Marian calls and says that she and Josie are watching American Idol when Jon Bon Jovi comes on and starts playing guitar. Josie points and shouts out, "Nonai!" (That would be me). She starts playing air guitar along with the guy on the screen. Then she turns to her Mom, raises her hands out to the side, cocks her head and says, "Where's mine?"
"I know it's early," Marian says to me. "But you might want to think about getting her a guitar for Christmas."
I love the idea.
"It doesn't have to be a real guitar," she goes on. "You can get a toy guitar at Wal-Mart for $30. And they come in pink!"
But I'm already past that. Yes, I know that she doesn't need a real guitar -- but I don't want her to have something with plastic strings that don't stay in tune and that doesn't sound anything like the sound in her mind. So what's actually appropriate for a 3 year old?
I remember how grateful I was to get back into playing after that thirteen year hiatus. I vowed that I would never let making music out of my life again. It always saddens me when I hear somebody say, "I'd love to play an instrument, but I just don't have any talent." I'm firmly in the camp of those who believe that anybody can play -- it's not about being a virtuoso, it's about the sheer joy and pleasure that comes from making music, even when it's simple. It's good for you and everybody can do it.
It does help to start early, of course. When Josie is at our house, she'll generally make her way to the piano at some point and start banging away. Lynn has shown her how to pick out some of the simple tunes that she sings at school. Of course, she's just as happy to slam her hands down on the keys with abandon and laugh. I don't see any signs of a prodigy in the making.
But I do want her to grow up believing that making music is just another one of those normal things that people do.