About a year ago I posted about Archer's (unique?) music ability. He had just turned four and even though, in my head I was thinking, "sheesh. Isn't it a little bit early to take him to music lessons?" my heart was saying: YOU HAVE TO! HE'S A REAL BOY OF GENIUS! GO! GO! GO! GOOOOOO!
So, I did some research, corresponded with several readers who had recommendations for where to take Archer, and after consulting with musically inclined family we decided to start him in piano lessons and go from there.
We found an incredible teacher who also taught violin. He would teach Archer the basics of piano and then after a few months, transition to violin. The downside? This particular teacher was an hours-drive away. But it was worth it. I mean, hello.
Except Archer didn't want to take lessons. He just wanted to play. He wasn't ready to learn how to read music or sit with a teacher or follow directions... He didn't want to practice. And I refused to push him. Even though part of me really wanted to. Because he could do it if he wanted to, you know?
Except he DIDN'T want to. Not at the time, anyway.
I played music as a child and hated feeling pushed. I ended up quitting because I never felt like I could play piano. My teachers were strict with me and refused to bend - even though I was really quite good at playing by ear. They didn't let me arrange my own music - frowned on my wanting to write my own songs - play differently. So? I quit.
I was many years older than Archer, of course. And yet, my sensitivity to creative stifling is acute. My greatest fear is pushing Archer away from what he loves. There is no worse a feeling.
Needless to say, as soon as it became obvious that Archer wasn't ready for music lessons, I pulled him out. Let him go back to banging on friends' drum sets, playing around on the piano, conducting his own symphonies in the privacy of his own bedroom.
"When I'm five..." Archer had said to me at the time. "I'll be old enough to take music lessons when I'm five."
This summer (just after Archer turns five) we're signing him up for two separate music classes - classes with other students, no pressure. One is an introduction to violin and string instruments and the other is a percussion class. Because he loves playing drums at his friend's house and totally rocks it. We'll see how those classes go and let him choose what instrument(s) he wants to pursue from there.
That's the plan, Stan.
...In the meantime, few things bring me more joy than watching him jam, hearing him sing, being able to dance like crazy to his song.