Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Things My Nieces Ask Me

I love it when my nieces ask me questions. I like to think that they consider me a reliable source of answers, so I always try to give it my best effort.

The other day, when I had my nieces in my car, we heard someone on the radio mention "chamber music". Aubrey, who was sitting up front with me asked, "Aunt Judy, what is chamber music?". Aubrey, who takes piano lessons, has told me that she likes playing classical music the best. I have told her before that we always listened to classical music when I was a child because my dad always had it playing. She, who has never met my dad because she was born years after he died, remarked: "I think I inherited a lot of things from Grandpa Ted". We have discussed before how she is good at math, which he used to teach. She also loves to read, as did he. I wish she could have known him.

Anyway, back to her question. I didn't really know what the true definition of chamber music was, but I did my best to give her an answer. I said, "you know, when classical music is played by an large orchestra in a large symphony hall with a conductor? Well, chamber music is a smaller group of musicians playing in a smaller room, like the king's sitting room in the old days, or a room in a house." Out of curiosity, I looked it up when I got home. I was pretty close.

Another time I had Molly, who is nine, in the car with me. She is still too small to sit in the front seat, so she piped up from the back seat: "Aunt Judy, which came first, the chicken or the egg?"
Well! That one wasn't so easy. I said something like "that's one that people still aren't sure about, Molly. What do you think?". At first she thought it made sense that the egg came first because chickens come from eggs. But where did the egg come from? I'm not a creationist at all, but I said, "Well, maybe God made the chicken first, then it laid an egg." Finally, she decided a little baby chick came first. I asked her why. She said, "Well, it's between the other two." I had no comeback to that. I could have, but she seemed satisfied with her answer, so we let it go.

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