Family Spotlight: The Wallace Family
Author: Susan Wallace, TMC ATL Mom
Elisabeth has been taking classes with The Music Class since before she was born. Tagging along with her big brother via my belly over seven years ago, I'm pretty sure she knew the words to "I'm so Happy" the moment she entered the world.
In her early months of life, she attended class in an infant carrier. Then she graduated to her own Music Pups class, and by the time she became a "Music Cat" she was the big sister who was bringing along her "little" each week.
When Kindergarten began, Saturday mornings became "our time." We would venture to Dunwoody each week for TMC's group Keyboard class, Sound Habits. I knew she was musical before these lessons—she's always loved a microphone and could mimic a tonal or rhythm pattern like nobody's business—but during Keyboarding, her skills "exploded."
In these classes, she began playing simple pieces of music on the piano by ear. She learned to decipher if a particular note belonged to a tonic or dominant chord. She studied Solfege notes (think "Do Re Mi" from The Sound of Music) and sang them along as she played a song and also learned how to "move the do" to transpose a piece of music to another key. She even practiced the skill of playing music in time with others who were playing different parts.
Towards the end of Keyboard 1, she began learning to sight-read music, and this school year, she's flourished in Keyboard 2, not only reading music but hearing where the music changes and adding chords that aren't even written in the book to go along with it.
Our little musician completed her last TMC class a few weeks ago and officially "graduated" from the program. Today, she recorded her final project—a song she wrote! It was the perfect ending to a perfect musical journey.
So many people have invested hundreds of hours over the years in training our girl's musical ear and honing her talents. We are so very fortunate to be surrounded by a community of talented professionals who have devoted their lives to the next generation of musicians. I believe wholeheartedly that all she's been exposed to and has experienced—from classes to special events and recording studio sessions—will impact her in ways we can't even imagine for the rest of her life.
As a mama, I'm a winner in all this, too. You see, I got to experience every moment with my baby. I got to bounce her on my lap to the beat of countless songs. I danced and waved scarves with her during so many dance tunes. We shook "shakey eggs" and marched in circles. We played instruments, recited chants, and finger-plays, sang lullabies, attended TMC concerts, and played duets together. We did it all, and now looking back on the completed chapter, I couldn't be more thankful for each second of it. In fact, I'd do it all again in a heartbeat.
A special thank you to our TMC friends...your role in my children's lives—our family's life—is so special and huge that I cannot even fully put it into words, except to say I am eternally grateful. You've given our Elisabeth an amazing musical start! Let the next chapter begin...
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