"And here's a new song----'Ode to Joy.'"
Charlie's piano teacher put the new sheets into the binder with Charlie's piano music and I laughed: "A real piece of music." Indeed, a picture of Beethoven was velcroed to the section containing the music for "Ode to Joy."
"I wahn mehwahn!" said Charlie, whose devouring of a watermelon he had selected at the grocery store had been interrupted when the piano teacher appeared. He finished munching some pieces Veronica cut up for him, washed his sticky fingers as requested, and ran down stairs. "E, E, F, G. G, F, E, D. C, C, D, E. E, D, D." Charlie read the notes and played what was, indeed, "Ode to Joy," with a wrong note here and there that he quickly corrected----not bad for his time ever sight-reading music.
Back in the days before Charlie could talk, Jim and I read about how some autistic children sing before they can talk. In the case of Charlie---who can just read some sight words (considerable progress for a boy who could not read any words, period, a year ago)---I am thinking that he is learning to read music before reading words.
We have been trying to teach Charlie to read for the past four years. Just today, in talking to his teacher, I noted that Jim and I want to keep academic standards very high for Charlie, while acknowledging that his "progress" in some, or many areas---reading, writing, mathematics, more---might be very gradual.
And watching Charlie read sheet music and play the piano in full possession and pride in his ability, I am wondering if these piano lessons might be offering a clue we've been searching so long for, a clue to boost Charlie's efforts to learn to read.
I will be listening.