She is bright… in fact, this is an understatement. Her IQ aside, she has developed a maturity and self-efficacy way beyond her (nearly) 13 years living life.
So when she spoke of writing songs and making music at 10 years old, I was happy to indulge her. She did not jump up and down with the excitement that usually accompanies little people when they discovered something new to do. I did not think she was ‘that’ passionate, that it could perhaps be a fad. She’d always enjoyed listening to music, and her musical taste was, and still is, eclectic.
Then about a year ago, she asked for (additional) lessons on music composition and vocal lessons, after years of traditional piano and guitar lessons. That was when I discovered (through conversations with her and her teachers) that she hears music in her head, not just a melody rather she is hearing complete compositions. She wanted lessons to equip herself to document, record and produce what she hears in her head. In a year and the half, she has developed into something of a music aficionado. And this time, I have been paying attention.
To cut a long story short, fast forward to now. She has an amateur bedroom studio, and hints 😊 have been dropped for a proper soundproofed studio with the correct acoustic for recording.
While I have always been adamant that we are to meet people, especially children, where they are; not where we believe they ought to be, I did not do so with her. Social narratives are not easy to identify and dispel. For example, “she is only 9 or 10, even if she was an exceptionally intelligent child”. “A child is too young to know what she really wants.” “It is too soon to spend such money on a child, she’s bound to change her mind.” And with every delay, lack of interest, placating and condescension, we bear the risk of discouraging a genuine passion, or worse of reinforcing a message of unworthiness of her ideas, invalidity of her desires and interests, and perhaps even her as a human being. A sense of “you are not enough” to know, to want, to dream, to aspire…
I am fortunate that she didn’t give up on me, and in her own sweet way, pestered me for what she wanted. Over a tumultuous period in our family, I did finally listen.
What is more amazing, at least to me, is how with the tools now at her fingertips she begins to emerge from her “shell”, to experiment, to have the necessary conversations with like-minded people.
Here’s a track – an acoustic cover:
It is far from perfect; it is a journey … of self-discovery… of taking each necessary step to achieve a dream. She is passionate enough to take risks. She has set a goal and working towards it. For these, I am the proudest parent.
I can’t wait for her original material! And no, I don’t get a private preview!
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