About three weeks ago, the tinwhistles I asked my cousin to buy for me from the US, finally arrived. According to Andrea Corr (yup, she’s my inspiration why I’ve been wanting to learn to play the tinwhistle and teach my kids how to play too), that’s one of the easiest musical instruments to play. I think she started learning when she was just three years old. Of course, being Irish, tinwhistles were already intrinsic in her country back then.

And so it went that when I (and my kids -- believe me, they also enjoy watching the video concerts I have!) got hooked on The Corrs' music, having a tinwhistle became one of my simple dreams. Good thing my cousin was kind enough to order some for me from The Whistleshop.

Less than 24 hours after claiming each of our own tinwhistles, Daniel, Joshua and I were already playing simple tunes. Leland said he’s not interested, preferring to settle with his drawings and sketches. My husband, the guitar and flute recorder expert, got in the fray and tried impressing us with more complex tunes (I must admit he does have good ears for music).

In less than a week, I was able to happily accompany several Corrs songs already, and then some. James would look on, bright-eyed and full of smiles. After all, he’s my very first convert to the Irish band’s music. Needless to say, I’m ecstatic over this new “toy” of mine. Although I’m not so good at trying to play notes by ear, so every now and then I go over to the piano and try out the tunes there first before attempting them on the tinwhistle. I guess I’ll forever remain the notes-dependent kind of musician. But I get by :)

The music-making didn’t stop there though. Long after Joshua got tired of practicing, Daniel kept on playing his tinwhistle almost every moment of everyday, sometimes threatening to burst all our eardrums with the off-key pieces hahaha. When my brother (who’s a classical guitar teacher in UP Diliman) came home and we were discussing about the university’s summer music workshops, Daniel said he wanted to learn to play the violin too. Day after day, my little one’s decision didn’t falter. His resolve finally convinced us that he’s serious about violin lessons.

So last week, my feet suffered terribly in trying to accompany my brother and Daniel from one music store to another, finding a violin that would fit my son’s size. Three hours, two malls, an MRT ride and a dozen stores later, we found the right one. Whew!

By summer’s end, I’m looking forward to Daniel’s violin recital. It wouldn’t matter if all he would be able to play is Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. I’m sure, I’ll still be the proudest mom in the audience there.




Bittersweet

My three aunts, one uncle, three cousins, two nephews and a niece will be going back to the US in batches over the next few days. I’ll miss them once again. My aunts are my dad’s only sisters and every time I see them, I feel that strong blood connection we have, bonding us, even though my father has been gone for a long time now.

My sole surviving uncle and his family held a farewell party the other day for our soon-to-depart relatives. It was fun being with the extended family. My mom and I attended with my youngest son in tow. One cousin rented a karaoke machine and everyone had a blast belting different kinds of songs from early afternoon until way into the night. There was much laughter as one of my aunts clowned around, interpreting a love song her youngest sister was singing, thru funny actions. I had fun singing along to old songs that I became familiar with through my dad, with his siblings. The third generation kids were aplenty. My son had a great time getting to know his second cousins more as they ran around the house and ate dinner together.

As the evening drew to a close, I was filled with melancholy, wondering when I’ll get to see those wonderful people again. We’re not sure when they’ll be coming back but I’m pretty quite certain that when they did, that inexpressible joy that we all feel when we get together, will be coming around once more.
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