Confession: I loathe my eldest child’s attempts at composition. They all sound dreadful. Many times, I have yelled from the kitchen to him to play a “proper piece”. His compositions are sometimes random new things (apparently at school music they are currently being encouraged to make up scary sounding music – yup, he will get an A for that) or they are variations on current pieces (trills, runs, etc around the piece).
Except when he is learning a new piece which he is super excited about (like Jurassic Park), Thomas only goes to the piano voluntarily to compose or muck around.
I am now becoming more reconciled to this. Maybe even admire it. Maybe even give myself some credit for creating a child that wants to ‘muck around on the piano’. (Okay so if I let him play on the iPad or watch Mythbusters he would probably choose that over the piano, but let’s not think about that.)
Also I listened to Thomas’ teacher (crazy concept!). When he and Tom are playing together a known piece, Sean adds lots of the ‘extras’ at the end of phrases to mix it up. So there you go – it seems when you become really musical (ie not like me who played an instrument without catching that virus) it is actually natural to want to play around with the music.
Thomas has also discovered Garageband on my Mac. Whenever he can, he logs in as a guest user and jumps on Garageband to create his symphonies and everything else he does. Some of it sounds really cool. Some of it sounds like a mishmash trainwreck. But he loves it. My husband caught him on the toilet with my Mac on Garageband. The mind boggles.
Thomas is now in a strings ensemble for his viola and in a Music Enrichment Orchestra for his piano/keyboard. So his music is taking him into so many different directions and creating opportunities for friendships, organisation skills, performance skills, amongst others.
And if composition is one of those directions, I better embrace it ….