Motivation is a tricky thing with kid musicians. It can’t be forced. They either want to do it or they don’t. You are never sure whether to keep pushing when interest seems to wane or to let your child find another activity. I walked that line when Rocky wanted to quit because he thought things were getting too hard. It is challenging putting all those pieces together and it can get frustrating for anyone, much less a young child. Blessed with a great teacher who understands those feelings and who was able to guide him through the rough waters, he persevered. The payoff came this month when my Jedi Musician declared his passion for piano and has been practicing, playing and even composing every day without being told to do so. He is so excited to discover he now has the two main ingredients one needs to be really good – talent and passion. Of course, we are talking about a 6 year-old so things could change tomorrow. For now, I’m enjoying the journey. I even let it slip that he could go to rock camp in the next couple of years if he sticks with it. We’ll see if I have to make good on that one!
Which brings me to the next obstacle. Stage fright has reared its ugly head as self-awareness has kicked in. Rocky befriended one of the lovely Ragtime piano players at Disneyland. Pianist Alan gave him some great advice and even offered him a free demo cd. He invited him to perform on his piano but poor Rocky just couldn’t do it. Too many strangers around. He’s okay with recitals because he knows the audience but people he doesn’t know are intimidating. And so we will continue to work on it. We set a goal for him to play that Disney piano before our passes run out at the end of the year. Stay tuned to see if he pulls it off and I’ll try to post a video. Fingers crossed he’ll do it.
I’m always on the lookout for good fun music (with clean lyrics) to inspire the kid. One song we love for its catchy beat and for the incredibly young musicians who recorded it is MMMbop. Remember those cute kids from the group Hanson? The brothers are all grown up now and, although out of the limelight a bit, they are still writing/playing music together. Here’s a video we adore featuring their upbeat song Give a Little. We hope they keep making music for us.