Kids Don’t Play With Their Toys: Looking For Music In Unlikely Places

What is my two-year-old doing? He was looking for music. He was attempting to listen to the tiny crevice he found in the tile surrounding the fireplace. I didn’t tell him there’s no music in the fireplace because I found it more interesting that he would look there in the first place. Maybe it’s because the crevice between the tiles was too tempting to pass up, the narrow end of those headphones seemed to fit perfectly in that crevice so he tried over and over to get the jack to fit. I wonder what (if anything) he heard. When I asked him what he was doing, he replied, “music.”

I watched him try for a while, those headphones, slightly too big for his tiny ears, slid to his shoulders, but he kept trying to fit that jack into the tile. His determined look seemed to suggest he believes music lives somewhere in that fireplace. The birds sometimes call their song from the top of the chimney, and I suppose he wondered if there are other noises he could find with his headphones plugged into the unknown world behind that tile. And even as I know there is no sound, no music on the other end of those headphones, I also know my son’s imagination was intent on listening, looking for rhythm in the most unlikely of places.

And even if he never finds the sound he’s looking for, the music that will make him dance and sing, I hope that won’t stop him from trying to listen again to something else random and ordinary in the house. Looking, listening for the sound around him, creating magic of the everyday.

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Categories: Kids don't play with their toys, Kids Play, Parenting

4 Comments on “Kids Don’t Play With Their Toys: Looking For Music In Unlikely Places”

  1. Antonia
    March 3, 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    “When we should do nothing but get out of the way and allow them to explore and discover” – how right you are Dionne and, if we are lucky, we might try to see the world again through them with unfettered eyes and recall the wonder of possibilities. There was an interesting talk on Youtube adapted from a RSA presentation by Sir Ken Robinson on Changing Education Paradigms. He is provocative and what he says about divergent thinking left me pondering about how to help my students move beyond all the indoctrination they have been through and return to experiential learning, thinking and expression.

    • March 3, 2012 at 1:06 pm #

      Love that. Thanks for sharing…For years, I’ve been a fan of Sir Ken Robinson and his thinking and work in and around education. You too are doing such good work and your students are fortunate to have an educator (forward thinking, hopeful, and full of possibility) like you in the classroom. I thank you for the important work you do. It is truly inspiring.

  2. Antonia
    March 3, 2012 at 10:21 am #

    With the wind today, he may just find even more music in that fireplace! Keep cultivating that thinking…it is too bad that it is socialized out of us so quickly.

    • March 3, 2012 at 10:38 am #

      You’re right…the wind is singing today, and the trees are swinging their long bare arms. It is too bad imagination and creativity is sucked and pulled out of young ones at the precious age when we should do nothing but get out of the way and allow them to explore and discover. As creatives and educators, my hope is that we can work to undo the damage in tiny bits and pieces, and as mothers, we can continue to mother creatively and allow dreaming, adventure, and imagination to flourish.

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