Hogwarts in Our Living-Room

She’s on the fifth Harry Potter book, reading on her own; and she’s entered whole-self into that world. She ran through the door after school yesterday, clad herself in cape and hat (plus a plush duck that stands in for her owl, named “Tweet”), and began practicing the piano. I love that she’s not pretending to be Hermoine or Harry, she’s herself, Hogwarts student, wholly integrated into that magical world. Kevin and I have been replying to notes sent via her owl, rubber-banding messages onto the owl’s leg. The piano practice was spontaneous, which I must say happens rarely, though both kids were greatly more enthusiastic when I suggested they try writing their own songs. (Still, they need the practice to gain the skills to write songs; can I persuade them of this?) Albus’s made-up song had a catchy tune, with the words “Turkeys running everywhere-ere / and the sun is shi-i-i-ning / Turkeys running every which way / Turkeys running every which way.” Apple-Apple’s had a more complicated melody and made much use of the sustain pedal. If you’re around and would like a performance in person, just ask. As far as I can tell, all four children enjoy being on stage and performing for an audience. Hmm.
Joys of Obligation
aka Hockey Hair


  1. katie

    I love this! I love seeing Apple in her costume at the piano and the description of it.

    I wanted to chime in that actually, it’s important to learn improvisation and play-based music before learning to read and write it. It’s called sound before sight. So making up their own songs is not just fooling around, but they are also learning. But, when you do want to encourage other skills, with Apple’s love for reading books, maybe she would be motivated by an analogy between reading music and reading books. They are both languages that inspire imagination and expression. I know you can come up with a lot more here : )

    love your blog!

  2. Carrie

    Thank you, Katie, I had not heard of sound before sight, and that gives me more motivation to encourage the song-writing and fooling around! I’m glad, because that’s what they’re usually happiest doing. And I like what you have to say about the language of music. Thanks for these thoughts.


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