Your child’s talent and style will probably surface early, as it did with my son Lewis when he was between three and four. Music burst out of him before his cello technique could handle it, and I’ll never forget one particular lesson in which that drive asserted itself. I was forced to either correct his minor mistake or allow his self-expression free rein.
He was playing a short, easy piece, “Don’t Bother Me.” The rhythmic notation for these four syllables was simple enough for a beginner, and possibly because of this, it sounded in a monotone, like Tik-Tok of Oz would have said it: “Don’t-bo-ther-me.”
Lewis saw the title of the piece, glanced at the notes, and sang lustily, “Don’t BO-ther me.”
Then he played it that way. Rather than giving all the notes the same length, he accented the syllable “Bo” and lengthened it as well. His rhythm perfectly fit the spirit and meter of the words, yet it was wrong according to the notation.