“Don’t worry about playing a lot of notes. Just find one pretty one.” Miles Davis
My kid is wicked talented – musically. He can pretty much play anything you put in front of him with an hour of practice. He either doesn’t care, know or realize that everybody can’t do this or he’s just over the fact that playing the piano is so freaking easy for him. I went a little “Tiger Mom” on him when I realized that he could pretty much do anything and everything effortlessly and I believe my “inner-Amy-Chua” pushed this kid away from mastering the piano. He hated the piano, he hated me, I hated that he was wasting his talent and the hate just built a wall between us.
Someone gave us a piano! Do you know how hard it is to acquire a piano in this life, much less be given one for free? When we moved into a basement batcave and he decided that he was done with the piano, I returned the favor. I gave the upright piano to the first person to respond on Craigslist and my heart sank as they loaded that ton of broken dreams onto the back of their truck. They thanked me profusely. OK, all of this is my baggage. My son just plays. He can and he does when he wants to. He does not assign all of this imagined importance to it. His fingers glide across the keys and he brings tears to my eyes. Me and my Bossy-Pants-self made him give it up for about two years by assigning strict practice times and mastery goals, which he just flat-out refused. If you have a kid, don’t do that.
Well, the other day, he pulled out the electric piano that I bought him when I gave away the upright. And he started playing again. I was actually asleep and I thought I was dreaming that he was playing, but he was actually playing. He hasn’t practiced in two years and he played an entire song for me when I woke up, right there on the spot.
Today I suggested that we go to the library. Kevin Herig gave a free concert (at the library) and was there to promote his music academy. I really like this guy’s style, it’s kind of John Mayer-ish. He has a Music Academy called Rock 101 New Mexico where kids learn to write their own music. My son can play the classics, I don’t know if he can do anything other than that, but I bet he can. I brought him to the library and let him make his own decisions. I’m not going to push him. He does want to call Kevin’s studio and get signed up for classes. I’m hoping he will love it on his terms, not mine. I’m going to start up on the piano once again myself, it’s been a long time, but I think I still got it. My son is going to be my teacher. Awesome sauce.