Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Guitar Lessons

I started this post on Friday night but had to stop. Tried again on Sunday afternoon, but had to stop.
Joey had been asking for a guitar for awhile, and last Christmas I had decided to finally buy him one. Before I could, "Santa" - a good friend actually- sent him one for Christmas. We struggled to find an instructor that would work with an 8 year old, and then we struggled with an 8 year old who I wasn't so sure was ready for lessons. This week, I finally found an instructor and finally we started the lessons.
Friday afternoon, Joey and I raced to his first guitar lesson. He was so calm, I wasn't sure I had the right kid. He used his manners, really focused on his lesson, and was very good about the lesson being over. We taped the lesson using the iPod so he could review over and over when we got home. I don't think I needed to do that because instead when we got home he gave all of us a mini lesson again. There were a few times he'd say I'd have to listen to the recording to know the rest of the lesson, but boy did he practice!
And listening to the guitar being strummed over and over, him refusing to put it down until he was distracted by something else, kept me from writing the post. Saturday we spent the day together and then that night he gave a mini lesson before our movie to our neighbors. Then Sunday I sat down to do it again, but had to watch him practice instead.
My son does not want to learn to read, does not want to practice his school work, nothing. He doesn't do it well and has taken the low road and just refuses to face his weakness. The teasing and low self-esteem has won (hopefully temporarily). But with the guitar, the teacher praised him before he went into the lesson, praised him during, and praised him after. He treated him like an adult and did not talk down to him. He told him to patient and that he'll learn it piece by piece, but it would take practice. Joey accepted that. There was no fustration, except for the times I told him it was time to put it away.
I wonder if I did him harm at showing fustration and pushing him to learn to read, if his own teachers also showed any signs of strain, and forgot to keep things positive. He has a problem learning things the way other students do- some would call that a learning disability- but it's really a challenge. However I can't help thinking that maybe if we all kept things positive and didn't push him, he'd be begging me to let him read more and not to have to put the book away.
He'll want to practice again tonight. I bought him a book to help him and hoping we can read it together. I'll sneak in the reading with his new found passion.


m said...

How wonderful!!!I am so glad Joey likes his music lessons! Carl works with many kids who find their "way" through music. Sounds like you have found a good instructor too. Best wishes,

Froman said...

Perhaps you should look into the mathematical qualities of music. Between the quarter notes, half notes and other various fractions he should be able to show the value of each item in the differing sections. Then he could demonstrate his knowledge with a performance on his understanding of the time duration needed for each type of note as well as the sound associated. Of course this may just be my strong prejudice in favor of further studying of mathematics showing themselves once again. Either way, keep at learning Joey, there is no greater pleasure in life than a wonderful education! (Well, maybe mom's cupcakes and kisses, but hey, that goes without saying!)