As we were in the process of getting a big, new-to-us piano moved into our house over the weekend (which was crazy, and I will tell you about it another day!), my mom asked if I ever got sick of listening to my kids banging on the piano.
Well, yes. Jonah's piano skills are about what you would expect out of a two-year-old. His "practicing" involves repeatedly pounding the loudest note on the piano and saying, "See? Dat makes a kangaroo!"
So, no, I don't love to hear Jonah play.
But I never get sick of Matthew's playing. Matthew actually plays real music, for one thing. He's fun to listen to. I am so proud of how well he's doing on the piano that buttons might start popping off at any moment. The kid is a nut. You wouldn't believe how hard he works. It's not because I'm the meanest mom in the world either (even though I am). He really, really just loves to play. So, I love to listen to him.
"Really?" my mom responded, "Because you guys all played really well, but sometimes I wanted to tear my hair out from all that racket." And, to be fair, I'm pretty sure, between the four of us, someone was ALWAYS playing, and I will probably feel different when all of my kids actually play. But Kangaroos are tolerable, and I actually really enjoy hearing Matthew practice. I'm not only proud as his mom, I'm proud as his teacher. He's quite the little feather in my cap.
Come on, admit it, you know you love it when your kids make you look good! I will probably turn him over to another teacher this summer. He's ready. He needs it. But I will actually be a little sad to lose him as a student.
He played in Festival over the weekend, which is an event where kids play a couple pieces for a judge who critiques them. I was really excited when we signed him in and found out that my friend Mikelle would be his judge! She is one of my piano heroes. Festival can be nerve-wracking for a kid, so it was nice for him to be able to play for a friendly face, and she gave him some very helpful tips on his pieces. Actually, I think Festival is much harder on mothers. Matthew has been working on his pieces for months and wasn't a bit nervous. If anything, he gets a little full of himself. I'm OK with that. I think every kid needs to have something that they can be proud of. I always get butterflies on his behalf, though! You just want to see your children do well, don't you?
He also played in the local scholarship competition yesterday, which was... well... funny. He was by far the *tiniest* little pianist in his whole division. I kept trying to tell him, "Matthew, don't worry about winning. Just do your best. You're just there to show off, right?" Because, even when they play at the same level, older kids have a maturity to their playing that he still lacks. For another thing, Matthew's hands are half the size of these teenage boys', which also limits his playing. And the kids in this area all play so well! There are some great teachers in Pocatello. I would hate to be a judge for any of these competitions. I want to give them all awards. Anyway, I was trying to make sure he went into the competition with realistic expectations, but I still think he had this glimmer of hope that he would win a prize, so I was really relieved that he won honorable mention in his division. I was so proud of him! He's worked so hard.
Wow, he is little! The next oldest girl in his group was ten, and even she was young for the group! Does that make me the Tiger Mom? I hope not.
And, for the Grandmas (and anyone else who wants to watch his performance), I have finally mastered YouTube. I think. Hopefully this will play...
I'm proud of him. I'm glad he loves music so much. He's a kid who is so unsure of himself in so many other ways, so it's nice that he has this one little area where he can show off a bit.