Monday, April 20, 2009

Raising Musicians...

...requires listening to a lot of pounding and screeching.

I used to have a friend whose whole family excelled at art. She drew beautifully; her brother sculpted amazing little statues of his favorite Mad magazine characters; and the one-year-old sister decorated all the walls beside her crib with crayons. "The walls!" you might shriek in disbelief. "yes, the walls." Her mother never scolded her for it either, just furnished a bowl of crayons and smiled at her. "You can't raise artists if you don't let them draw," she said, smiling at my amazed eyes.

Years later, I remembered her advice when I began raising my own children. No, I didn't let them draw on the walls, but I tried not to be so nerve-wracked by their messiness and their pounding and screeching on musical instruments that I would stifle what creative energy they had. As long as the activity was constructive and safe, I encouraged it. Maybe it paid off: Now that my children are grown, I enjoy reading their blogs and novel attempts; I have a houseful of art projects; and I listen to hours of beautiful music.

Here comes the next generation: