People often us ask how we did it. Did we enroll them in lessons as toddlers? How did we get them to be so good? The answer is “WE DIDN’T.” You see, I have the privilege of raising three children who are considered “Gifted and Talented.” I firmly believe that the things we didn’t do are just as important as the things we did do.
A family that plays together
Yes, their father and I have both been involved in music all of our lives. He plays several instruments and I sing, dance, and played in the band for many years. We have lived by the mantra that our children are beautiful additions to our lives, but not reasons to stop living our lives. They are a part of everything we do. Our kids have always been present at rehearsals and concerts. I am sure that this helped spark their interest in music at a very young age. However, we never told them they had to play instruments are be involved in the arts. On the contrary we allowed them to tell us their interests, and then we dedicated ourselves to helping them become all they could be in that area.
Developing the gift
My oldest is by far the one with the natural gift for playing instruments. By the age of two he could play beats on drums. We discovered his passion by watching him make music on household items first. He would beat pots, pans … even boxes his toys came in became drums. So we did the obvious thing and bought him his own set. He was able to play songs with bands by the time he was in kindergarten. He then went on to pick up other instruments, like bass guitar, acoustic and lead. He did that all on his own without lessons. Once we saw his strong desire we paid for some lessons to help him perfect his craft. He is now enrolled in the talented arts program within Livingston Parish Schools and plays for our church worship team.
Our daughter also showed promise in the area of dance and song. We have videos of her singing and making up dances when she was just three years old. She also enjoys playing on her dad’s and brother’s instruments, but due to her shy nature she did not pursue any of her talents quite as young as her brother. When she was ready she insisted on having dance classes. We took the plunge and enrolled her, and within a year she was placed in some special performances and made one of Baton Rouge’s premier competition teams, Legend in the Making. She also has been accepted into the Talented Arts program in Livingston.
Let them show you
I know all of us have been blessed with incredibly gifted children. Every child has something in them that is special. Do all of their performance and activity add a lot of crazy to our already hectic life? YES. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I get so much joy watching them enjoy life. Seeing their triumphs. We love having family jam sessions on random nights at home. I wish I could take all the credit for these amazing little beings, but I honestly can’t. The truth is this is how they came to us, and they are passionate about their talents. This is just who they are, and as their mother I have the awesome task of helping them develop and share their gifts with the world.