My daughter (8) plays the cello. Well, she plays notes on a cello. I wouldn't say that she is to the pint where you could call her up to record your next emo hit. But she does fairly well, and is even getting pretty good for a 2nd grader.
The cool thing is, she is starting to experiment, and that is usually when a musician starts to take off...because they are enjoying the instrument. She comes home every day from school and religiously sits down and plays whatever three or four songs she is working on. Usually, she just hammers her way through them as quickly as possible, playing them at a ridiculous tempo just to be done with them.
Last week, something cool happened...she started playing the theme from Jaws. You know...duhh duhn. Duhh duhn...dundundundund...and so on. It was really neat to hear her work her way through it.
This week, I noticed something even cooler...she is transposing keys. She is playing the same song on different strings, which changes the key. Now that is progress! To make that easier to understand for you non-musical folks, songs can be played in a multitude of different keys, as long as the notes are played in the correct place. For example, you can play a song on a guitar in a different key just by playing the same song two frets up. It makes the song go up a register, which might make it easier for someone to sing, for example.
Anyway, by doing these kind of things, she will become much, much better at cello, because she is starting to enjoy it. Much like the way a kid will become better at baseball when they want to hang around the fields after practice and throw with their friends, or the way a kid who carries a soccer ball around with him will probably become better, just by proxy.
It is fun to be a dad, I tell you what!