Every Wednesday, I’ll post about multiple intelligences so we can better understand children and why they do what they do.
The brain is like other muscles. Once stretched, it never goes back to its original size. If there was a viola in the room, I could pick it up and play it better than those of you who never have.
I was raised by music-smart parents. For as long as I can remember, my Dad sang in the church choir. He had played the trumpet throughout school, including at Purdue University.
My Mom played the piano and also sang in the church choir, but not for as long as my Dad did.
My brother, Dave, who is three years older than I am, started on the piano and when he was old enough to learn another instrument, chose the trumpet like our dad.
I, too, began on the piano and then added the viola when in the fourth grade. Private lessons in both were convenient partly because the same woman taught me both.
In eighth grade, in addition to playing viola in the orchestra, I joined the band because of my piano background. I learned to play the keyboard and rhythm instruments of the percussion section. Loved it!
All the way through school, Dave and I enjoyed band and orchestra. Like our dad, we both went to Purdue University to march in the band and we played in the symphonic band, wind ensemble, and orchestra. Those were great years!
Dave’s wife, Debbie, is a music and piano teacher professionally. All three of their children took piano lessons and Katie learned the flute and also took voice lessons for awhile. Andy and Betsy both chose the trumpet and learned first on their grandpa’s trumpet, the same one their dad first played. (Memories of Dave and his two children playing trumpet trios for my Mom bring tears to my eyes and huge regrets that my Dad didn’t live long enough to hear them.)
Dave still plays the trumpet for friend’s weddings and occasionally in church orchestras. He and Debbie play in a church hand-bell choir. I no longer play, but listening to musical groups is still one of my favorite things to do with my spare time.
Introducing children to music can enrich their childhoods and their adult years. If I decide to, when I have more time, I could pick up the viola and begin playing again – not from the very beginning and not where I left off- but somewhere in between. My music-smart brain will have some memories left.
Using all eight smarts with children, even if they’re deeply involved in some of them temporarily, like may happen in music and art and the sports part of body smart, is good for them. Forever.
Chances are good that if my nieces and nephew have children, they’ll learn to play the piano. The music will live on.