She Says… ‘Tar

Owen has always had a penchant for all things musical. Remember his emotional piano playing? And his high-pitched singing in the bath? I’ve been singing to him since before he even had ears. These days singing is the #1 way to stop him mid-tantrum or turn his frown upside down. Also the way du jour of getting him to do something he doesn’t want to do (aka changing his diaper or getting in the carseat). Recently he has started singing along with little “doo doo doo”s and “bah bah”s. Complete with head bobbing, drumming, bouncing, spinning, and even putting his arms up over his head like a ‘rina (ballerina).

We’re currently doing a Music Together class on Mondays and it is easily the highlight of his week. He loves circle time, playing instruments (especially the drums), singing and moving with the music and being silly with the other kids. But what he loves most of all? When the teacher plays the ‘tar. Guitar, that is.

Back in high school I went through the requisite “I’m going to learn to play the guitar” phase that most do. I had a boyfriend who played a lot of guitar at the time and we went guitar shopping for an eternity before we found the one I was sure I was going to play all day, every day for the rest of my life. (A big thank you to my mother for supporting this fleeting passion and buying it for me, even if she knew it would probably end up in my attic someday). Alas, I never played enough to make callouses that lasted or to get very good. The perfectionist in me won out and I lost interest after awhile. Still, it came to college with me and I spent many a night listening to other people play it in my room. Since then, the guitar has been collecting dust in various spots around our house until Owen recently picked it up.

Now it is his favorite toy.

He’s inspired Benjamin and I to pick it up again ourselves. We’re pretty rusty, but hey, The Wheels on the Bus (someone’s favorite song… I won’t say whose) is only 2 chords! And Owen doesn’t seem to mind mistakes at all. He runs over and shouts, “‘Tar! ‘Tar! Hold it.”

And the latest phrase du jour, “Oh-tur”, which means Owen’s turn. He’s getting really good at the concept of taking turns, except it always seems to be Oh-tur…

I don’t know yet which instrument he will land on (drums? piano? singing? all of the above?), but I would put money on the fact that music is going to play a huge part in Owen’s life. We’re planting the seeds now.

Did you play an instrument growing up? Did you love it or did your parents have to force you to practice? Will you try to encourage your kids to take instrument lessons?

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5 responses to “She Says… ‘Tar

  1. I played the violin for 8 years and hated it with the fiery power of a thousand suns.

    So no, I won’t be forcing my kid to stick to an instrument like my parents did.

    Thanks for stirring up that repressed rage, haha

  2. Yes! Hubby and I met in college band, and my parents met in high school band, and my grandparents met in…oh nevermind my grandma played flute and grandpa played football. My mom asked me if I wanted to learn piano and I told her “no”. Biggest regret to date. I play trumpet, baritone, and handbells. Just like Owen, Blaine loves music so far too! I will simply kick his butt if he doesn’t want to learn an instrument someday. 😉

  3. My kids loved Music Together, too, and it definitely made me bring out my similarly-under-used guitar. I picked up a bit of guitar in high school and college. I was already a string player and knew a reasonable amount of music theory, so “understanding” the guitar wasn’t a problem. I just didn’t really have the coordination or the drive to become any good.

    Music was a huge part of my life, especially in high school and college. I started out a music education major, and could have happily spent the entire day in orchestra rehearsal. NOT in the practice room. I was a TERRIBLE practicer, which is part of the reason my music major didn’t last long. I haven’t played my bass regularly since 2005, sadly. I’d love to join another orchestra some day, but fitting in rehearsal times isn’t too high on my list of priorities for now.

    I am thinking about trying to start my kids on the piano sometime in the next year. I won’t force them into it right now if they REALLY don’t want to, and I won’t make them do it year after year if they hate it. But I feel like it’s such an important basic literacy and it’s really important to me. They can pick another instrument later on, or decide it ultimately isn’t their thing. But they will, if I have any say in the matter, have at least some basic understanding and appreciation of music that goes beyond the radio and iTunes.

  4. Singing the “ABC” song is still a surefire way to stop Wes’s tantrums mid-scream…and has been since he was a wee bub. He still doesn’t talk much, but he’ll happily “sing along” to several favorites…thank goodness for music! When I used to write grant for arts programming I came across study after study about the importance of all forms of art in a child’s development, so you’re doing Owen huge favors indulging his love of the ‘tar, even if he doesn’t end up singing/dancing/playing an instrument!

  5. @Kara, Yikes, shouldn’t have stirred the pot 🙂

    @christy, It’s in his blood, for sure! He’ll be a one man band.

    @Goddess in Progress, Totally agree about music being a basic literacy. I took piano for 6 years and voice for 4, and when I graduated high school people in my class would have told you I was going to be on Broadway someday. Musical theater was my passion and I strongly considered going to a performing arts college. Glad I took a different route, for many reasons, but I couldn’t agree more that I will encourage Owen to learn music from a young age. If he chooses not to continue it; his loss! Those guys who can play guitar get all the girls, anyway. I’m interested to hear how lessons with the twins go!

    @Janelle, Yep, I hear you. Thank goodness for the distracting power of music. I couldn’t agree more with the research you mentioned — at this point there’s no downside to “pushing” him into music as far as he wants to go.

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