Living an Unschooling life, we strive to give our children as big of a world as possible to learn and grow from. One aspect in which we do this is surrounding our children with a variety of music and musical instruments. We have so many instruments in our Unschooling home. We have a drum set, accordion, guitars, recorders, xylophone, Chinese Flute, harmonicas, an ocarina, didgeridoos, and many other fun and exciting tools for their interest in music. We also have a variety of music playing in our home often, from classical to heavy metal and everything in between!
We recently acquired a piano from a friend who was moving. From the moment Devin sat down in front of it, he began playing. I mean really playing beautifully! Joe and I looked at each other in amazement. When a child shows a “gift” for something, the parent is often pushed to put that child in some kind of lessons. However, our Unschooled children rarely have an interest in taking lessons at all and it isn’t something I would ever coerce, bribe or encourage them to do. I would simply give it as an option.
It’s easy to slip into that future-based mindset of thinking that your child may become a professional musician or dancer someday just because they show a talent or passion for something. On the Unschooling path, which is a very present and in the moment way of living, it is helpful for parents to not get sucked into the culturally common practice of lessons being the only way for personal expansion and growth. There are many ways in which you can support your child on their musical path and one way to just be there! Listen to the music they create and be present with them in their passion.
At this point in his life, Devin has no interest in music lessons. When his Unschooled friends come over, they create music together and record videos. He truly enjoys the experience of playing in his own way. His music is so unique, so beautiful and perfectly him. I would never want to rob that from him by having a piano teacher tell him how and what he should be playing, pulling him from his instinctual connection to the music he loves so much.
I love the foundation of support and trust that we create for our children living a Radical Unschooling life. We never have to rely on teachers or “professionals” to perfect our children’s skills and talents, even in such areas as music. All of my kids will continue on their own paths of musical growth in the way that they choose to. Musical talent isn’t something “taught”. It is something inside of those who choose to allow it to grow. We as Unschooling parents can choose to bring as much of the musical world into our children’s lives as possible to choose from and if an interest or passion grows as a result, we can continue to nurture it with loving support, choices and options.