Dad dot info
DAD.info form. Ask questions, get answers

Wired for music

I had literally bundled my two kids in through the door after a long car journey back from visiting my mum fifty miles away when my mobile rang. Caller ID said “Mum”.

“Hello mum,” I answered

“I’ve just seen that you forgot Arun’s red ukulele here. It’s in my bedroom. Do you want me to dash to the post office and mail it to you?” she said.

“No mum, don’t’ be silly. I’ll pick it up from you next time I see you.”

“Are you sure he’ll be OK without it?” she asked.

“Listen, he’s got a guitar and he can borrow his sister’s ukulele if he misses it.” I was pretty sure we’d survive.

I could understand mum’s worry though. Arun loves music and all things musical. He has a particular love of guitars and all things that are guitar-like. As far as he is concerned his little red ukulele is actually a perfect little red Arun sized guitar.

Such is his love of music that we are starting to develop a special, music based curriculum for him. Because of his disabilities there are very few things that really connect with Arun and since his birth music is the one thing that has consistently motivated him to do things. At his special needs school, after some persuasion, they agreed to let him have access to a music therapist. So, every Monday afternoon, Arun now spends an hour with a music therapist who helps him explore the world and express himself through music. The difference is incredible, he talks about what he did at school for the first time and quite obviously enjoys going to school more than ever before. Much more than this, we are now seeking to find ways of baking music into his broader curriculum to help him learn some broader skills and knowledge.

He can’t count to twenty but he can sing you every note of the guitar lines in “Sweet Child O Mine”. He won’t engage in conversation with you but will happily sing the chorus to Snow Patrol’s “Run” with real emotion. As his music therapist said recently, Arun’s brain is wired for music.

The next morning, as he came down the stairs Arun asked, “Want my ukulele. Where’s my red ukulele?”

“Sorry darling,” I answered him, “You’ll have to play with your guitar. We left the red ukulele at Granny’s house.”

Arun’s bottom lip started to quiver and pretty soon huge tears of loss were rolling down his cheeks as he sobbed uncontrollably. He was inconsolable. He felt the loss of his ukulele with a heartfelt passion.

His three year old sister, Meri looked on aghast. She understood Arun’s love of music rather better than her flippant father did. She ran into the lounge and came back clutching her pink ukulele. She thrust it into his hands on the stair where he stood with a wet face, gasping for air.

“Here you go, Arun,” she said, “don’t worry. You can borrow mine.”

Related entries

Too old for this

Too old for this

It was late on a Thursday evening and Rodger and I were walking up Upper Street in Islington, looking for a Thai restaurant. We were a little worse for wear   “You OK?” he asked looking at my awkward gait. “Yeah,” I said with that little inflection that indicated...

The big day

The big day

I could hear the rustling from the room next-door and glanced at my watch: 6:30 am. I groaned to myself but there was a certain inevitability about it   The kids bounded into our room moments later. “Is Uncle Steve here? Is he here?” They asked excitedly. “Yes,...

The big questions

The big questions

I was walking home from school with my five year old daughter. As we approached our front door she looked up at me   “Daddy?” she asked in that tone of voice that all dads will recognise as a precursor to something that they’ve been pondering. “Yes?” I answered...

Latest entries

The Best Family Walks in Britain

The Best Family Walks in Britain

We could all do with exercise, fresh air and some lovely low-cost days out, not to mention some beautiful scenery. Charles Clinkard have put together a list of the 40 greatest walks for families in Britain, taking into account a number of helpful amenities such as...

How To Keep Your Child Safe Online

How To Keep Your Child Safe Online

As a parent of a 10 year old who is rapidly approaching the age where he will be getting his own phone, I’m concerned about ensuring he isn’t exposed to a cavalcade of disturbing things online. I’m worrying about bullying, about him being contacted or making friends...

21 Things You Didn’t Know About Japan

21 Things You Didn’t Know About Japan

The Olympics have started! Despite a lack of fans (crowd noise will be piped into the stadiums instead) the event is still as important as ever and makes for great summer viewing. So at Dad.Info we have rounded up 21 interesting facts about Japan to both liberally...

Pin It on Pinterest