Music, Math, and Memory


Fourth grade is the first year that students in our district can pick an instrument to play.

Because Liam did so well with recorder karate (two years in a row), I thought he would enjoy playing the clarinet.

We thought that being a male clarinet player might be different, but upon research, found that there were many male clarinet players.

Just not very many in elementary and middle school.

But that made Liam unique, again.

His love of math helped him understand music in a way that is way beyond any level of understanding I ever had. He appreciates notes, scales, and timing on a whole different level.

His memory also helps him learn music quickly and even be able to “hear” what note someone is playing.

This summer, we will be headed down to a warehouse outside of D.C. to get Liam a “real” clarinet. He loves playing and hopes to continue through college.

He also started playing the cello in fourth grade. We could tell from early on that this was not going to be his instrument. I think it was the physical aspect of holding the instrument, maintaining the posture/position he needed in order to play correctly, and the bowing. For all kids, this is a demand, physically. Liam’s low muscle tone made it even tougher.

It could have also been the experience with the other (competitive) student, or playing two instruments. The teacher thought it would be tough going from the clarinet’s to the cello’s key signature. Because of Liam’s memory and math brain, this was definitely not a concern.

We love that he can highlight his gifts and talents through music. It’s also where he has been able to make some wonderful friends.

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