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Music Appreciation

by Ronald A. Rowe | September 27th, 2010 | Elementary

Music is an important part of a child’s development. Learning to play a musical instrument has many benefits. It provides a creative outlet, which is sorely needed for children growing up in the age of hand-held video games. It requires discipline, also in short supply in era of the child obesity and poor self-esteem. It enhances the child’s appreciation of music and culture which is good for every child regardless of background.

All good things.

My son’s school offers a program known as Recorder Karate. Students can earn different colored belts, starting with yellow and working all the way to black belt, by learning and performing songs of increasing difficulty. It’s a great program. The recorder is very inexpensive, making the program accessible for every child. It’s small and portable enough to go back and forth to school every day, unlike say, a tuba. The belt concept provides incentive to practice at home. Students enjoy the recognition for moving up to the next level.

It’s all good.

Except the piercing, shrill sound of the recorder. When played well, it’s a barely tolerable facsimile of a flute. My son plays the yellow & white belt songs quite well. I’m able to keep my twitching to a minimum for the 20 seconds it takes to play through “Hot Cross Buns”.

The harder songs, well, he’s not quite there yet. He’ll get there. With practice. But now there are squeals that fall just below the threshold of being heard by dogs only (we should be so lucky). As a parent, I certainly can’t discourage him from practicing. I can’t say ‘no’ when he asks me (again) if I want to hear him play “Ode to Joy” (again).That is not the message I want to send (see paragraph #1 above). I’ve got to just suck it up and endure it. Unless maybe he could just come over to your house to practice until he gets it down.

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