Callum, who is 6 (now almost 7), has been taking weekly violin lessons since last fall with some music teachers who give lessons out of their home in Mt. Pleasant. He’s been practicing (nearly) every day, and seems to really enjoy playing the instrument – not only that, but he’s getting quite good at it – he’s not a pro by any means, but his practice has been paying off. His note reading has been improving, and he’s been learning a lot about music theory.
the other day Callum was completing a writing assignment in his notebook – as part of his schooling we often give him a set of words to write about, and he’ll write a story about the words, or describe them, or something similar. At any rate, on this day he was writing, and started to hum to himself, and ended up composing a little song. He wrote the song from his head on his writing paper – not by using the actual notes (A, B, C#, D, E, F# etc), but by indicating how many fingers to put down on each string of the violin – so A1 is the first finger down on the A string, A2 is the first two fingers, etc. You can see the song he wrote in this picture.
when I got home from work Callum got out his violin and played the song he’d composed for me. It wasn’t the Magic Flute, of course, but I must admit I was pretty impressed, mostly at the fact that he had the gumption to go ahead and think up a song and write it down. When he asked Yvonne if it was okay that he included that as a part of his writing assignment, she said “of course!” – and I agree, I wholeheartedly encourage this sort of experimentation. I think it is a great sign – and if he keeps it up, his skills and creativity in this area will certainly improve.