Friday, March 19, 2010

A colleague asked me what would be the right instrument on which to start a six-year-old. My first (unspoken) reaction: Six is already late.

A revealing conversation ensued in which it became clear that we were talking about music defined two completely different ways--again, like the windows seen from the outside, or the inside.

I told her of my young son who began by drumming under the piano as I practiced. She was horrified at the prospect of the disturbing sound of the drum and insisted that he was a "special child." I assured her that he was always together with me; he never disturbed a thing. And he has always had impeccable phrasing and timing.

Her definition is music as something one does. For me music is something one hears. Invited into an act of shared hearing every child unless neurologically damaged will want to participate, not disturb. Inviting in starts the day the baby is born.