I’ve written before that I haven’t always been diligent in making time for teaching music to my daughters. I think it was my own conflicted relationship with music that got in the way. I’ve also noticed, though, that my daughter J hasn’t taken well to “being taught.” This is nothing new. When she was four years old, she decided that she hated dance classes because she didn’t want to act like a bunny just because her teacher told her to. Now, although she loves to sing, she only tolerates her lessons with me. She has always much preferred to sing (and dance) on her own away from the piano and without my instruction. Until today.
Today when I was practicing piano, I discovered that I had memorized the music for “Four” without realizing it. After playing through it a few times with my eyes closed, I decided I wanted to also memorize the words so that I could sing with it. I had only made it through the first few lines before J came up next to me and started singing along! We ended up having an impromptu lesson right there with me teaching her about the swing beat and pointing out some of the trickier syncopation. We ran through the song a number of times and she stuck with it until she felt comfortable with all the entrances and the coda.
I never expected that she would choose to learn a song that wasn’t from a musical or movie that she knew and liked. I was so touched that after so many times feeling like I had to “force” her through her lessons, she came to me, out of her own desire to sing, and learned something new — something that stretched her musical horizons.
I am a very proud papa again tonight!