October 13, 2014

Ella rocks

Ella started guitar lessons last year at the music store down the street. Once a week, and she’s been pretty good about practicing a little bit many days. She’s not a prodigy, but she’s clearly getting better.

Better enough so that a couple days ago she was playing a new song her teacher taught her. I was reading something while she did this, half listening because I’m a bad person. But after hearing a couple measures I perked up. “Wait a second, that’s the White Stripes!”

She said, “No, it’s Seven Nation Army.”

“Maybe that’s the name of the song…?” I said, a little jazzed I recognized a song without prompting. A quick Youtube showed we were both right (of course). She beamed that I recognized it – this is a big thing, she quizzes us all the time and it’s a little bit more pressure than it sounds – then kept practicing the handful of measures she’d learned.

Empire has a neat program called Rock U where kids come together to form a band, learn a few songs, and perform a concert at the Hard Rock Cafe in Station Square. Ella’s playing with three other girls about her age, and the store is letting her borrow an electric guitar for practices and the show. It’s a good deal for them because if she sticks with it we’ll almost certainly buy one (and an amp) from them.

Anyway, this whole thing is pretty awesome for a few reasons:

  1. She’s going to get to play a song, all the way through.
  2. More experience performing in front of people. I didn’t do this a lot as a kid, and I felt it really hindered me later. (I refused to even try out for band in 9th grade because we’d moved from Florida to Virginia, and I was both certain I’d never make it and petrified to try.)
  3. Other people will be depending on her to do her job, as will she. Great motivation for practice. (I’m pretty sure if I died tonight the main thing she’d remember about me is how often I talk about practicing.)
  4. She’s going to learn that a song is composed of parts that, individually, might sound pretty boring. But put together they can be magic.

We’re looking forward to the show, and of the pictures of her rocking an electric and joyously making some amazing noise.

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