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Challenge: Parenting Resolutions

Making Family Music A Priority This Year

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I have to admit, my time as a nuclear family is growing shorter. My daughter is going to be 20 and my son, 16. That empty nest is coming up! But there is one thing this family will always have together, and it's music.

My husband is an accountant by day, and a musician by night. He plays pretty much any instrument that he picks up and my daughter is a singer songwriter who also taught herself the basics of piano and guitar to write her songs. My son has picked up the guitar and bass, quite a bit on his own and with his Dad's help. Me? I'm all about singing and pitching in when needed. I also play a mean triangle!

None of us except for my husband are truly accomplished musicians. We know enough to get by but I can see how it frustrates my son. I know he'd love to be able to be able to play easily. There is so much more to playing an instrument than just making music. That's why studying music is so important.

"It should come as no surprise that studying music helps the brain to grow and develop in measurable ways. Music requires the mind and the body to work together, to process auditory information and modify body movement to achieve a desired result." Joseph Hoffman

That's why I am using learning how to play piano a part of my son's homeschool curriculum. We are planning on using an online class at Hoffman Academy because I liked Joseph Hoffman's philosophy that children will naturally grow to value the things that are truly valued in the home. Even if you don’t play an instrument, you can develop and demonstrate your love of good music by listening to it, singing along with it, dancing to it, learning about it, and talking about it. Boy, in our house we have an eclectic mix of music going on. My husband digs Rockabilly, we both like Jazz, I listen to some show much and a little classical and yes, some country, my daughter likes pop, rhythm and blues, alternative and my son likes all of those, plus some rap. We pretty much have everything covered!

I think that our joy of all these types of music lead to a lot of conversation about the world. I know that learning how to play that music, and possibly writing our own will help us keep snapshot of our lives at that time. Like the song my daughter, Ally, wote, Brave, tells about her journey with bullying and how to get through it.

Teaching my kids how to play music is a gift that will be with them their entire lives. There are many ways to share music with your kids, I hope that they will remember the family jam sessions that we have had, and that they will have them with their families too.

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