For a while I've been wanting to introduce Monkey to a piano. Well, he's actually met one before--at my girlfriend Kelsi's house--but I wasn't sure he'd even remember it.
Last night I was playing music from Pandora on my phone while he took a bath when "Great Balls of Fire" came on. He went CRAZY. He was laughing and imitating me pretending to play piano on the edge of the tub. So I figured today would be a good day.
I remembered there was a piano store across the street from Santana Row in San Jose, and since we were headed down to hang out with Nicole and girls anyway, well...
Today's New Activity: Tickling Ivories with the Boy
So of course he didn't really PLAY the piano. But he didn't bang on the keys either. He would press the keys individually and listen to the sound. That is, until he found the keyboards. There were just way too many buttons to behold and explore, so he got a little wild during that part.
The employee there--a professional pianist himself--was very helpful and friendly, giving advice about when to start kids on lessons and related stuff. I told him I recently heard a radio story in which adults were talking about how much they loved music until their parents forced them to learn an instrument. I mentioned that I'd like to find that balance between encouraging his interest in music and pushing him away from it.
The man made a good point. He said you have to find some other means, some other way too keep it interesting for them, some way to ignite their passion (according to him, this is the primary job of a good music instructor, which I believe). "For example," he said, "if your child comes home from school and says "I don't like school. I want to quit," you'd never just let them stop. You would find a way to encourage them because you know it's good for him." I like that analogy. While I don't think every child needs to learn an instrument, I absolutely believe that most children who grow up playing hate and resent the practice part of it to some extent. And yet if no parents out there made their kids keep on keepin' on with the lessons, there wouldn't be very many musicians out there. Don't the majority of the great musicians start pretty young?
So yeah, he had a great time, but it'll be a few more years before I begin contemplating lessons. I am, however, considering taking back the present I got him for his upcoming 2nd birthday and buying a keyboard instead. Shhhhh....