April 30, 2009

Do A Deer

It is mandatory in my home to take an instrument through high school.


I don't care what it is, I don't care how many instruments you learn even if it is a new one every year, I don't care... we start in 4th grade and you take an instrument until 12th.

End of story.

So far, my eldest started on trumpet for three years, and now plays the bass guitar and the drums.

My 2nd son played the trumpet one year since his arms weren't long enough to play the instrument he REALLY wanted to play, the trombone. The next year they were long enough and he's been playing the trombone for two years now.

Bones... is Bones. More than ANYTHING in the world, he wanted to play the sax. I think in his mind that he expected he'd pick it up and be world class, playing on street corners for money.

He was really impressed when we were in NYC and some guy was playing the sax with his case open at his feet, passersby throwing money in the case.

But the sax is work too and within months the novelty wore off. Add to the fact his meds wore off by then, it was too much for him to sit still. He's an extrovert... he feeds off energy in a room.

Bones with a sax, sitting with 20 other kids, all energy, no meds... it hasn't gone so well.

Not bad.

But not good.

He hates it.

Too bad.

As the year has come to a close, I told him to think about what instrument he wants to play next year, as ADHD or not, the kid will play an instrument until the end of his 12th grade year.

Add to the fact that... there is a local middle school here for kids with artistic talent and I'd like him to try out. Our current school is not a good fit for him.

He'd like to go there, be with artistic kids, under drama... and we are starting drama lessons for him this summer, but it was time for us to think of something else.

So I said to him a month ago, "Voice. I think you should take voice."

Bones: Voice? Boys don't sing!

Me: Are you KIDDING ME? Don't ever tell Pavoratti that... although you can't because he's dead. Men make up half the singers!!! Think of American Idol. Opera. Rock. Country.

Bones: I won't sing.

Me: Fine. Just keep in mind, your father's side has some good voices...

Bones: I won't sing.

But lately he has gotten the bug that maybe he REALLY would like to go to this special school and MAYBE... voice wouldn't be so bad.

So I signed him up at the music studio where my eldest goes. They have a fantastic voice teacher, but they never sing for more than 15 minutes at a time for children. Their voices are not strong enough.

We showed up yesterday and he was already jittery and nervous. To me this was going to be a great fit. It would be one on one and so the ADHD will not be such an issue. He can focus one on one... he cannot focus with 20 kids. Plus... I don't have to hear how heavy an instrument is or how difficult it is to blow into.

I'm all about eliminating as much bitching as possible.

He didn't want to go. He was giving me static. Sitting in his soccer clothes as I'd just pulled him from soccer practice, he sat in the chair, kicking his feet, chin on his chest, sullen.

I ignored him.

And then we were called back into the room by his voice teacher, a young beautiful tall thin, blonde, with Shirley Temple ringlets of hair, something out of a magazine with a voice sweet like Snow White.

As Mo likes to say, "You picture them singing with birds and animals..."

That kind of sweetness.

Suddenly, Hmm, maybe it was OK.

The three of us sat in a room so I could give her background. He kept his eyes on the ground. I told her that she would find him funny and engaging when she got to know him... that he was a good boy. She smiled and said she was sure she would.

I think a deer or rabbit poked their heads in through the window when she spoke.

She gave Bones the option of starting to just hum and sing a bit. He kicked his feet and said maybe they should just talk.

I said maybe he should try it or he'd dread it next week... and I'd leave them alone.

And 10 minutes later he was back, grinning, telling me how he has some things to get for his next lesson.

... and "By the way, Mom, do you think I could bring some extra clothes so I don't have to come to my lessons in my stinky soccer clothes? I could change..."


We will see. I just want him to appreciate music and to grow to love it. We'll see how it goes this year... with the Drama King and his Voice Teacher.

I'll be on the look out for small animals and birds hovering around the voice room...

Posted by Boudicca at April 30, 2009 10:02 PM

When I first started reading this I thought you were going to tell us he was taking up drums... LOL. I hope he has fun with voice - go Bones!

Posted by: Teresa at April 30, 2009 10:38 PM

Birds love to listen to humans singing. If you know any, try stuff with long low notes in it.

Posted by: Carl Brannen at May 1, 2009 01:24 AM

When I saw the title, I thought it was going to be some kinky story about ... um ... relations with a deer ... then I realised the "do" was the musical note like from the Sound of Music song ... :)

Posted by: Amanda at May 1, 2009 02:42 AM

He needs to learn guitar as well. That way he could play with Ringo in a band and he could be the lead singer. He could also entertain people at future blogmeets. It's worked for the Elderly Brothers.

Posted by: Denny at May 1, 2009 12:15 PM

Check out Max Raabe on YouTube.

He's a touch older than you.

Max Raabe and his Palast Orchester recreates music from the 1920's using current technology. The group is sort of like David Byrne and Talking Heads in that they are a collection of Art School students that founded a band.

Just think about Bones in White Tie and Tails.

Posted by: The Thomas at May 1, 2009 02:28 PM

By the way, I switched from violin to voice in High School after I broke my right elbow and couldn't play for the first semester. It turned out to be a good lead in to working on (and behind) the stage later on.

I had done violin to trumpet to violin between elementary school and junior high.

I inflicted violin on our eldest until she switched to flute. Our middle child was clarinet and our youngest was trumpet. None of them will admit to knowing how to sing. I wish I had gotten them voice lessons as it improves the speaking voice.

Now I am down to just the violin, cello, guitar, piano, mandolin, and voice, with most of my playing being the mandolin.

Posted by: The Thomas at May 1, 2009 02:35 PM

Denny's right. I can see it now. The Elderly Brothers, with a guest appearance by "Raging Hormones."

Posted by: Jim - PRS at May 1, 2009 08:08 PM

I happen to know there's a good stand of Great Highland Bagpipes hidden away somewhere in your house. I remember oiling and packing them away some 14+ years ago. I envision Bones playing the pipes for me when I get old.

Posted by: Angus of Jure at May 1, 2009 09:29 PM

LOL, Amanda! I thought the same thing. We be pervs!

Posted by: PeggyU at May 2, 2009 02:26 AM