Sunday, September 5, 2010

Maestro Max: My little piano man rocks out

Last night, Max sat down and started playing piano. For the first time, he used his pointer finger to pick out notes, I captured a bit of that here. Not caught on tape: him cracking up when I plinked out Happy Birthday (a song that kills him every single time).

Max has always responded to music; he was able to sing words before he could say them. He is still getting music therapy from Joanne, and he's still singing.

I bumped into a neighbor of ours over the weekend. He's a music major who's taking a year off from college to teach music. He said he'd be game to come by and give the kids some lessons, so I'm taking him up on it this week, and we'll see how it goes.

I know how to play piano, but I'm horrible at note reading. As a kid, I learned by the Suzuki method, which emphasizes playing by listening and repetition. I'd get a record of classical music from my teacher, which I'd play again and again. When I'd finally sit down to play a piece, I knew by heart how it should sound and so it wasn't hard to figure out without having to really read the notes. I can play some stuff really well but it takes me forever how to learn anything new. Also, I don't like playing in front of other people, I'm shy like that.

It would be awesome if Max and Sabrina like piano but if it doesn't happen, I'm not going to force it. My parents were pretty loose about lessons (usually, I was the one asking for them—piano, ballet, photography, whatever), and I'm going to be the same with my kids. But it would be so good for Max to play piano, for so many reasons.

And then I could hire him to entertain for all our parties.


  1. Cute video......did I hear Sabrina yelling about farts in the background? Too funny!

  2. Er, Kate? I think you're right about what Sabrina is saying in the background. We had friends over—not sure WHO she was talking to!!! She really is going through such a charming phase.

  3. Hey Ellen--show this video to Max and ask him if this was the riff he was going for--it was the first thing that came to my mind when he started hitting the keys!

    I like that Old School "modern" Jazz!

  4. Fantastic! And I love how music connects us all. I have a friend with a son who has moderate autism...and he is a great musician. Who knew?

  5. Max is so talented! and so cute! great video! thanks for sharing it!

  6. So cute! Who could resist that adorable smile?

  7. ELlen I read an article you wrote in the Good Housekeeping magazine and was awed by the direct way in which you said everything I've felt as a former special ed teacher. I plan to share it with my grade 6 class who have the privelege of having a special needs kid in their class.
    Thanks for your words!

  8. Love this! Nik is really into music, too. It's still one of his biggest motivators and communicators. It's also one onf the few things I can (almost) always count on to turn his meltdowns down a notch or two. Well, usually.


Thanks for sharing!

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