Thursday, June 7, 2012

Death by Music

Long, long time ago, before we added six loud children under our roof, I used to enjoy the piano. In fact, back in another life when I was young, single, and carefree, I used to PLAY the piano. Okay, so I never got to be good at it, but that's another story. The point is, I used to like music. 

 Solomon at the piano recital - he told me loved how LOUD the grand piano was. Uh, sure, we'll get one of those really soon.

Somewhere along the way, thanks to loud screechy kids who are always making some form of noise, resulting in a partial hearing loss in my right ear, I have come to detest sounds of most any nature. Okay, so maybe that's a slight exaggeration. I have just had to learn to tune out little voices chattering with each other all day, every day. The hearing loss is actually quite handy for that.

Isaac, John, and Solomon

My husband is a very persistent "sound generator", especially in the area of music. On days when he is home, he will spend a couple of hours playing the piano. Then there's the guitar, harmonica, ukulele, dulcimer, trumpet (NOOOOO!), and whatever other instrument we have but I have blocked out of my memory. Short of a set of drums, we probably have it all.

Invariably, people who come to the house will comment on how they love hearing beautiful classical pieces played live while they are still in our driveway. You don't know the HALF of it!!!

All this joyful noise making, of course, is in addition to the boys taking turns practicing the piano, guitars, etc. Last week, at one point all three girls were walking through the house "playing" on their little flutes which I had hidden oh-so-carefully, only for my husband to find them and pass them around. 

 Miriam with her ukulele. How the bear is sleeping through all this is beyond me.

Now, imagine walking into an elementary class room, striking up a conversation with the teacher, and then proceeding to loudly play through one instrument after another, all while teaching and learning is supposed to go on as usual. How long would that work? THAT is my homeschooling reality. Explaining everything from the difference between a dime and nickel, to the Pythagorean Theorem, is a lot harder when someone is loudly banging up and down through the scales as a finger exercise. Since the kids can only practice their music in the mornings, before the girls' nap time, there really is no good way to avoid this cacophony. 

Being pregnant must be a majorly aggravating factor, so hopefully, this will pass.  

In the meantime, those of you who still have enough hearing ability and sanity left to pursue playing music, you may be interested in a hymn course for piano my husband is writing, called the Complete Church Piano Course. So far, he has finished Book One and Book Two. To order, go to the top right of my husband's blog. Eventually, I believe there will be a total of 4 or 5 books, going from complete beginner level, to being able to play in church, directly out of the hymnal, improvise, etc. 

I am blogging about it now, because no doubt by the end of this project I will have gone completely insane, and be unable to form a coherent sentence, much less write a blog post. I'll chalk it up as a sacrifice for the arts.


  1. LOL I love to play the violin and piano and taught before being married... I was planning on having all our children learn an instrument or more each, but you are making me think better of it... haha ;o)

  2. That's tooo funny! When my sister was learning how to play the violin (she is now a very proficient violinist and teacher), we used to shut her up in the laundry room when she would was SO bad! HA! Your post made me remember that. :)

  3. I have been telling my husband how maybe we should focus more on becoming a musical family and starting with guitars and electric pianos. Mostly we just want to play along with hymns at home and at nursing homes..this post is making me appreciate all the quiet I have now!:)

  4. The piano course sounds wonderful. Be sure to let us know when the buttons are working to order. Such a talented family!!

  5. Forget that earlier comment. The buttons did show up. Most likely my small-town connection!

  6. Lol, music is very important in my family, and my husbands family. My husbands family, however, came up with a solution to the noise factor. They have a seperate room, a music room, and all musical instruments happen in there unless being specifically 'performed'. You may not have a seperate room, but do you have any room that is rarely used during the day? You can even buy cheap soundproofing foam to put up, reducing the piercing end of the sound spectrum at least. Perhaps there is a corner of the garage suitable for this. You could even get a garden shed and convert it into an outdoor music room!

  7. Hahaha! I do love to hear my children playing their instruments. The only thing that drives me insane about it, is when they have to play the same bar over and over again, in order to get it "right"!

    Great post! Loved Miriam with the cute! ;)

  8. You have three very handsome boys with such beautiful smiles!
    I love their bunk bed. Where did you get it?

  9. Continuing with thE above comment egg cartons make for cheap and easy soundproofing.

  10. I couldn't help but notice the sign behind little Rebecca. I am really, really impressed that you guys are so aware of what's going on in the country and in the world. Hats off to you folks.

  11. We grew up with lotsa music around. I loved it, and still enjoy hearing my kiddies pluck away at the piano.

    I will admit, however, when growing up my brother played the trombone. Any horn is a billion times more loud it seems. When he was starting out, it was hour upon hour of blat, blat, blat...blat, blat, blat!!! Drive me crazy! Fortunately, he did become quite good and earned a large scholarship to play trombone at the University of Southern Mississippi. It got to where I even enjoyed the noisy trombone.

  12. Elizabeth, what a crazy small world, I know someone who went to the University of Southern Mississippi on a clarinet scholarship! (Although it was long before you, my dear!) If I'm correct, a very beloved music teacher just retired?

    He judges school band competitions and I never understood what the word 'blat' meant until I heard it from umpteen high school freshmen!

    That being said, I think I can hear the Anderson Family Band from my side of the country! LOL, these are how GARAGE bands start! Pregnant mums with shattered ear drums!

    God bless you, Dad, and the seven,

    Mindy (blat, blat, blat ;))

  13. One year all 3 of my children had the same piece to play for their piano recitals: Ode to Joy. And my son was also assigned it for his violin recital. I used to love that song but it was years before I could listen to it without cringing.

  14. We have a drawer full of music instruments and when the kids watch Dallas in the band , well they want to play marching band at home, myself included , we all play something different and it gets pretty loud :)

  15. Anonymous - I completely agree. I struggle with my 8 year old who still seems to be be oblivious to the president's evil political agenda, despite the critical thinking skills I am trying to impart. It breaks my heart that I was able to be deceived into sending him to the indoctrination center his first 2 years of school and let them have control of his mind and soul. That sign made me impressed with the wisdom of your girls. I think that encourages us all to keep on teaching and guiding our children with truth.


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