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.