Even before we were expecting our first baby, Curtis and I decided that we wanted music to be an integral part of our children's lives, as it has been in ours. So, while most families center their living rooms around a television or entertainment center, we decided to make a piano the center of ours. As it turns out, it is not just the center, but most of the living room because though it is a baby grand and small when compared to other grands, our living room is also relatively small, leaving little room for anything else. Despite its size, we love our 1929 Knabe piano (even though the first piano tuner we had come over wondered if it was made in Mexico and passed off as a refurbished Knabe and said it was so bad that he wouldn't even tune it before we had some extensive work done on it. We got someone else, and never called him again!).
Most nights after dinner has been cleaned up, when other families may sit down in front of the television, our family heads to the living room for some music making. Either Curtis or I play the piano and the boys play along on a rhythm instrument. Isaac bounces up and down on his knees and is quite the little maraca and jingle bell player. Recently, Noah's instrument of choice is the 'ma-ca-ca' (harmonica), when he isn't just running in circles, that is. Often, when I am playing the piano, I will glance over my shoulder to find Curtis, the percussionist, dexterously playing three or four rhythm instruments at once and keeping us all on beat. Our repertoire ranges from children's folk tunes to the Beatles to Jason Mraz to Johnny Cash. And I can belt out a dreadful version of Unchained Melody that makes Noah laugh and Curtis cringe (lovingly, of course).
A few weeks ago, all this boisterous music-making led to me wanting to learn to play the guitar. I already have about a million other balls in the air. Why not add one more? So now, armed with my Dad's guitar (which I still hold rather awkwardly), I practice my chords for a few minutes each night as well. Literally, just a few minutes. Because my goodness it really hurts my fingers to hold down those strings! Apparently it takes some time to toughen them up. We shall see...
Until then, I will play the piano or just sing along as we live out those dreams we had years ago of making our family a musical one.