we've always said that our kids will play an instrument. We'll let the pick which instrument, but there will be music lessons. We plan to buy an upright piano for the house by the time the kids are ready to play music.

You see, Londo and I both come from musical families. My mom teaches violin, as her mom did. My mom's dad was a violinist in one of the top symphonies in the country. My mom played cello in a few local orchestras when I was growing up. My sister is in orchestra management and has played flute and piccolo in some orchestras as well. My dad's mom was very musical and had a grand piano and numerous instruments in her house. Londo's mom plays the piano at their church and also has a room devoted to her grand piano and other instruments. Is it any wonder the Pumpkin is such a musical child?

This week's question of the week is really two questions:
1. What instrument (if any) did you play growing up?
2. If you could play any instrument, what would it be?

Here are my answers:
1. I played the violin and piano for years. I also took voice lessons and sang in my high school chorus and chambers group. I tried to teach myself the guitar once, but didn't stick to it.
2. I always wanted to play the harp. My mom always said I could, but I never gave her the final go-ahead to get me one. I wasn't sure I'd stick to it, and it would have been expensive and heavy to lug around. Maybe some day I'll learn it. For now, I can't wait until we can afford a piano for me to brush up on again.

How about you? Are you or were you musical? What instruments did you scratch away on? What instrument do you wish you could play like an expert?


cirquedubebe said...

1. Piano, a little guitar
2. Harp! I decided this after listening to several soundtracks where the harp seemed to make all the difference.

Monkey's grandmother has always pushed music on me and now she's doing the same with him. She' already bought him a small guitar which is fine. I just don't want him to feel pressured to be musical. But we do sing a lot in our house now that he's getting it. We like the Barenaked Ladies Snack Time album and listen to it just about every night.

Cloud said...

1. I played the viola growing up and through graduate school. I also took up the fiddle (Irish) in graduate school. I played the Irish fiddle in a session at a pub pretty religiously up until Pumpkin was born. I miss it, and hope to go back as soon as sleep schedules allow.

2. I wish I could sing well. And I wish I could play the guitar.

Hubby plays piano, but his keyboards are packed up right now because we're out of room.

Our kids are growing up hearing a lot of music, but sadly, not much of it is produced by us.

Justin Rummel said...

While growing up I played Piano/Drums, in College I was Percussion w/ focus on Marimba, today the guitar.

Not so much a new instrument, but either a) play piano better OR just more wind instruments in general. I'm trying to collect a lot of instruments (Sax, Trumpet, Clarinet, Drums) beyond my guitars so if any of the kids want to just pick-up and play... they have plenty of options.

The interesting question is will you force an instrument, at some age? I want to force them to play piano around age 6. I believe it helps to have a musical background.

Karen said...

I played the piano ever so briefly before convincing mom to make me stop. I wish she'd have stuck with her guns on that one.

Becoming Mommy said...

1. I've played flute and piccolo mostly. I've dabbled in guitar, clarinet, saxaphone, oboe, bass clarinet, piano (my fingers are too short), can show (sp?), and voice.
Hubby played percussion instruments.

2. I wish I was more able to play piano. But without taping pencils to my fingers, that's not going to happen. I'd also like to go back and take more guitar lessons.

caramama said...

@la folle maman - I really need to get that Barenaked Ladies CD! Did you know that our favorite kids CD is the one you gave me for the Pumpkin's shower? We all LOVE it!

@Cloud - I remember that you writing that you were playing fiddle again after your Pumpkin was old enough to allow you time. I hope that you get back to it once Petunia is a bit older!

@Justin - Londo and I will insist on the kids taking music lessons. We will let them pick whichever instrument they want. But yes, we will in essence force them to play something. It's a house rule.

@Karen - You've given me hope that my kids won't hate me for making them stick to an instrument (in the future). Maybe they'll even appreciate it!

@Becoming Mommy - You sound like my sister, who was able to pick up any instrument and at least do okay at it. Too bad about the piano. Would a keyboard with smaller keys work?

Becoming Mommy said...

No, it's the spread of the keys. I just can't do a lot of the chords. My sister was/is the musician (professional) as is her husband.
I dabbled; I never said I didn't stink :-).

-goofydaddy said...

1. piano, guitar (6&12 string), bass guitar, mandolin, ukulele, drums, and flute.
2. I wish I learned violin, viola, or cello, and for some reason I'm still intrigued by the banjo. after trying to play the flute for 2 years, I realized woodwinds/brass instruments and I don't get along. though it would be cool to be able to play one really well.

I still play guitar and drums whenever I get the chance. I think I'll politely push piano on Aria in a couple years, maybe sooner. My parents still have the piano I took lessons on for 9 years, and she likes to play it whenever we visit. that's really the easiest instrument to start your musical career. :-)