Perfect Pitch!

About two years ago, we discovered that my youngest son has something called “perfect pitch.” He can essentially hear any note played on any instrument and tell you exactly what that note is.

Now this may not be the most “practical” gift a person could have but it is one nonetheless. In fact, my concentration on what he didn’t have nearly blinded me to what he does have.

We were in a music store looking into trombone lessons a couple of years ago when Lan began talking with one of the salespeople which was a rarity in itself. Somehow or another, an instrument was played and Lan stated the correct note in response. The salesman began playing different instruments to see if Lan could continuously give the correct answer. He explained that Lan has “perfect pitch.”

Lan’s “talent” is now somewhat of a novelty with his fellow students in band class. The kids take turns playing various instruments and notes to see if they can stump him. So far no one has. It is something he is good at and it gives him pride and confidence I hadn’t seen before.

I admit I pushed Lan toward his musical inclinations. Not that he doesn’t love music, but my motives were deeper than that. I started him in piano lessons to strengthen his hands. This was my answer to out-of-pocket occupational therapy expenses. Lan was unable to grasp a pencil firmly and write legibly like his classmates. I figured piano lessons would not only strengthen his fingers and develop dexterity but stimulate his brain as well. Coordinating the notes he read on paper to the activity of his fingers would be a great mental exercise.

It would take the music teacher and me roughly two years before we realized Lan was rarely reading the notes! He can read music however we learned (slowly) that Lan has to only hear a simple melody once before he can play it on the piano. The joke was on us!

Sometimes in life we pay so much attention to what we don’t have, we miss out on what we do have. In my case, I was trying to develop certain skills in my child and focused so intently on that goal I was nearly oblivious to his emerging musical talents. I now encourage his musical pursuits not to facilitate a goal but because music is something in which he can succeed and enjoy.

Lately Lan has mentioned a desire to play the trumpet. I suspect the piano and trombone have become boring.  I will indulge his musical pursuits with the appreciation that for him, music is more than a pastime but rather a way that he can express himself and do it well.

I’m glad my eyes are now open to what he can do instead of fixated on what he cannot do. Now, if only I had this revelation all the time.

 I will encourage Lan to nurture his gifts, not based on practicality but rather instead because God blessed him with those things. 

Each of us lacks certain talents for sure, yet we probably possess so many more if only we would have eyes to see…

“And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability,” Matthew 25:15 NKJV

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6 thoughts on “Perfect Pitch!”

  1. As a muso and music therapist, I would give so much to be able to have perfect pitch!! It is a WONDERFUL GIFT!!! 🙂 I agree with what you wrote sometimes in life we focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do have. So true! It is all in our perspective isn’t? May The Lord use your son for His purposes and Glory. God bless you!

    Mel

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by!

      When I first heard the term I didn’t give it much thought. It was only when a couple of music teachers made me realize how rare it is that I’ve grown to appreciate Lan’s talent. He continues to inspire and surprise us 🙂

      Be Blessed!

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  2. It’s so lovely that you are so ‘in tune’ with your son Lilka (pardon the pun!) and helping him develop his talents along the way. He will thank you for it, be sure of that!

    Out of my three children, my son NIcky was the one who played the piano from the age of 6 for many years (until he became bored) and then the trombone in middle school (he hated it!) but then went on to be the musician that he is today.

    He says to this day that it was his piano lessons that really instilled within him a desire to create his own music and gave him the inspiration to continue with his music albeit in a different form and many years later. The only thing he regrets is that he didn’t continue with the piano….although I do still have the piano, ready and waiting… 😉

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    1. Thanks for the encouraging words! I sometimes get out of tune with Lan but for the most part we can usually “harmonize: 🙂
      I declare you are my twin on another continent! What are the odds? Piano and trombone. I thought about that when I saw the picture of your son holding the black cat on your blog. We have one too!
      I am trying to do my best encouraging both boys musical pursuits, by Christmas we will be on instruments numbers five and six!

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