Sunday, May 16, 2010

A family that plays together

Which is the greatest?  Faith, hope or love?  Many religious people today insist that faith is everything.  But that's not what St Paul says.  To him, love is the greatest.  There is no greater love than the love within a family.

Today is the first Saturday when the kids' exams are all over.  We took a walk in a nearby shopping mall.  Everything was fine; young children were at play at the playground and God was in his heaven and all was right with the world:

We had dinner and I had my lovely soft-shelled crab

When we got home, my son downloaded scores for free from the internet.  That's how cheap our entertainment is - everything is for free!

The first was Beethoven's Trio for clarinet, cello and piano

But the poor pianist got a raw deal.  The piano part was the hardest and my daughter who was playing the piano got my wife to take over.  We played on until my wife found it too hard to sight-read.  She complained that the score was too small and because this was a freebie, all parts were grouped together and the print was really small.  We tried photocopying and enlarging the print but the whole thing couldn't fit in.  That's what you get when you're too much of a cheapskate to buy original scores from

My son gave us yet a different score - he seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of free scores!  This was Anton Alexander's piece for clarinet, flute, violin and cello.  None of us played the flute.  So, only the three parts were played and my wife was the audience.

After we were sick of that piece, my kids and I played Bach's songs which my son who appeared to have a lot of time on his hands had transcribed for our different instruments.  We played other pieces of music too - the theme for Schindler's List, etc.  I'm the musical idiot in the family and my kids have to write out the score for me before I can even play a single bar!  Over the years, they have written quite a lot for me!

There is nothing more cosy than for the family to play music together.  Most fathers in Singapore today are too proud and aloof to play music with their kids and this has resulted in a horrible rift and a breakdown of communication between parents and children.  One can always start with something simple.  One doesn't have to begin with Beethoven's Trio which we did because it was freely available on the net and well, we all got tied up in knots but we had a good laugh over it with wifey going "Aiyoh" all the time as she encountered impossibly tough bits.  One doesn't have to be musically gifted in order to enjoy playing music.  Pride is always the culprit here.

It's amazing that in today's world, one can have so much fun and laughter at absolutely no cost.  And it's all in the family too.


  1. How nice. My wife and I don't share much in common in that respect. She loathes all the things I love to do, like sports, photography, computer games etc. I don't particularly like what she loves either, like singing. Neither of us play instruments. I tried guitar and the recorder in the past, but I suck at them. She likes reading... although we can't really do that as a family and frankly I'm a slow reader and I hate doing it for fun.

    About the only things we can do as a family are watch movies, eat and maybe quarrel. Haha. Not good. :(

  2. Not sharing the same interests can actually be a strength. The abilities that each one of you has can complement the other person's abilities.