"Although I speak from my own experience, I feel that no one has the right to impose his or her beliefs on another person. I will not propose to you that my way is best. The decision is up to you. If you find some point which may be suitable for you, then you can carry out experiments for yourself. If you find that it is off no use, then you can discard it." Dalai Lama...

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Music and bouncing

We have a keyboard that Alan bought from a guy at work for a very reasonable price.He set about learning to play and got books etc and spent time on an evening getting to know the keyboard.He has never played a musical instrument and came to a place where he needed some help,as yet we have not managed to find someone nearby that he can go to for lessons.

Emily has never been really interested in playing it to make music but has used it to "play" along with some of the tracks on the system.When we got it the idea was that if it was available and she found it interesting it was a way for her to "play" with music.

Over the last week she has been listening to The Amber spyglass and Then Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.While listening to the Cd's she has spent a lot of time at the dining room table writing and drawing. In this area is the keyboard and over the last few days she has been tinkering with the keys "making" music.
She loves to play me her tunes and I can almost see the cogs turning in her mind and the connections that are being made as she listens to the notes and then puts them together in her tune. She has said she wants lessons as she feels so at home on the piano.I don't think at this time lessons are what she needs.I think there is a danger with lessons that she could engage for a while and then because of the repetition and difficulty with coordination she would give up and see it as a failure to be able to play, perhaps never to go near the keyboard again.I do wish I knew someone who could "Play" with her and not feel they had to "teach" her because I know she would get something out of that,if it was taken at her pace and in a very informal way.
That's the request out there,let's see what the universe provides;-))

Her guitar which is also in that area gets picked up,strummed for how ever long it holds her interest and is then put back until the next time.I see Emily's learning as a series of building blocks, little parts that come together over time, be it weeks months or years, to build her knowledge of that subject, to whatever extent she wants to take it.

Music has been playing a bigger part in our days, she has also expressed a wish to get a set of drums(an interest brought on by her friend E who plays)Bongo drums have also been mentioned a few times.

Milly has not been getting as much exercise as she used to and although she does go walking with Al and Beauty sometimes for well over an hour she doesn't want to go every day.She is also wanting to be at home and generally less active.Since we have lifted restrictions on food (I have not made a big announcement to Emily, but have just been saying yes to her requests for food)she has been eating enormous amounts and has put on weight.It is a combination of going through a growth spurt,hormonal changes, lack of exercise and the initial binging on chocolate and crisps.I was racking my brains in an attempt to provide a way for her to get some exercise without using coercion, in a way I knew she would enjoy.I remembered the mini trampoline we had and I brought that down near to the CD player and within minutes with no prompting from me she was bouncing away while listening.It is out all day and she is on and off all the time.

Over the last week or so I have found the initial binging on chocolate etc has eased.Although she is still eating more than I would choose for her.
On Sunday I was preparing Toad in the hole and had taken a bag of sugar snap peas out of the fridge,I heard Emily exclaim OHHHH and looked around to see her picking a handful of peas up to munch on with the same look of enjoyment as she would a chocolate bar.She did the same when the shopping came and asked for a large piece of cucumber to be cut off and she ate it while we all unpacked.She doesn't like a lot of vegetables but really likes the ones she does eat .When the opportunity arises we have talked a fair bit about food and how certain things can affect you, not in a concerted effort to get her to stop but to give her the information to make an informed choice.I have continued to buy chocolate,crisps,sweets every week and stock the drawer up if we run out as often as I can within budget.I make snacks up with assortments of the things I know she likes and include sweets,chocs etc with fruit and nut's and seed's.I have found my attitude is gradually changing,after the initial period of adjustment and panic at letting go of control I feel calmer and much more trusting.It feels good :-)

This afternoon I went out to do a little training with Beauty and throw her ball around,I left Emily at the computer watching something on BBCi.I was only out ten minutes or so and expected to come back in and see her still sitting there watching but she had paused the programme and was writing a story,she actually never went back to the computer as she ended up going on to something else. It struck me that way back when we let go of TV restrictions we were scared that she would not do anything else if given the choice,how wrong we were.


Lisa G said...

We have a 12ft trampoline in the garden - best thing I ever bought for Girl 2 (and me!), a trampoline whatever size is always fun (and sneakily good exercise) and ours is also a tardis apparently!

jbantau said...

My wonderfully musical daughter has been plunking away on the keyboard and strumming her guitar, too.

She found that YouTube.com has lesson videos. She has taught herself a couple of songs both on the guitar and the keyboard by watching these videos.

Sam said...

I'm a piano teacher, but I'm a bit too far away to be any use, lol.
I found that when I started HE-ing, it affected the way I taught, as I tried to fit my new philosophies with my old methods of teaching. As time has gone on, I have found it harder and harder to "teach", rather than to "facilitate" what the learner wants to achieve, whatever that may be. Doesn't really work with school kids though - they seem to need to be told what to do.
Anyway, YouTube is a great place to look, and there are lots of DVD's around which might help.

Lynn said...

Hi guys
thanks for your comments.
I always used to find the time to answer everybody but as Emily has decided the computer is back on her agenda I have so little time to do that now!! We love to browse u tube so will check that out.xx

Lynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn said...

Sam,pity you are so far away:-(
Alan really wants to learn but I think the u tube clips may be helpful.
One of the main reasons Emily tires of lessons is because of her dyspraxia. She gets so frustrated with herself and following any kind of structured activity where coordination is involved has proved to be pointless(come to think of it any structured activity is usually a turn off for her!!).She has shown with her writing that she didn't need the things that were suggested to assist her in correct grip to form her letters,she just needed time and to do it her own way.I think if the will is there to play an instument and she wants it badly enough we will find a way.xx

rupestur said...

Letting go is a continuous process, isn't it?

I have so far to go myself that I try not to think about it, try only to think about where I am NOW. That takes practice as well.

I applaud you for all the HARD WORK that goes into letting go. It seems so much easier than it is until you try it. I know this.

K said...

A also plays around on her keyboard and guitar, and wants a drum for Christmas!
I keep wondering whether to find a tutor for her on keyboard as she seems to be picking things up quite well, but she is really resistant to any kind of lessons so I'm leaving it for now. The Youtube lessons sound interesting though.
Love hearing about your experiences with letting go of control, it really makes me think about my own approaches, and reassess some of them!

Dawny said...

we use you tube a lot too, what ever you want to do they've got a clip or tutorial for it.