Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Composer

Andrew started middle school this year and was given a choice of music classes. Because he does not play an instrument, he had two choices--general/vocal music, or he could participate in chorus. He has always enjoyed singing and had also been selected to participate in a district wide select choral group for 5th to 8th grade students, so he chose chorus.

To his surprise, music class is now more than just singing as he is beginning to learn music theory. He is studying composers and the vocabulary and terminology of music and it has been interesting to see him sometimes thinking in musical terms.

Raymond Briggs' The Snowman
A few days ago, Andrew was watching David. "Hey Mom," he said, "Don't you think David is a composer?" I am not sure how I answered him. I didn't really even know what he was talking about, so I paused for a moment to go see what David was doing. He had been watching "The Snowman," a DVD based on David Briggs' book about a small boy whose snowman comes to life. The book is simply a series of illustrations and aside from a short narrative at the beginning, the DVD also has no words. But it has music--magical, fanciful music that David adores and he was dancing around the family room as the music played. I probably watched for two full minutes before I saw it. Woven into his wide, sweeping arm movements, he was using sign language. Snow. Wind. Stars. Night. He was signing as his way of singing—adding his own words to the music and it really was strikingly beautiful.

Composer. There have been many, many terms and labels attached to David, but composer is not one of them until now. Interesting how Andrew's observations about David almost always focus on one of his strengths. Composer. Add that one to the list.


  1. This post brought me to tears; it was so touching.

  2. Kathy, this is beautiful. Everyone should have a brother like Andrew....someone to see the very best in us. Very beautiful post.

  3. That is just such a lovely image. Your son has a lyrical mind... actually it seems both of them do. Thank you for sharing this beautiful moment with us.