- Vivian Chang Freiheit
never too late?
Just glanced at the clock and am astonished. My son has been at the piano for over 3 hours. In these lazy afternoons before school starts, and being in a town where he has yet to make friends, I have usually found my son with his nose in a book after lunch or going off to read new books at the local bookstore. But daily since arriving to MD on Sunday, and for increasingly longer sessions on the bench, I have been floored to hear him relentlessly noodling at the piano. He is figuring out chord progressions and singing/rapping above them with non words, banging out tunes and harmonizing with single notes and chords. He is obviously enjoying himself, but he hasn't had a lesson in 10 years!
This time, though, I've been smart and have said nothing. No correcting, no suggestions, no interfering in any way. Well, until I casually walked by the piano and told him I was going to the store, and could he think of anything we need? (No.) And by the way, I added in the most non-chalant way I could muster, did you know that I can sign you up for piano lessons easily and for very little cost at the new school I'm working at? ("Really?" he replied as he kept playing and didn't look up, "but I'd rather study with you.")
Shocked, I wanted to laugh out loud. You've got to be kidding me!! I wanted to exclaim but instead remained quiet. I had come to the conclusion, long ago, that I had beaten the love of music out of my son because I had tried to teach him piano myself. And now this is what he says?
"Obviously you should find someone else to teach him," hubby advised when I called him to share this funny story. He has an amazing ear and should have learned to play the piano properly, my husband had heard me lament over the years, I ruined everything and should have never tried to teach him myself!
Coming home and seeing my son still at the piano, I searched for some books in my shelves: Book 2 of Dozen a Day, folk tunes for the advanced beginner, a couple of books with arrangements of pop songs that would be too hard for him but possibly motivating. What he'd really find interesting - and what I don't have - is some easy progressions and jazz/blues tunes. I put what I had on the empty music stand before him as he continued to play and just let him be. I won't teach him but will look for a teacher for him. You know, just in case. In the meantime, we'll see where this all goes.