Friday, April 29, 2005

All in the Family

I'm so delighted that my kids are into music. It's a gift and in their genes. Not a day passes when I don’t hear someone playing on the keyboard or strumming the guitar. Often there’s singing too. My kids aren’t virtuosos but neither did they have substantial one-on-one tutoring except for the initial lessons I gave them. We basically take the same learning route—determination and self-study.

Gino had some experience with the school band, where he learned to play the flute and sax, but he wasn’t taught to read notes. He has become quite adept on the keyboard on his own. He tries to follow the music sheet then ad libs. He also plays the guitar and lately has been wanting to learn the violin. (I do too!)

Mickey, a leftie, has become a dedicated right-hand guitar player. I never thought this would work until a friend suggested it. Now he and some friends are planning to put up an amateur band. He sings popular Pinoy songs made famous by bands like Rivermaya, Eraserhead and Bamboo, and solo artists like Nyoy Volante and Paolo Santos. This makes for good practice on his Tagalog.

Mick finally bought his own Fender Stratocaster electric guitar last Saturday. Light turquoise blue, according to Markus. Mick put a downpayment on it out of his savings from his part-time job at Swiss Chalet. I would imagine that when he gets tired of loading dirty dishes into those huge dishwashers or mopping the floor, the thought of Long and McQuade repossessing his guitar can be highly motivating. That's a good time to sing, HOY! Pinoy akoooh. Buo aking loob ko..., in his head.

Gabriel has his own guitar too, a three-fourth sized classical guitar I gave him on his last birthday. For a long time, he played Jingle Bells and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, both classics, until Christmas went by and he got tired of the nursery rhyme. So I taught him two contemporary Christian songs with more difficult chords like G and F minor. His strumming has improved.

Markus hasn't shown a keen interest in music but he seems to like guitar pics. He looked very cute on the drums though while pounding away or tapping his sticks. I thought he and Gabriel had a lot of fun on the electric drums complete with headphones. Whoever invented electric drums with headphones should be highly commended. That’s my kind of drum! Eardrum-friendly. Quieter than my chopping board.

Still at Long and McQuade, Mickey’s light turquoise blue guitar got my nod out of all the ones hanging on the wall. I fell in love with the colour, and the price was reasonable. Plus it’s Fender Stratoscaster. But what clinched it for me was when the sales rep asked Mickey about his type of music.

“Rock,” Mickey replied.

“Oh, then this blue one will make less noise…” and he went on to explain why while pointing to some features on the guitar neck.

All I heard was less noise and I immediately said, “Yes, that’s it! That’s the one.”

With his guitar signed out (on my Visa), Mick was quite elated. “I will take care of this like a car. Now, I don’t need to have a girlfriend. Woo-hoo!.”

But he still needs that headphone.

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