What an audience. I'm interested to know if you like playing for kids. I've always liked it. I've had plenty of fun informal playing sessions, but this one is among my favorite memories. Please share yours.
One summer afternoon, about a month after my high school graduation, some friends of the family and their two sons, ages 8 and 6, came to visit. Jean, the mother, knew I was a serious violin student and asked me to play.
I played from memory -- nothing flashy, just the straightforward lyrical stuff that reaches my soul -- finishing with A. Ehrhardt's Berceuse, Op. 38, No. 11, which I'd learned early in the first year of lessons. Now, some years beyond beginner stage, I could play it in multiple positions with a full singing tone.
During this piece, the kids looked at each other, then at their parents. Their faces lit up more than once with happy grins. I knew what they were feeling -- the same delight I had felt years earlier when my first teacher played the selection and showed me how to make it sing.
My way with kids: I don't play down to them. I just play things that engage my mind and soul -- whether elementary, like the Ehrhardt piece, or a lot more advanced. If the music really grabs me, regardless of level, I find that the kids respond positively, and they're happy to go along for the ride.
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