Here’s today’s #1 reason a child should study a stringed instrument. Cello and violin have never looked and sounded so cool.

\”Viva La Vida on YouTube\”

Our house contains one lapsed clarinetist, one lapsed violinist, and one lapsed violist. Actually two former violinists if you count me – I stopped at age 16. I’m a bit sad that none of our boys will have any orchestra experience beyond 5th grade – there’s really nothing like playing a gorgeous piece of music with many others. When the musicians are proficient, being in the audience can give you goosebumps, but trust me, not as much as playing.

It can be thrilling.

When I was in 6th grade, there were two pieces of music that I loved with a passion…and because I adored them, I played them with the utmost feeling – and more perfectly than anyone else. For those two pieces alone, I moved up to first chair, first violin. The pieces? Hatikva…and Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring. Insert Judeo-Christian jokes here.

I loved music so much that I planned to major in it at college. That dream was quickly dashed by a brutal first-semester piano professor who informed me I was doing everything wrong, and that was the end of that. I still play piano (thanks for driving it 1000 miles to my house, Daddy!) but my professor was right, I possessed neither the artistic brilliance nor the technical proficiency to make music my career.

However, how do you know unless you try? Here’s hoping Coldplay will give many little kids the chills….and when it’s time to choose an instrument, inspire them to turn down trombone, and stick with the strings.

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