Thursday, November 5, 2015

Music in the Mall

 He doesn't look nervous, does he?

I think that is due to the amount of practicing he's been putting in lately. Since school started, Micah has increased his daily practice time to about an hour (some days more, some days less). Not only has he increased the quantity of time spent at the keyboard, he has also improved the quality.
During his practice sessions, he first focuses on mastering the notes and fingering, then he adds the metronome to make sure his tempo is even. Next come dynamics and tying the whole piece together to make it more than just notes--to turn it into music.

His efforts have paid off. Instead of the 1-2 pieces he used to learn in three months, he has learned four. Instead of playing level 4 pieces like he was in June, he has almost finished one piece that is a level 6 and one that is a level 7.

He performed two of these pieces at Music in the Mall a few weeks ago. See him there on the back row waiting his turn?
His previous obsession with playing things as fast as he can is morphing into something deeper, something truly incredible.
 He's learning to hear, and it's the most amazing process to witness.
Ever since he was aware of the piano, Micah has loved to play it, begging for lessons through all of kindergarten until I relented, and he began to take formally during the summer before first grade. I've taught dozens of students and a few of my own kids as well--he has a rare gift for it. It's like watching a fish swim or a horse run. Now that he's maturing a little, he wants not to simply play notes: he wants to make music.
And he wants to get better at it.

He's listening. He's slowing down. He's practicing and practicing and practicing with very rare complaints. He's learning that mistakes aren't signs of weakness but indicators of where to improve. And as shocking as it was at his last lesson, his teacher and I both witnessed him say, "I don't know if I can play it that fast. That's too fast." She recorded that comment for her personal amusement and future reference.

I love it when my kids find "their thing." It's been different for each of them, and it changes as they grow older. For now, Micah's thing is 88 keys, an adjustable stool, a lamp, and sheets and sheets of notes that transform under his fingers into real music.

Moms live for moments like these.

1 comment:

  1. Boy, is that ever the truth. And these pictures depict it perfectly.