Saturday, May 16, 2009

Music, Always More Music

I was reading in a book recently (it was Devil in the White City, if you're interested) and the author was describing someone (I think it was Olmstead, the landscape designer from the Chicago World's Fair) as someone who was a musical prodigy because he sang before he could speak. I don't necessarily think that my baby is a musical prodigy; however, she was singing and humming long before she could speak.

It must have something to do with all the music in our house. Bianca practices the piano once a day, I practice once a day, and then there's usually singing (sometimes by me) or Steve Songs on PBSKIDS or Backyardigans any other time.

Portia loves music and she's always singing. When I put her to bed or down for a nap, she usually doesn't fall asleep right away. But she doesn't cry either. She's usually singing until she falls asleep--any number of songs like the Chipmunks Christmas Song (yes, still), Rubber Duckie, Do As I'm Doing, or some Portia-original.

She doesn't always love when I sit down to practice the piano though, because that means I won't be holding her (although believe me, I have played with her in my lap in the past). But most of the time, she cries when she hears the first measure of the Nocturne I'm learning. I figured out how to get her to encourage my practicing. I sit down right after lunch, when she knows that it's time for her nap, and I ask her whether she'd like to take a nap now or hear a lullaby. She says a lullaby, which I begin playing, while she runs off to play with her toys. As soon as the last chord is hit, Portia runs out and says, "I like that song," and then politely asks for "More Lullaby" or "More Nocturne." I can usually get a good half hour of practice in with her encouraging me each time while she's getting out of taking her nap. This works before bedtime too.

My other favorite time Portia sings is right before I put Portia to bed, I sing her a lullaby and rock her. Just once. And most nights, she sings along with me. I posted a video below of our nightly ritual on the evening of her second birthday. (I apologize in advance for my singing; I said I like music, not that I'm good at making it!)

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