December 01, 2005

Holiday music

Bloggers have been complaining about listening to Christmas music at the mall or in any store they go in. Perhaps it is that I just don't get to the store very often or that I am oblivious, but I haven't really noticed this phenomenon. My own home, on the other hand, has been filled with Christmas music lately.

My son With-a-Why has been practicing like crazy this week. I think he wants to surprise his sister with some music when she comes home. The first song I keep hearing is a piece that his piano teacher chose for him, the Ukrainian Bell Carol. I find this music very soothing while I am grading papers, or procrastinating grading papers by staring mindlessly out the window at the snow-covered woods behind my house. The other thing I keep hearing is music that he picked out, music that his older siblings are helping him learn. It's the score to A Charlie Brown Christmas arranged by Vince Guaraldi. The piece that With-a-Why especially loves, and plays over and over again, is the piece that Schroeder plays on his piano that causes the whole Peanuts gang to dance like crazy. I admit that I never get tired of hearing it.

When With-a-Why gets home from school, he walks over to the piano and starts playing without even sitting down or taking his coat off. Neighbor Girl, who is younger and gets off the bus with him because her parents are both at work, stands at his elbow and gazes at him with adoration.

Of course, I have also to listen to Boy in Black's constant drum practice. If you are imagining something like the music the Little Drummer Boy plays for Baby Jesus, think again. He's got not some little tiny soft drum but a full set. And he plays them about ten feet away from the desk where I am grading papers. He does have SoundOff pads but he doesn't like to use them.

Yesterday, he told me his drum teacher recommended that he buy some ear protection.

"Like the kind of ear muffs your grandfather wears when he uses his chainsaw?" I asked.

"Yes. Exactly."

"What about the rest of us in the household?" I asked.

He paused. "Well, you can buy as many pairs as you like."

15 comments:

Yankee T said...

I love your kids. I'll send YD to do a duet with With-A-Why...she's learning Christmas songs, too, although I'm sure on a much more basic level.

Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

I would listen to Boy in Black as the little drummer boy any day.

Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Christmas just ain't Christmas without the Vince Guaraldi album. I can listen to that nonstop for weeks.

Seeking Solace said...

Yes, I love the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas. But what I don't like are the radio stations that play Christmas music non stop from now until Christmas.

bridgett said...

It's not just the mall squawk. It's the tap shoes clacking away to the disco-Chipmunks version of "Dance To the Music", the incessant rattle of an excited little girl who just discovered the phrase "H-E-double hockey sticks..." and uses it a hundred times an hour (despite me giving her the ok to use the word hell whenever she wants), the new piano student with the same 4-bar phrase....

I'd kill for a little double-pedal heavy metal drumming right now. If it was sufficiently thunderous, that is.

Bad Alice said...

I love the Carol of the Bells and Vince Guaraldi. Now THAT'S Christmas music.

Piece of Work said...

I am such a sucker for Christmas music. I don't like hearing it before Thanksgiving, but once Turkey Day has passed, it's all game.

Suzanne said...

I love that Charlie Brown tune. While listening to it, my husband and I have been known to dance like some of the Peanuts kids -- arms outstretched, hands down, bouncing around.

Terminaldegree said...

Seriously, custom-fit earplugs would be a great gift for Boy in Black. I urge all of my students to ask for a pair as a birthday or holiday gift. They are NOT cheap but will save kids' hearing. When I realized that a band can be louder than a jackhammer, I realized I needed to get a pair myself.

We music teachers are on a crusade to save hearing! :)

Here's a link to a pdf with more info:
http://www.hearnet.com/images_site/erme_brochure.pdf

jo(e) said...

Thanks, Terminaldegree. I'll get him a pair of those. He'll be playing percussion in a STOMP type group (sticks on garbage cans) as well as in the concert band and it is pretty loud.

ccw said...

I agree with POW, now that Thanksgiving is over I am ready for the Christmas music.

With-a-Why has chosen some great music to play.

I can only imagine the noise level in your house. It might be loud, but I am sure the sound of your kids being musical is lovely.

DaniGirl said...

I can relate - my father was a drum teacher when I was growing up. No wonder my brother can sleep through anything as an adult - he grew up with amateur drum solos all through his nap time!

I love the Vince Guaraldi Peanuts music - it's one of my fave Christmas CDs.

halloweenlover said...

Jo(e), if I ever needed more reinforcement that I want to have more than 2 kids, it's you. I grew up as an only child, and these wonderful stories make me want 4! Definitely! What a sweet sweet brother he is.

My husband is quite upset at you for this, btw ; )

Scrivener said...

I completely agree with you on Vince Guaraldi's Peanuts Christmas album, you may be surprised to learn. I don't mind holiday music when it's more or less contained to the holidays. I'll happily spend the twelve days of Christmas singing "The Twelve Days of Christmas" and the rest of the canon, if they'll just leave me alone with that stuff until then.

Terminaldegree said...

That Stomp stuff is great.

If Boy in Black isn't too sure about the earplugs thing, you can tell him that the pros all wear them. My percussion friends in grad school used to wear those big earmuff style ones that get used at airports and rifle ranges.

My students think that custom-fit plugs are one of the best gifts ever. And their parents don't mind shelling out the cash for something so important, luckily!