When we lived in Charlotte and my daughter was young, we had a lady down the street who watched our oldest afterschool. She had five kids and homeschooled them. Our oldest loved this family, and so did I. Her kids took music lessons as part of their curriculum, and they were happy to share their knowledge with my daughter. So she learned basic piano and guitar. We couldn’t afford a piano (if you know where we can get a really cheap one, let us know!), but we could afford to buy her a guitar.
Let me tell you, she is a natural at playing music. She can listen to a song on Pandora, or from iTunes, and pick up her guitar and play it. It may take her a few days to perfect it, but the first time she tries you can tell what she is playing. She started out with a hand-me-down learners guitar from the family, then we bought her a new kids guitar. This year, for Christmas/Yule/Children’sDay/Etc, we bought her her first adult acoustic guitar. She loves it!
Growing up in an old fashioned southern family, there was music and dance requirements for girls. You had to take at least a year of each (this was unspoken, but it seems all the girls I grew up with did the same, so I’m going with it). I took dance for…I think five or six years. I took up the clarinet in elementary school…for less than half a year. I sucked and didn’t like it. I wanted to play the flute (the school chose what you played) and my stubborn side was having nothing to do with the clarinet.
Luckily, the teenager has been able to play the instrument of her choice. She gets sheet music as gifts, there are video podcasts to teach her techniques and she just likes to experiment to learn new things.
The two younger girls will not have the benefit of that great family to learn from their lessons. But, thanks to iTunes and games on the Wii, I don’t think we will have to shell out for lessons. And, they will be able to choose for themselves the instruments they want to play.