Music to My Ears

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After having a nice Thanksgiving dinner with my nephew, it was (of course) up to me to keep him occupied while the rest of the family talked. We ended up in my room for a while, trying to destroy a model of a train crossing built out of Legos with the train, then went back downstairs. We were then led (in my case, by the little finger) by my younger nephew (1 1/2 y.o.) into our library, where there were Duplos scattered everywhere. There was also a Suzuki Omnichord (electronic instrument that plays rhythms and auto-chords) and a children’s xylophone (one octave only). This had possibilities.

I picked up the Omnichord and started playing the chords to “Those Magic Changes” from Grease, and managed to get my older nephew (7 y.o.) to play along on the xylo. Since it was more fun than just making random notes, he agreed, and began to focus more and more intently on learning the notes I gave him. I explained a little basic music theory, telling him why, vaguely, I was giving him those notes instead of any of the others. He became even more engrossed.

To cut a long story down to size (the whole process took about an hour), we were soon in the dining room, with my nephew proudly serenading the rest of the guests with his newly-acquired xylophone skills. Then we went back to the library to practice some more.

After a little more practice, it was time to go. As his mother walked in, he and I had finally gotten to play together, as a duet, with me singing/humming the words I knew/didn’t know. I think he’s got some musical talent, as does his younger brother (you know, the 1 1/2 year old). I wonder if his mother will sign them up for Suzuki?


I am an avid technology and software user, in addition to being reasonably well-versed in CSS, JavaScript, HTML, PHP, Python, and (though it still scares me) Perl. Aside from my technological tendencies, I am also a theatre technician, sound designer, violinist, singer, and actor.

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