What an encouraging chapter!
ES presents an incredibly balanced view of music. Instead of regulating music making to the 'gifted', she encourages the reader to develop proficiency if possible, and at the very least, to have a wide variety of good music for listening enjoyment.
Do we still do this? I admit to being something of a homebody and my circle of friends is not very large. But I don't know anyone who plays an instrument for their own and their family's enjoyment. The ones I know who can play, teach, and there's not much time left in most people's day for music. I wonder sometimes if we have crowded out music for other, more pressing things.
And it also seems that America has left behind the concept of listening to a wide "variety" of musical styles. We have our favorites and that's about it. This is true of me-certainly. I think I did a better job of playing some other styles when the dc were younger. We had a few CDs that I had chosen and simply had that listening time as a part of school. We listened to some songs from other lands and had one on American folk songs, as well. Now that they are older we may study a composer for a bit, so most of our listening for school is classical with, of course, sacred music during our Bible time. Hmmm.....
My dd is in her fourth year of piano-she's doing so well!-and I also take piano lessons every other week. I homeschool our four children, try to keep up with things around the house, and have many interests that make that 'keeping up' I just mentioned tend to slide. ( See, I push it aside, too!) There are some days I do not sit down to the piano at all. We are working on some truly lovely music right now but there are only so many hours in the day. Where does the time go??
For one thing, music is a challenge and requires my complete attention. Don't have a whole lot of time available that fits in that category ;~) But I keep trying. My dc will not grow up remembering how their mother learned to play the piano beautifully back when they were children. But hopefully they will remember that music was important to me, and that I persevered. This week my teacher had a couple duets for me to try with her, in the hopes that I might be able to play one with her other adult student in the May recital. (I'm trying not to panic) Let's just say, that my brain felt like a quivering mass of jello by the end of that lesson. ONE thing penetrated my mind.
And I love hearing my dd play! I listen and am amazed at how far she has progressed in such a short time! We encourage each other :~) When I play, it motivates her to go and practice, too. Sometimes I think that may be the most valuable benefit of my lessons-keeping her motivated!! (She has more natural ability than I do.)
I also have Mark Almond's Piano series and my oldest ds is working on that. We have a guitar and a violin available if someone is interested. A harmonica, recorder, and I'm sure there's a tin whistle somewhere. I need to make sure they stay close at hand and are not buried and forgotten.
Again, I'm grateful for the push I needed to get this book out and re-read. Thanks, Tonya!