Thursday, August 14, 2008

Ridiculously musical children

Wow. This is getting a bit crazy! I knew my babies were all musical-- but have you ever known a three month old to sing a song (well, gurgle it wordlessly) on tune and in key???

All my children have kicked in time to at least some songs while still in utero. (I'm told they get this from me.) Ems and Bridey are prodigious in their tone and pitch; they have very good tone and pitch for their ages, and although they sometimes mishear (and -sing) or skip a word here and there, they also have remarkable heads for lyrics. (They get that from me too.) When Emma was nine months old, she had a "piano" toy that played songs, always in the same order. After about a month of playing with it she learned the order-- and liked to look at me, gurgle the first few bars of the tune that was coming up next, and then hit the toy and laugh when it played. Bridey regularly sings songs she has only heard once, note-for-note perfectly. And of course, Maggie danced through several songs during Mamma Mia! (I mean, she actually moved her hands and legs while swaying side-to-side-- in perfect time.) But I think this one is a bit more... unusual...

My dad called; he's doing a show at Arnie's Cafe Friday night. He's doing a lot of his originals as well as songs by the songwriters that he considers his major influences (Kate Wolf, The Beatles, Stephen Foster, Hank Williams.) He asked if I'd like to sing a couple with him. We discussed it and settled on "Hard Times Come Again No More" and "Across the Great Divide." I'm stoked, it's been a long while since I've been able to sing in public (other than ward and stake choir.) Anyway.

Tonight I finally got over my headache; I listened to "Across the Great Divide" to get the key fresh in my head, sang it through a couple times up and down finding my key, and then started with "Hard Times." I was experimenting with tempo there as well as key, so I sang through the chorus especially many times. Maggie grinned happily through the singing, nursing much of the time and just smiling the rest.

When I finished, though, she looked at me expectantly. I asked her what she wanted, did she want more na-nas? She grinned at me again and then blew me away by gurgling the exact tune of the chorus of "Hard Times", in the key I had settled on as best for me.

I am now unable to sleep for my amazement. You just wait, in a couple of years I'm going to teach these girls to sing harmony and they'll give the Peasall Sisters a run for their money!

(If anyone's in the L.A. area and would like a fun Friday night outing, BTW, Arnie's is a lot of fun. The set will run from 8-11, though my little family is leaving by 9:30 or 10 at the latest, since we want to get to Costa Mesa, where we're spending the night, in time for Jeff to get some sleep before his seminar on Saturday. And we need to rest up for IKEA, too! Anyway, there's no cover and Arnie's has yummy wraps, delicious smoothies (non-tea, unlike some other places around here-- except the green tea smoothie, of course), and a scrumptious assortment of waistband-expanding desserts. They even have fresh fruit! Something for everyone, and sure to be fun. Okay, so I'm biased-- but I think my dad's a good musician.)


txmommy said...

I wish I still lived there, I'd show up in a heart beat. Sounds like it will be so fun!!

Mean Mommy said...

Wow. I've been impressed with my almost-4yo boy humming movie scores and the 21mo singing the lyrics to "The Call" from Prince Caspian. But we got nothing on a 3mo on pitch!