When my little boy got his recorder at the beginning of the school year, I don't know who was more excited: Will or my husband!
Mike (who is the keeper of all things!) promptly went home to Statesville, dug through his mother's attic and came home with his elementary school recorder and sheet music. Both in pristine condition! He told Will we'd have a family band.
Honestly, I wasn't sure how Will would do with it. He's one of those "all about" sports kind of boys. But, then, something magical happened.
Will became enamored with making music. He sits in his bed before going to sleep and plays that recorder. He plays it on the phone for his grandmother. He plays it first thing in the morning. Sure, some days, it drives me crazy. But, really, even his off-key melodies are music to my ear.
That one little recorder has opened his eyes to a whole new world. He's fallen in love with "Ode to Joy" and so we now listen to Bach and Beethoven almost as much as we listen to the latest pop songs.
That one little recorder has taught him about history. We've read about various composers and their impact on our world. That one little recorder taught him math skills: counting beats, counting quarter notes and whole notes and how many to a measure.
That one little recorder has given him confidence to try new things.
That one little recorder has even moved me to action. I grew up playing the piano, but when Mike and I got married, we simply didn't have room in the old house for the piano. It's been sitting at a friend's house ever since.
Not anymore! We are bringing that baby home! I want to play again and Will even said he'd like to learn to tickle the ivories. He also mentioned he'd like to take guitar lessons.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised by any of this. Will recently told his teacher there was more to him than just sports. He told her he loves to draw and paint. I credit his elementary school art teacher with bringing out the creative side of my little boy.
For anyone who thinks the arts (and P.E.) aren't important, think again. They can change lives. Who knew that one little recorder held so much possibility? We might just end up with that family band after all!
Julia is the mom of a grader schooler and a reporter for WRAL-TV. She appears here monthly.