While still pregnant with Troy, I did some research on introducing a baby to music. Most sources said that you should not teach your child to play the piano until he/she is 4 or even 5. Earlier children are just not able to physically do everything that they are required to do, become frustrated, tired and as a result, unwilling to learn. So until the ages 4-5 the general recommendation is to develop your child’s sense of rhythm. This can be done through letting your child play easier instruments, the use of which require little or no skill, such as tam-tams, drums, whistles, wooden flutes, rattles, etc. We brought him quite a lot of those from Mexico. However, he is probably still too young for any of those but the rattle, which is pretty heavy for a little guy to hold for a while.
Anyway, yesterday, I stopped by at the Russian store and got him another instrument – a pair of small wooden spoons. Yes, in the Russian folk music wooden spoons play a very important role as an instrument. They sound really nice too and are light as feathers. They are hand-painted and lacquered and look really nice.
So this morning I gave him the spoons and showed one time how to use them to make a sound, and he immediately started doing that, while I was singing a folk song. It was so much fun and he had such a wonderful, happy expression on his face.
I loved it!
P.S. Renee Fleming’s Recital tomorrow – stay tuned for an update.