Growing up with music

When my siblings and I were growing up we all took part in music lessons. To begin with, we all began piano in primary school and after reaching a couple of grades we took on a second instrument too. For me, I went on to have violin lessons in addition to my piano ones. I vividly remember there were days when I couldn't stand having to go off for my lessons after getting home from school and I pleaded and begged not to on many occasions...sometimes even coming up with a sudden 'headache' to avoid the whole thing. But I'm really glad my parents saw through my temporary rebellion because being able to play now is something that has become second nature as my way to chill out and relax. I love that after listening to music on the radio I can pop over to a piano and have a go at my own cover of a song. 

Learning about music theory has also really helped my understanding of how music can be put together and I remember when I was younger writing so many of my own tunes and having a go at putting them to paper. I look back on these days with fondness because they bought me so much happiness. In the days before the internet and mobile phones, when a piece of paper and a pencil could entertain a ten year old girl for a whole afternoon! They really were glory days!

When I was at university, I missed being able to play our piano at home so much that I went out and bought myself a cheap keyboard just so that I could keep up playing in my student room. This was probably one of my best buys during those years as it really brought back my love of playing at a time when I was far from home and often  quite lonely. 

Music lessons, no matter how geeky they might sound today, are definitely something I want for my children. It's a creative outlet that can often be forgotten and I think it's such a shame because talent can really be nurtered through practise, especially at an early age. I honestly don't know if our family are naturally musical, or if it was a result of our consistant lessons that made us 'musical'. Nevertheless, having this in common with my brothers and sisters growing up really gave us a common ground and an opportunity to support each other. 

In the dynamics of large families like mine, growing up there was always a natural split between the older siblings and the younger ones. Bridging the gap between the teens (who desperately wanted to be recognised as adults), and the kids who just wanted to hang out with the teens- was always going to be tricky! But I still maintain that having music in common bridged that gap in our family. We could always relate to each other through music and a common interest around my Grandmother's piano, which still sits in my parents' study at home.

I'm already getting Noah 'started' with his piano lessons. This mainly involves just letting him explore the sounds of the keys through thumping them with his fists. I am so grateful for having music nurtured in our family growing up and I would definitely like to pass that on to my growing family now. I know if she were still here, my Grandmother would be delighted to know her piano is now teaching the fourth generation of Wheelan/Mortons! 



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