Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Music, Intelligence,Reality

As usual, I was over on G+ when I saw something that reminded me of something else. (I write just like I talk. I know, I know.)

This article on classical music and intelligence is going over a theory I've heard before. Classical music is great. Most music is great. I think children should be introduced early to music. Even if the music did nothing but shut a kid up for half an hour, it's a good substitute for "Square Bob Spongepants" or whoever. Here's the thing, though... (You knew there was going to be a thing, didn't you?)

My niece - or as I think of her, the mother of the most beautiful baby in the world - decided a couple months back that Baby D.J. should learn music.

And why not? He already plays me like a fiddle...


My niece has a friend who has offered to teach D.J. how to play music. They are looking for a suitable keyboard.

Now, not to be the ancient auntie who isn't down with all this "newfangled nonsense," but what the heck are you going to teach a one-year old child? Okay - maybe any other year old kid could be taught, but this is D.J. We can't get him to sit still for more than five minutes unless one of us is sitting still and letting him paint our face with Graham Cracker slime. No - I have to take that back. One time he lay still for an hour because he had a fever and was cutting two teeth and his butt was burping out foul things that bewildered all of us. I changed his diaper, the fever broke and he saw his cousin playing with his favorite toy. The war was on.

D.J. is not going to be that un-teachable child who will live his life all out of control, but he is going to be the child who learns by taking things apart and putting them back together. D.J. is not going to be the child who sits quietly to read his Seuss books; he'll be the kid who will hang out of his bed, head to the floor, reading about dragon-slayers. And reading. probably, at the top of his voice.

It might happen, but I'm not taking bets on D.J. sitting still long enough to do something as calm as playing lullabies on a keyboard. He might be rocking out some Jerry Lee Lewis...

I might be wrong. Musical ability runs in the family. Well, it gallops in some part. My sister can sing like Aretha and my little brother can play anything from piano to drums to a trumpet. Too bad all this talent traipsed right past me. I can't even beat a tambourine (and I grew up in a Pentecostal church). I sing so badly that people who really, really love me (or want to sleep with me) try to find it adorable and not hazardous to any mammal within hearing range. It's bad, people. My ex was a professional musician. He caught me singing one time and, when I asked how bad I sounded, he saved his life and the marriage (for then) by remarking that my speaking voice is B-flat.

Let's hope that, if D.J. doesn't have any real talent, that he at least hones his intelligence. If he happens to have something going on, let's hope he turns out like this -

and not this -