Saturday, September 06, 2008

Least Favorite Subjects So Far

You would think the boy was being asked to pull his own teeth or clean his room or something, the way he sulks every time I mention our composer study. We got to it finally today, in the form of reading the first part of a short biography and then listening to a piece of music. Our composer for this term is Johann Sebastian Bach, and the first piece we are studying is "Magnificat in D."

He tolerated the reading of the biography well enough, as this first section included a juicy story of how Bach was raised by his tyrannical older brother after both of his parents died, and how he had to sneak challenging sheet music in the middle of the night and hand-copy it by the light of the moon so his brother didn't catch him with it. The kids both love a good story, so they were intrigued, especially when the evil older brother found the boy's work and confiscated it, leaving young Bach to rely on his memory.

But when I said I was going to play the music while I made lunch and I wanted them both to listen to it, he protested vigorously. He wanted to read. He wanted to nap. He wanted to crawl under a rock and not come out until the twenty-minute playing time was over.

I told him he was welcome to read, that the music wouldn't be a distraction. He disappeared into his room to read. I dragged him back out to the living room where he could hear it.

He said he wasn't against studying music, but would much rather study someone likeThousand Foot Krutch, one of his favorite bands.

I told him that I would be happy to study TFK, as soon as their music has proven to still be culturally relevant and significant after 250 years, as Bach's has. He groaned and made a fledgling attempt at rolling his eyes.

His younger sister wrinkled up her nose and cocked her head to one side in confusion, "But we will be dead by then!"

Another low groan arose from the boy, this one in response to the little sister who still doesn't catch good sarcasm.

I personally think it is a part of a well-rounded education and don't plan to back down, but my son is digging in early for a good long fight.

It will be interesting to see how long it takes for him to gain at least a grudging respect for this music and that of the other composers we will be studying.

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