Today, I picked up a recorder and blew a few notes.
A recorder is a very basic, beginning instrument, requiring little skill and talent to produce a simple tune. They are usually used in classrooms around 4th grade to introduce children to the fundamentals of creating music. For some it is nothing more than a past-time, and simple thing to learn and reproduce the sound asked of them. They put it down and carry on, continuing to appreciate music at a distance . For others, it is a trigger. A small glance into a world of possibilities. A fire maybe, and a desire to learn more.
I have not played music in over 10 years. I was able to participate in a choir in church for a short time a few years ago, and that was a small slice of heaven in adversity. Singing was once my passion, and I was reminded of it as I lifted my voice, in however small a way.
I have wanted nothing more than to have children that had talent to sing. I have wanted it so badly that hearing other children sing instantly brought tears to my eyes and I couldn't listen anymore. I have been trying very hard not to project my own desires on the children and just let them grow and be themselves. I would never want them to think that they had disappointed me by not having musical talent. I know it's something that is inborn more than learned, and I don't want them to think that they would ever be not perfect in my eyes. So I have waited. I know that I taught myself to sing, and taught myself the beginnings of music and theory. I have always played music, and we have sung silly songs together, and I try to not be nervous to sing in front of them. Always listened, always paid attention, trying to catch snatches of them singing to themselves, hoping that I will one day hear one of them lift their voice in song and feel that fire as well.
I think however, that I am approaching this wrong. I have been able to ignore music for years without it bothering me, but as soon as I was able to reproduce a simple tune on a simple instrument, my heart ached for 11 years of silence. It took a great amount of effort to return the recorder to its box and continue with the nightly banality of supper. I think I need to take that fire, and start it. It will be up to them to kindle it within themselves, but I think we need to jump in and try it out and see if it catches.
For all my love of homeschooling and curriculum and gathering materials for the kids to learn both from me, and themselves, I have not even once tried to plan out music lessons. In fact it was my husband that insisted we get the recorder for the kids to try. I have almost no resources at my disposal besides that recorder, a box of percussion instruments, a dilapidated piano, and a guitar that I can barely play. And my voice. But I have decided not to ignore that need to create music. I will take out my guitar, and however long it takes, get it tuned. I will print out music and practice and teach them and show them, and we will sing together and feel the exquisite conjunction of notes sounded at the right time, in the right order, and the right pitch.