Thursday, December 16, 2010

Snake Charmer

Luke had his first Saxophone concert last Thursday night. He’s been playing the Tenor Sax since September, and has really learned a LOT in just a few months.
I played the clarinet, and Matt was a percussionist, so we were excited when Luke wanted to learn to play an instrument. He wasn’t super interested in joining band or in any of the instruments until last year’s band students came to his fourth grade class to demonstrate & recruit. He really loved the way the Saxophone sounded (he says he likes it because it’s “jazzy”.)
So far, he’s been really great about practicing – that was my one hesitation. If this was going to be one more thing I was going to have to make him do, then I am NOT interested. But he’s been really good about practicing, very motivated by his band director. And he competing with one of his friends from school – they have a “minute-off” to see who can practice the most each week. (I know, right? But at least that competitive spirit works for us sometimes!!)
I have to say I’d forgotten how painful it can be to listen to someone learn to play an instrument. After his first lesson, Luke told me, “Mom, it sounds really terrible. Like a sick foghorn.” I told him I was sure it wasn’t that bad. But I was wrong. It was terrible. And apparently you have to learn to play really loud, and then you’ll learn to play softly later (we’re not to soft yet, by the way.) So Luke would be foghorning away… Tobin would have his ears covered, shouting, “I like it quieter!!”… And the dog would howl (only time in his life we’ve heard him howl – never before, and not since). Meanwhile, I’d be trying to hide my facial expressions from Luke (you can’t help but wince when your ears are assaulted like that!), shouting between each set of “Hot Cross Buns”, “Good job babe!” It gave me a lot of respect for band directors and beginning music teachers. Yikes.
Thankfully, the “foghorn” phase didn’t last long. He’s sounding way better these days, although he still hasn’t learned to play quietly. It makes me laugh – he loves having an audience, so he always wants to practice right in the middle of the living room (usually while I’m cooking dinner.) So he’ll play something, then call, “Listen to this, Mom!” and play it again. I always think, “I can hardly help but listen, babe!” :)
Luke was super excited for their concert, and for his solo. The whole band did a super job at their concert – I was very impressed with how far they’ve come in just a few months.
Here’s a video of his solo – a song from his practice book that he really liked & worked very hard on.

Snake Charmer from Renee Meyer on Vimeo.

Good job Luke!!