Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Playing Music

The other day as I was watching Noah play the piano, I started thinking about all the time he has spent on that piano bench in his little life. As music is a big part of our lives, we even incorporated our piano into Noah's newborn photo shoot. Before he was born, he spent countless hours in utero listening to me play the three B's (Bach, Beethoven, and the Beatles, of course!) and Annie Get Your Gun (the musical I played piano in while I was pregnant). After he was born, he would sometimes doze in the sling while I played. Here he is just days before his first Christmas, listening to carols.

By the time he was two months old, I was able to prop him on my lap and play. He loved to watch my hands move around the keys, and even tried a few notes himself.

When he could pull up to stand, he could often be found at the piano bench, plink, plink, plinking away.

Now he is a big boy, getting up on the bench all by himself. There he will sit for long periods, alternately gazing out the window and then playing a few notes and singing along while his body sways back and forth and his little legs swing along.

Rarely does he pound on the keys or just try to make noise. Instead, he chooses his notes carefully and deliberately. To some, it may sound like just a bunch of random notes, but to him it is music. It struck me that as adults we lose our ability to just 'make music.' As in many other parts of our lives, we get caught up with all the rules. Rules that make music what we think it is supposed to sound like. Rules that impose on our creative energy. We are critical of the sounds we make just by playing with music, while a child can swing and sway to a song created out of one or two notes, just by playing and experimenting with the rhythm in which they are played.

To listen to a child making music, or to make music with a child opens up a whole world of creativity that is lost to us. Maybe I will stop reading the music once in a while and just play the piano like Noah.


  1. What a beautiful post... love the photos.

  2. so lovely that music is so naturally a part of noah's life.

  3. Wonderful photos! He looks so peaceful sitting at the piano. Music is a wonderful gift, even more so when it comes from your child.

  4. I play piano and fiddle and used to wear Jamie while I played when he was little. These days, when he approaches the piano, he is very thoughtful. I noticed that he was carefully exploring intervals the other day. He likes to dance around when music playing, which is just incredibly cute.