Not A Musical Prodigy

06 Nov

This fall, we enrolled Jenna in a KinderMusik Class at a nearby college.  She’s always loved music.  When she was in the NICU, we took in an iPod and player, and constantly had music playing softly in the background.  She always soothed to music and loved when we would sing to her.  Somewhere around the one-year mark, she started grooving to the music in the car when she was in her carseat.  I wish we would have video-recorded it, because it was SO cute.  Now, she loves to dance.  She frequently requests that I turn on music and that I dance with her.  If I’m busy, she’ll just groove by herself.  As soon as we climb in the car, she shouts, “Music, Mommy!”  She has a variety of instruments at home that she loves to play and she’s getting kind of good (in a toddler kind of way) at the harmonica.

It was no surprise that she LOVES KinderMusik.  The class that we attend includes 9 other toddlers (ages ranging from 18 months to 3 years) and a parent for each.  They dance, play instruments, sing, do fingerplays and body movement, listen to recorded sounds (like hammers, saws, footsteps, and doorbells), and have a story time.  Jenna is in heaven.

What WAS surprising was that the girl has no rhythm.  None.  I had observed this at home already, but just figured that this was how toddlers were.  Not true.  I was amazed to see kiddos younger than Jenna quickly catching the beat and keeping time.  Moving and dancing with the rhythm of the music, and even keeping time with the instruments they were playing!  Not Jenna!  She’s full of joy and energy, but often looks like an out-of-control marionette with a drunk person pulling the strings.  Or like Elaine, from Seinfeld, in the famous dancing episode.  This shouldn’t have been too surprising, considering that I’m horribly uncoordinated and super-self conscious about publicly dancing.  I love music, but I have no delusions about my own musical abilities.  The answer to the question, “So You Think You Can Dance?” for me is an embarrassed and timid, “Ummm….nope.”

I suppose there’s just a part of many parents that is certain (for a while) that their child is a genius or prodigy.  Then, we see our child with other kids and realize there are actually many with more talent and skill.  Are we disappointed?  I wasn’t.  I just love watching all that joy and energy come out with the music.  Who cares if she’s marching/dancing to a different drum.

Fast forward a couple of weeks, and Hubby and I were watching the movie August Rush.  If you haven’t seen it, it’s a movie about a boy who’s a musical prodigy.  The movie is very well done (although the story is a bit of a stretch at times), has an excellent musical score (of course), and leaves you with lots of warm, fuzzy feelings.  Here’s our brief exchange while watching the movie:

Me:  Oh, by the way, I don’t think Jenna is any sort of musical prodigy.

Hubs: (Shocked/appalled) Why???

I explain my observations from music class.

Hubs:  (Defensively, as if I am attacking his honor) She’s still very young.

Me:  I know!  I’m just telling you what I saw and that I was surprised.

Thoughtful silence and movie-watching.

Hubs:  So, maybe I jumped the gun with that Julliard application…..

We love our little dancing machine and music-loving girl and don’t want to take away any of her joy by telling her there’s a “right” way and a “wrong” way.  Who’s to say there is, anyway??

Here are some pictures of Jenna having fun at KinderMusik


Dancing with scarves


Dancing in a circle


Pounding some sticks (to her own beat of course!)


Putting sponges away after doing a cleaning dance


Smelling the cookies in the book

Dance on tiny dancer, dance on.

I Hope You Dance – Lee Ann Womack (lyrics)

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat
But always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small
When you stand by the ocean
Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens
Promise me you’ll give faith a fighting chance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they’re worth taking
Lovin’ might be a mistake
But it’s worth making
Don’t let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance


Posted by on November 6, 2008 in Jenna


6 responses to “Not A Musical Prodigy

  1. Issa

    November 6, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    I love the little pigtails. Application to Julliard, shit that was funny. Only scary thing is, he’s probably not far off on the age that you have to send them in. 🙂

  2. Lee Anne

    November 6, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    Cute! My 13 month old LOVES Kindermusik! Not sure if she has rhythm or not, though….

  3. Mama Ginger Tree

    November 7, 2008 at 12:21 am

    All three of my kids loved, loved, loved their music class. I try to incorporate music into our daily routines as often as possible. We’ll see if it makes any difference later in life. 🙂

    That Lee Ann Womak song kills me every time I hear it. I can’t listen to it if I don’t want to cry.

  4. Susie

    November 7, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Liam loved Kindermusik too. I love love love the pigtails! *sigh* Love pigtails.

  5. iMommy

    November 7, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    Love that song, and LOVE? that Jenna is creative enough to dance to the music that you don’t hear 🙂 At least, that’s how I like to think of it. Sort of like reading between the lines. In Literature that is a coveted skill, my friend!

  6. iMommy

    November 7, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    Sigh, one-handed-nursing-typos… I mean “LOVE!” not “LOVE?”, lol


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: