the agenda

May 22nd, 2009

While I won’t claim to have well formed career goals, and my life goals are few, I do have reasonably well defined goals for the rearing of my children. I became a parent because I wanted someone with whom to share all the coolest things in life – steam trains, warm rain puddles, s’mores, cherry tomatoes… And like all parents, I want my children to grow up happy, healthy, and polite, and to become successful. But, along the way I want to nurture in them a passion for endurance sports, a love of science and an appreciation for music and the arts. The latter is the hard one for me, having been raised by engineers who were more biased towards science, and having had little formal training in either music or the arts. Not that our household lacked creativity. Quite the contrary. But, I lacked formal training. So here we are – the kids enrolled in swimming lessons, running off to soccer, running, riding, doing science experiements, and just about ready to begin their music training, but I am at a loss. I want my children to learn to play an instrument, but when and what?

I’ve been eyeing these kid sized guitars from First Act. I think we’ll have more success in the long run if we can get the kids started playing an instrument that we find interesting, that is fun at parties and looks cool.

Must I really go the conventional route and start the kids with violins? Even in second grade, I found the screech and whine of the third graders’ untamed violins haunting. I’m not sure I can handle the learning curve. And besides, only Yo-Yo Ma makes strings cool.