Saturday, December 19, 2009

Motivation, thy name is "Orchestra"

I've been extolling the benefits of music and instrumental lessons for Spawn to my husband and parents for months now, but coming from non-musically-inclined families, it's a hard sell. :p I was in highschool choir and, though my guys tolerate my singing, a singer I am not. ;) I can pick out a few tunes on a piano, but I can barely read music - and certainly not well at that. ;) I regret never learning how to read music or play an instrument and I'd hate for Spawn to regret something like that simply because we never offered it.I believe every language learned opens doors to new opportunities and I think learning to read music is just as important as learning to speak English!

I've been angling for a kids' guitar and lessons for Spawn for 8 months or more and, if the snow ever lets up, I'm going guitar-shopping for Spawn this Christmas. I just found out the Pocono YMCA now offers guitar lessons for kids ages 7 and up - private or group lessons - with an eye towards the Pocono Junior String Orchestra or the Pocono Youth Orchestra. (Previosuly, kids had to be at least 8 for guitar lessons at the Y!) Both ensembles are non-school-affiliated orchestras, by all accounts, so should be more open to home/cyberschoolers! (I had signed Spawn up for beginner lessons at one point, but then the music shop in town [owned by a local highschool music teacher] closed and moved to a much less convenient location, so we came back to square one. :p) He'll need two years of lessons under his belt before they'll even consider auditioning him for the orchestral group, but I think 4th or 5th grade will be a good age for attempting that anyway and it's a LONG way off. Here's hoping Spawn goes along with the plan and doesn't decide to start a garage band or something in the meantime. ;)

While Spawn himself may not be motivated just yet by the prospect of playing with a string ensemble or youth orchestra, I think his grandparents would be overjoyed at the prospect of attending seasonal concerts and doing 'typical' grandparent stuff for once. ;) Okay, so would I. =D

Now I just need to find a good beginner guitar! This is a hard step for me, though. When my grandmother passed away, I asked my mom to find out if the family was going to keep or sell all of my deceased grandfather's old guitars and banjos because I wanted to make an offer, at least for one of them. Mom never got a clear answer and in the confusion of clearing out the house and yardsaling nearly everything in it before it was sold after Gram's death, the guitars and banjos were sold at a yard sale, too. :( What I have left is a guitar pick of my grandfather's that Gram gave my mom to sew into my wedding dress for my 'something old'. (Maybe someday I'll pass that keepsake on to Spawn, but not before his wedding day, I think. ;)) The sale of all the guitars makes me especially sad because I was willing and able and OFFERED to buy one if necessary. :( I'm not bitter, just disappointed.

So, for those inthe know, is it better, when shopping for a child's guitar, to shop for a staid classic that he'll get several years out of before he outgrows?:

Or something less expensive, fun, yet functional that will engage him short-term and keep him going back to lessons and practicing at home without nagging?:


Chrissi, Cyber School Mom

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