Thursday, March 3, 2011

Music, food for a parent's soul

In the spring edition of Ottawa Parenting Times, we feature several stories about the importance of music in a child's life, whether in the classroom, at home, or at summer camp. And I'm starting to see just how meaningful this is when it comes to my own children.

This fall, I decided to send my 12-year-old son to Broadview Public School, primarily for the chance to enter late French Immersion, an entry point the board is phasing out. I soon learned that music is greatly emphasized at Broadview, as my son began to study instrument for the first time--the clarinet--and then joined the school band.

We've had our ups and downs through this, including his incessant grumbling about waking up an hour earlier on band practice days (to the point of wanting to quit--but I wouldn't let him!). But we're also seeing some truly incredible moments. He couldn't be any more keen or proud when it comes to playing concerts and he's learned the value of all those early-morning practice sessions.

What's more, the other day, he actually wrote his first song, a snappy, infectious number titled, "Riding in the Sun." I was over the moon when I heard it, and saw his eyes sparkle as he showed off his creation.

I have to say, I love the sound of the smooth, jazzy clarinet coming from his bedroom, as he practices and perfects his technique, all the while learning discipline and the rewards that come from persistence and hard work. Now, he wants to form his own band, and I can't wait to see where this goes...

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