Friday, December 25, 2009

I Knew This Day Would Come

When our daughter was 7-years-old, she really, really wanted piano lessons. What parent wouldn't be thrilled, right? We got her signed up for lessons, bought a keyboard and then spent the next 6 months nagging her to practice. I finally got fed up, let her quit, and took the piano into the preschool where the kids have a good time banging on it.

Thus, when she began to insist a year or so ago that she wanted guitar lessons I answered, although perhaps in gentler words, "No way kid, I've been burned on that one before." We had an old classical guitar in the basement which I pulled out, saying, "All the best guitarists are self-taught."

She kept that guitar in her room for almost a year, virtually untouched, until about two months ago when I heard strumming. And it didn't sound bad. She'd discovered that there are free instructional videos on the internet and was teaching herself the chords she needed to play her favorite songs from the radio. Since Thanksgiving, the first thing she does each evening is pick up the guitar. She has now written a half dozen songs of her own. Josephine has always had a beautiful singing voice (both of her maternal grandparents were opera singers) and it feels these days like we're living with Joni Mitchell. She already has herself "booked" for her middle school's next "open mic" performance.

Last night, her grandmother gave her a steel-stringed acoustic guitar. It's Christmas morning and Josephine is up in her room playing and singing a Taylor Swift song. I'm not particularly musical myself, nor have I ever managed to learn an instrument. What she is doing up there is magic to me.

Every parent wishes for his child to surpass him. I knew this day would come, but never guessed it would come so soon.

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Pumpkin Delight (Kimberly) said...

That's incredible. She's a lucky girl to be musical. I LOVE music, but I am not musical. I hope she continues to pursue it.

Jojo said...

It was Lady Gaga! Get it right dad! :) I love you and this post makes me very happy!

Michelle said...

That is so incredibly cool. I did the guitar thing through school for awhile -- until I realized that being left-handed just didn't work well enough for the guitars they had there. I'm always so impressed with those who are self-taught and can figure out how to make their own music. Kudos to her -- and how wonderful for you!

Monkey's Mama said...

That is awesome! Lady Gaga on guitar - sweet :)

Centers and Circle Time said...

They are more determined and committed when it doesn't seem like a chore but a love. This is that little golden moment you can refer back to when she feels unsure of herself. You can say, "Well, not many kids I know would teach themselves to play an instrument".

Anonymous said...

That's very cool. My brother and I both wanted lessons as a kid. I wanted, and got, drum lessons and he got guitar lessons. I did alright, but then college came and I left my kit behind. Then when I came home for college i heard "Teacher" by Jethro Tull emanating from my brother's room one night. I peeked in and it was him playing it by ear. He learned the basics from his lessons, but learned so much more by doing it himself.

Launa Hall said...

Great story! Sometimes the magic happens with the right instrument. Love that she commented here--go, JoJo!

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