Young talent plays to retirees
If you thought the gap between generations was getting harder to bridge these days, you may be heartened to read about five-year-old Sea-am Thompson's community spirit.
Every Saturday morning Sea-am and his dad Terry Thompson delight the residents at the Kaikoura Hospital rest home with an hour of music. Terry is a keen accordion player and his son is showing signs of having inherited his musical genes, and is already taking weekly violin and piano lessons.
Sea-am's violin teacher travels to Kaikoura from Christchurch every week to teach, and Terry and Sea-am's mum, Bon, are pleased to have her on board as she has plenty of experience, having been a member of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra for more than 30 years.
Local piano teacher Mary-Clare Hampton takes him every Monday before school for piano lessons, and he takes ukulele lessons with Sally Blunt as well.
Terry thought it would be a nice idea, as well as a good way to encourage Sea-am to practise, if he took his violin to the hospital each week. He has been playing for the residents up there now for about three months, entertaining them with both his violin and piano skills.
"Apart from learning music we feel it is also a great way to learn to communicate with the older generation, with positive adults who encourage Sea-am in a caring and productive way," says dad Terry. "He is very fortunate to have such excellent teachers who are passionate about music."
From a very young age Sea-am showed a keen interest in music and his parents hope he will continue playing into adulthood, but whatever Sea-am decides to pursue he is sure to be dedicated. Aside from his music lessons, the youngster is kept busy learning languages. With a Thai mother he is, of course, learning the Thai language, but it doesn't stop there. For the past 12 months he has also been learning Mandarin, through regular Skype lessons.
Sea-am manages to still find time in his busy schedule for swimming and gymnastics.