I’ve mentioned before that I started out on the piano by figuring out melodies. Connecting notes and trying to learn how they worked. I’m fascinated to observe that Zoe’s initial approach to the instrument is totally different from mine.
She sits at our new piano and plays random notes, and tells us what to feel. If she is playing slowly then the music is sad, and we should cry. When we are “crying” she either gets up and hugs us so we feel better (so awesome!) or bangs faster, to indicate that the music is now happy and we should dance.
Her other piano game is accompanying herself – she plays “chords” in alternating hands while she “sings” the ABC song or Camptown Races or Sesame Street. She makes us sing along. She loves it when we clap at the end.
When I was little I wanted to know how music worked. Although I make my living as a performer now, I learned about the interpersonal aspects of music later. Her immediate interest is in how others react to her music. How it can elicit emotions. How it can bring people together.
I can see where all these elements come from. The accompanying is because Steve plays guitar and piano for her all the time, and the intentional stirring of our emotion is from It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown – she LOVES the scene where Schroeder plays a medley of WWI songs and Snoopy reacts with dramatic emotion to the changes in character.
But as a child I saw and experienced the same sorts of things and still turned into me and not her. She’s so different from me and I made her. I love that and I have no idea how it happened. Is every child this miraculous?