Wednesday, June 25, 2008

But enough about me...

I promised, months ago, that we'd be keeping track of not only my piano progress, but also the progress of Jillian, my 6 year old daughter. And yet, some ginormous percentage of the content here is about me. Could I be more narcissistic?

Jillian, as you might recall, takes (well, took) piano lessons earlier this year. We signed her up at the local Park District (the equivalent of a community center, or whatever quasi-governmental taxpayer-funded recreational entity applies to your locale). She went once a week, from January to the end of May, where she and another beginning piano student shared a half hour lesson with a teacher. Her progress astounded us; and not only us, but her teacher as well. Jillian, as is her wont, was less impressed with herself. In fact, she was quite discouraged at one point, but those days are a distant, vague memory now.

The summer is presenting a little bit of a challenge for Jillian. Lessons are over; she doesn't have pieces regularly assigned to her; she doesn't have deadlines to meet. She has, therefore, asked me to print things out from the Internet. She has asked for, and has worked on, simplified versions of:

So that's cool. So cool, in fact, I should have mentioned it earlier. Sue and I are totally proud of her. But last night, Jillian found a new way to test the limits of her piano expertise. She began teaching her brother.

I mean, not to channel Harry here, but Holy Cow! My six year old daughter is teaching my five year old son how to read music, and how to play the piano. I'm... I'm... stupefied. Sure, the piece is almost trivial in its simplicity (it's the first piece in Jillian's first lesson book, the Schaum Green Book), but can you remember the first time you made notes on the piano? Wasn't it thrilling? I remember thinking it was pretty cool when I played this back in January. Sue tells me it's hard to tell whether Jillian or Jason is more excited about this. She also tells me nobody quite knows whose idea this was. Which is as it should be.

Then this morning, as soon as they woke up, they worked on scales.

Lord only knows how long this will last. But it seems likely to me that when we move to St. GenElburn at the end of the summer, we'll be signing up another piano student. Grandma says she is going to go buy earplugs.


discopalace said...

Hey, that's awesome! Little kids pick stuff up so fast, and they will keep at it as long as it's interesting and fun. I'm proud of her too!

sawtooth said...

That's pretty cool. I've discovered that I don't have a knack for teaching all that well to folks in the real world. Sure, I can post advice and whatnot on forums and IRC chat rooms (mainly in #nethack (it's a game)) but teaching people IRL is just something I never did well at. This likely explains why I'm not in the business of teaching. :)

Michelle Himes said...

Hey, you may have to buy TWO pianos!