Monday, April 17, 2017

When boredom turns to creativity

As mentioned, Andre is on a long break and even with his part-time job and lounging around, he was bound to get bored at some point. Some kids like Lesley-Anne, would have no problem filling their time in productive ways, like reading, but we all know this has never been Andre's favourite activity and he wasn't about to start now.

"Play a game with me!" he would pester but to this mum, a two-hour Monopoly game is as mind-numbing as reading maths equations. "Play mini table tennis with me!" asked the hopeful boy, lugging the table into my office. Sometimes, out of sheer guilt, I obliged but after a while, every sedentary bone in my body would whine in chorus, so I fell back on the age-old excuse: "I have to work!"

Left to his own devices, Andre figured he had to find ways to entertain himself. So here: let Andre show you how mini table tennis can be a solo sport. Not just one, but three different ways!

At the start of the holidays, I told Andre he should use the time to do something worthwhile. One of the activities he told me he would do during the break is to restart his piano playing. Those of you who have followed my blog those many years back might remember how I decided to stop his piano lessons when I grew tired of fighting with him about practising. That was back in 2011 and I was mentally prepared that it would be the last time I would hear Andre on the piano. 

So when he told me he wanted to start playing the piano again, I was skeptical, to say the least. (I think my exact words were, "Yeah, riiight! I'll believe it when I see it.") True to form, when he asked me for help, I realised that he had completely returned his few years of music training. I mean, COMPLETELY. This is a boy who had actually passed Grade 5 theory and Grade 4 practical piano exams, but he asked questions typical of a new student, including: "What's a rest?" "What's a bass clef?" "What's this black note with a stick??" DOH!

But then, he started searching and printing out sheet music of pop songs. With just cursory help from me, he diligently plodded through them, note by note. And quite to my astonishment, he stuck with it. Not only did he learn song after song, he even played them from memory. These past few weeks, my piano has sung more than it has over the last few years. I can scarcely believe it.

As a friend said, it's amazing what kids can conjure up when they have enough free time to dream. I whole-heartedly agree. Forget about classes or curriculum to nurture creativity. Just give them time to be bored.

So Andre's no Lang Lang but it's a mini miracle to me that he actually returned to the piano on his own. That makes my heart sing. 💖


HRLIM said...

Hi Mon,

I came across one of your publications- the good, the bad and the psle recently.

Part of the book had some hilarious recount of Noah (or rather Andre) with the piano.

Seems like things have come to a good end!:)

Reading the book and subsequently, this blog. It seems to me that the struggle you once faced was all worth it. Your kids have grown into fine, respectable teenagers.

Thank you for those read. I kept me well entertained.

monlim said...

HRLIM: Yes, things have turned out quite well, I can't complain.

Glad you enjoyed the book. Not everything in it was real though, especially the angst with April - that was to add drama to the book. So I wouldn't say I struggled all that much!

Thanks for reading :)

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