Music and Imagination

Really playing an instrument, that is.
  When i pick him up at school, i try to remember to ask Max which special he had on a given day, and something about what he did in that class.
  Tuesday, he answered, "Music." The next question was, did you sing, play an instrument, or do something else?  He said he'd played an instrument, not sang, and the instrument was a viola.
  Really?  Viola is such an unusual word.  i rather have to believe it, though he will often come up with things just to say anything.
  Max, can you tell me more please?   Well, Max was at the end of what he could say just then, or at least i was at the end of what i could elicit at that point. 
  But i did 

email the music teacher.

  She shared about a virtual petting zoo type of thing.  She went to online to A Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, at Carnegie Hall.  While an animated orchestra played, the kids pretended to play along.  Each section and individual instrument gets their turn.  Strings were the lesson of the day.
  Max had played them all, along with his classmates.  However, his classmates had said they liked the violin best.  Max alone preferred the viola. 

continuing the conversation

  So today i talked about this again.  Pretending to play an instrument that's not there, that's imagination.*  That's a good thing.
  Today's question was, Why did you choose a viola?  What do you like about it?
  Do you like that it's small, that it's cute, that it sounds prettiest?
  Max responded, "Sounds prettiest."
  Yep, my boy with perfect pitch likes the instrument that sounds prettiest.  (MyGuy has perfect pitch too, while i can't carry a tune in the proverbial bucket.)
*i had thought that having autism meant having no imagination.  Turns out i was wrong.  The original researcher, whose work went mainstream, was using the term in a technical way that average people don't think of.
  She meant social imagination, something like empathy.  Who knew?
 Here's a few of the useful articles i found, including some by people on the spectrum:

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