I told her we barely get to school on time as it is and that if she wanted to stay after school I preferred that she do something that was improving herself instead of holding doors and waiting around.She did not take my answer without tears. But then she decided she wanted to join the band with practice after school every day. I asked her what she wanted to play.
Surely you'd rather play the harp. We have two harps. Wouldn't you like to play the harp? Who else has harps at their fingertips?
We concluded that the draw to both of these activities were the novelty and the social aspect, neither of which were in the realm of harp playing.That's when we took it to our parents. My dad replied in a very succinct email: Playing the harp was your dream. The flute is hers.
Fair enough. I assumed that any daughter of mine would want to play the harp. It's what they've known. But I've learned a very important lesson with children: never assume anything. So, Ryan took her to the music store to get one of the prettiest shiniest instruments around. She has taken to it like, as they say, a fish to water. She's been playing for only 3 weeks and generates some pretty serious sound from it already.
I ordered some Christmas duets: Flute & Harp. Have you ever heard those two instruments together? They are complimentary to one another. She has been practicing non-stop, learning to play new notes for the first time and trying to play up to tempo. I don't know if we will perform for anyone except those under our roof, but we will enjoy and appreciate the process of coming together.
So, I've learned something else: it is more important (and most likely enjoyable) to try to harmonize with your children, because the beauty of a duet, two instruments dancing with each other, learning the nuances of each other creates a performance that you both enjoy, learning to celebrate and respect your differences.
Plus a flute is 1,392 times easier to move around than a harp. Just ask my dad and Ryan.
this is a lovely post full of lovely insights and photos.ReplyDelete
often i have to remind myself of how it feels to be 4 or 2 when assuming they should or will be one way or another. What fun to play duets! hoping to start Leland on violin soon and can't wait :O)
Beautiful! My children and I play duets together on our piano. Such a joy...ReplyDelete
Hi Katy, I tried to post a comment on your last post but I don't know if it ever came up. I have been praying for your (niece? I think) who was bitten by the shark. How is she doing? I didn't save their blog and was just hoping things were going better!ReplyDelete
When i was old enough to be in a music class at school I chose the flute, but mostly because my older brother had. I secretly really wanted to play the violin. Now so many years later while my flute case sits collecting dust I can't help but wonder what would have happened if i had chosen what i wanted instead of following someone else's desire. Glad your little ones have their own desires and that you're choosing to make 'harmony' out of it.ReplyDelete
This is such a wonderful post on parenting! Your Dad hit the nail on the head, so he gets a GREAT PARENT AWARD. But you took it a step further with the duet book. That was a stroke of parenting genius! I am thinking harp and flute together would be magical.ReplyDelete
We recently listened to a harpist who plays for hospice patients. I can only imagine that adding the flute would make that a sound to make the angels sing in sweet harmony!
My nine year old has been learning the harp for almost a year now. As I lug it to school once a week,among the general bustle of children going to school and smile as someone else suggests that a violin would have been easier, I remind myself that I'd far rather hear her practise the harp than the violin! Small price really!ReplyDelete
Very true. There is something to be learned in everything our kids do, though. Even if she had decided to be a safety patrol. My friend's son is in second grade and he has Down syndrome. Every morning, two safety patrols from his school greet him enthusiastically and walk him to class. I can't tell you how important it is to him to feel like he has a friend and for his mom to feel like there are kids out there who will care for her son when she's not around. I think empathy, compassion, and learning about other people who are different from you are great life lessons... Even if she only wanted to do it for the social aspect!ReplyDelete
I LOVE it!!! I have a degree in Flute Performance/Music Education from my undergrad. It is still my favorite instrument. She looks so adorable playing it too!ReplyDelete
So true. My best friend plays the harp, they have two harps at their house ... and her daughter chose the violin. It is MUCH easier to transport, although not quite as light as the flute!ReplyDelete
Growing up in our home you had two choices; piano or clarinet. To me piano was the lessor of two evils I yearned to learn the harp.ReplyDelete
My piano instructor insisted I learn to read music but I prefered to play by ear it was a constant battle.
Two of our children played instruments. They didn't go beyond their school years with the instruments but I do believe both aquired important skills from the instruments. One of our children is a fabricator the other a chef. Both trades require timing, the right degree of ebb and flow and both require patiences in order to produce a good product. Skills that any musical instrument can teach a child.
Someday I will own a harp. My fingers may be too stiff to play but it will be a lovely sight to see.
Be looking foward to some musical videos on the dill blog.
Oh I'm so glad she's loving the flute! I would love to hear your duets sometime! :) PS I did Safety Patrol in fifth grade and it was fun for a while but not when it was cold or raining. I wish I'd had the opportunity to play the harp, but for now I'm content with my piano.ReplyDelete
I hope when my kids ask for advice, I can be as wise as your dad!ReplyDelete
I love your Dad. His words are so true. I must say...I very much appreciate this post. I have a slew of little violins at my home for my crew of 5 (from my younger days) and not a single one has been drawn to them. Sigh. But, I love seeing them "find their own" in their respective musical instruments of choice. Great post. I am anxiously anticipating the name of your son!ReplyDelete
Lovely post and lovely pictures! I don't know where you find the time to do all this... :)ReplyDelete
Greetings from Hamburg, Germany,
It's sounds so exciting! :o)ReplyDelete
how fun! good luck to your daughter - i've played the flute since i was 9 and currently still play in a low-key non-professional symphony. my kids LOVE coming to rehearsal with me and it's fun to see the instruments they're drawn to! (my son - the drums (shoot me now!) and my daughter - the flute, violin or clarinet.) we'll see what pans out as they get older... :) lovely post!ReplyDelete
isn't it a treat to share the music making, real music making with your children? I was so excited when I got to play the accompaniment with my son for his piano lessons. But alas, his will power to last wasn't that long. I accepted that it wasn't his thing. It was hard. Just 1 year. But I can now look forward to my daughter and her musicality!ReplyDelete
Best to your music making and what it gives to your children!
I have no doubt that your children will grow to be strong, confident adults. You know why, because you understand that they are a part of you (and vice versa), but they also stand alone.ReplyDelete
My daughter is a lot like me, but she is also very different. When she does something that I just don't understand I have to remember that while she comes from Chris and I, she is not us. She is Emma, and Emma is God's creation. In that alone she is wonderful. And in my opinion, God did a pretty fine job on both of mine!
I know your other baby Dills will be a great audience for you and Divine's wonderful Christmas performances.
I play the flute and loved it. My mom had us all play the piano and let us choose another instrument of our liking. I chose the flute but soon realized that I could catch on to the harp really easily. Maybe she'll take to both one day. I think that would be cool! Anyway, you are a wonderful parent and I learn so many things from you and your husband and your parents. Thank you for sharing these little things of life! (I don't have the same support around me and I appreciate so much feeling it vicariously. :-)ReplyDelete
My sister is a freelance violinist and my brother-in-law is the newest member of the Canadian brass. I was at Juilliard for two years (double bass major, so I know a little something about lugging huge instruments around!) before I got an injury and my brother played the cello. Music is such an essential part of my family's life, and I can see it will enrich many of your family's memories as well!ReplyDelete
Also, congratulations on your new addition and very best of luck to you!
I so enjoyed hearing about the musical interests/talents in your family.ReplyDelete
My eldest son started playing piano 2 1/2 years ago, I started last year and now my youngest has started as well. It is a lovely thing to learn together and encourage one another!
I also love the harp but am only just exploring music now as an adult and so will stick to piano for the time being. My how I wish there was more time in every day.....
What a beautiful post full of wisdom! And, I'm completely impressed that you play the harp! That is so amazing. I've always thought that would be soooo cool :) I played the clarinet in high school and and the piano...music is great for the soul :)ReplyDelete
I wish her well with her flute playing. I played the flute in secondary school and, like the harp, it's a lovely instrument.ReplyDelete
Very well said!ReplyDelete
I would love to hear those duets sometime! Post a video??? At least on Never Miss a Trick??ReplyDelete
You are a great mom. I played the flute for four years. It is a beautiful instrument. I still have it. I stopped playing for cheerleading in high school though. :)ReplyDelete
such a sweet post!ReplyDelete
Oh Katy, this was a beautiful post. I can't wait to hear Divine play the flute and to hear your duet. You pictured my favorite Christmas song (well one of them, I have so many). Your kids are so talented in their own way. You have an outstanding family.ReplyDelete
Love it! I played the flute in school, and it's nice to have an instrument that fits in your backpack. Eventually maybe she'll play the piccolo, too, and that thing fits in your pocket!!ReplyDelete
This is a great reminder. I know how you feel, and ditto, and amen. I need to remember this everytime my kids want to do something I have no interest in. So I take them to their things and bring a good book. Then they let me go do my favorite things.ReplyDelete
Katy - first off, I love LOVE your blog. I just recently stumbled upon it when Dana (from MADE) posted a link to your son's birth story on pinterest. Just beautiful - and a very belated congratulations to you! You have such a lovely family.ReplyDelete
Loved this post. I, too, am a harpist (and LDS, too - fancy that!) As my children are still quite young, we have yet to experience the inevitable Day They Choose Their Instrument (piano doesn't count - it's not going to be a choice!). Like you, I've thought it would be convenient if they chose the harp, since we already have one and have means to transport it, etc....and then I remember how DEDICATED you have to be as a harpist: getting to your destination early before it gets too loud so you can tune/retune, memorizing where all the ramps/elevators are at your venue, scoping out strapping young men to help you lift your precious instrument up the stairs in the event your venue is NOT handicap accessible, making multiple trips to and from the car for instrument, bench, music stand, music bag, string bag...am I forgetting something? Coming up with witty replies to "Don't you wish you played the flute?". All this to say - if your heart isn't in it from the beginning, and if it isn't something that YOU really love, you aren't going to be that committed to it. And I just use the harp as an example. It's that way with anything in life. If it's something that's forced upon us, rarely do we have the drive necessary to succeed at it.
Thanks for sharing your experience with Divine. I hope you love the opportunity to play duets with your daughter. And if you are really lucky, one of your other children might pick up the viola (oh, the trios you could do! I'm secretly - selfishly - hoping to grow a flutist and violist of my own - teehee!). And, who knows? You might end up with a harpist, someday, too :)
Glad your daughter is enjoying her new hobby! When I joined band in middle school I picked the flute because it was the lightest instrument to carry. :-)ReplyDelete
that's so funny cause my sister played trombone and when it was my turn what did i pick? saxophone! why? my mom asked, we have a trombone and piano why not one of those in the band....cause i wanted sax...just cause :) so now my little one wanted to play guitar and i ask why? we've got piano and sax....just cause! It's a viscous circle! lol!ReplyDelete
I really like this post :) I don't get onto blogger and look at alot of posts, but I always make sure I take a look at your blog! :) I play the Cello, and I think that there are only 2 other hard instruments to lug around, and that is the Harp and the String Bass. I love Harp. Flute is so pretty too! :D I hope it becomes something she treasures and loves all her life! My mom played the clarinet, piano and sang, but we don't have any of those (except vocal chords of course!). I did play piano, but my passion is Cello and I'm sure that I drove my parents nuts when I played for the first year or so hahaha. I'm now alot better and I'm picking up the Violin!ReplyDelete
Stop over by my blog sometime! I may be a bit small, but I'm growing and getting better at posting regularly. :)
Lovely and true. My mom is a harpist and for some reason I chose the flute, too, despite (and maybe a bit because of) the fact I had access to harps and lessons right there in the house. We played duets together a lot over the years, including some paying gigs at receptions, etc. It's one of my favorite memories with my mom, just the two of us.ReplyDelete
I got here from Sew, Mama, Sew, on the morning, and through the day I have fount myself coming back and reading and reading after have check out all of your great tutorials.ReplyDelete
I admire you, with all those babes, and an harp player, and all those gorgeous pictures.
Thanks for sharing all this, it's so nice to read you and I think I will be coming back often.