June 10, 2007 at 8:31 PMAfter quite a long break from the violin, my daughter asked to play it again. Her school music program had a demonstration last week, with all the 3rd and 4th graders playing violin, viola, and cello as a group. They played Frere Jacques as a round and Turkey in the Straw. I think they actually skipped Twinkle, which was just fine with me. I was impressed with how many kids they had doing this just in her elementary school alone, and especially with how many violas and cellos there were in addition to violins. Also, there were a lot of boys in all three sections. (I'd heard that in some suburbs, stringed instruments were considered too girly. Yikes. Glad that doesn't seem to be the case here). Sure, there'll be some attrition as they get older, but it looked like a very healthy program.
My daughter came right home and wanted to practice again. I mentioned that Lucy had probably been lonely not being played for several months and she agreed. We played for 35 minutes, reviewing scales, old Suzuki pieces + duets, and some more Adventures in Violinland. While that isn't a huge amount of time, it was all good time. There was no whining, no complaining, no losing focus. When I asked her to repeat something or correct something, she made a good faith effort to do so. She also just seemed to understand what I was telling her at a higher level than she did before. Maybe the piano lessons have helped, or maybe she's made some kind of developmental cognitive leap just through maturity. Yesterday she was a pleasure to teach, unlike she really ever has been before.
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