“Get him in a music class to help his development,” they said.
“He will love it,” they said.
“You’ll both have fun,” they said.
I suck at music. Sure, I was a mediocre clarinetist in the 5th grade and an unexceptional saxophonist in the high school band but 30 years later I can admit that I stunk. I was often tragically off beat. I had a hard time remembering fingerings (not to mention every time someone said that word – fingerings- I giggled like a twelve year old boy-hehehehe). In marching band I spent a lot of time faking it because I just wasn’t coordinated enough to march in formation while simultaneously reading music and blowing and fingering (hehehe) a giant saxophone. Who does that? It’s really hard.
What about my vocal skills you ask? Well, back in 6th grade I was an exceptional vocalist, so exceptional that I was pushed into the elite, members only group known as – Special Choir. It was an exclusive group where only the best were allowed to wear the gold cotton poncho with the glittery wreath at the 1983 Christmas concert. At least that’s what we were told. It was later revealed that if you could hit the high notes and arrive at school early for practice, you were in. To be honest, what freaking 6th grade girl doesn’t have a voice squeaky enough to reach the high notes?
And that, my dear readers, sums up my musical career. With the exception of a few Cosmo-induced Material Girl performances in NYC gay bars and a stunning performance of classic Cher on Fire Island with a couple drag queens, I put my musical dreams to rest in 1990, thus the reason you’ve never seem my musical stylings on Itunes.
Fast forward 90 years and I have this little half-deaf kid who doesn’t talk but is obsessed with music. He demands his music on every car ride (and his taste is questionable.) He hums show-tunes 24/7. If he wants pineapple, he hums the theme to Sponge Bob. If he see’s anything Star Wars, he hums the Darth Vader theme. He’s got a million tunes but not a single word, thus his team of professionals suggested using music to get him talking. Little did they know what kind of hell they were suggesting for me.
I was reluctant to sign up for music class because A: I’m not a fan of organized toddler activities/mommy-one-up-contests and B: as noted above, I suck at music. As an old mom, I’ve already been though my fair share of story times, kiddie classes, kinder-sports and what not. When we moved back to America with a toddler in tow, I was certain that I needed to enroll him in everything to make up for his years in Turkey. My idealistic dreams were soon dashed as every class was filled with “Look what my kid can do!” moments from annoying mothers desperate for mothering validation. (Ladies, if you’re looking for a pat on the back for trudging the same crap-trail the rest of us are on, I’m not your girl. If you want me to be impressed with what you perceive to be your toddler’s advanced skills, again, I’m not your girl. If you want to sit in the corner and mock the masses, call me. I’m there.) Anyhoooo, this time around from the onset I vowed, no toddler classes. I’m too old to censor myself and felt it was for the best society if I avoided them.
Alas, in my current, anything-to-help-my-Nugget mode, I relented and agreed, just this once. Now for the past four weeks I’ve found myself in some kind of cardio-pump meets Mr. Rogers Neighborhood class from hell led by a perky teacher who must constantly remind the group of lily-white Hoosiers where the down-beat falls while desperately trying to find her pitch. Her lessons come directly from the textbook and CD we were given upon registration and she absolutely will not stray from those mandated tunes. I tried but she found no humor in my request to “mix it up with a little Skynard.” Miss Jeanine and her music class are a little too corporate for me.
All of this gave me an idea. Perhaps as a tone-deaf, musical failure I should develop music classes for my kind of people. You know, a music class for old moms with a bad attitude who feel pressured to teach their kids about the important elements of music. We can bang on pans and sing along with Metallica so they learn the importance of metal. We can rage while playing shaker eggs to the Sex Pistols to expose them to the freedom of classic punk. We’ll teach of longing as we all wish we had Jesse’s Girl and we’ll work on their numbers starting with 867-5309. Most importantly, we will teach the importance of classical music by executing free-range choreography to early Cher. What child would want to sing about being a little teapot when they could be Gypsies Tramps and Thieves? You know that answer – no one.
Would it work? Maybe, maybe not, but I’m quite certain it was my early exposure to Cher that made me what I am today and from that I’ve developed my potential music course catch phrase – “Cher The Music- Every Child Deserves to Be Fabulous.”
What to you think? Should I sign you up?