Playing with kids
It has been a while since i logged here (or played my instrument). Many things have happened in my life and only now I am looking at my little fiddle again.
However, i have a problem that I am having trouble solving:
How do you manage to practice with kids around (say, under 3).
Whenever I try to play, it is either "i want to play too", or "please stop, i want to [whatever]".
I have tried to provide the little one with an instrument - for the kid to join my activity. Not only a violin, to be honest (i have several instruments at home). But of course my instrument is much more interesting than a small one that can only make noise.
I also tried other approaches, but without any success.
Id like to ask for advice. Did anyone here went through a similar experience? This is a new situation for me (i didnt have kids before), and I don't know how to manage it. I can obviously not play (which is what I've been doing), and my attempts to make the kid interested in music so far have all backfired (i dont mind the noise of another instrument, but i cannot use an my violin if someone else trying to take it from me)
Thanks in advance!
Assuming that practicing time does not have to overlap with sole childcare responsibility, I'd practice with a mute or otherwise reduce the sound that might bother people and continue practicing despite whatever objections might remain, because I'd have to be able to do that.
I imagine this question applies to a whole range of activities in which you might be involved, but you don't want your toddler participating. Working with power tools, drinking Scotch, cooking over the stove, watching racy or violent television shows, conversing with adult friends, etc. The methods you use to exclude your child from these should be equally effective with your violin practicing.
Paul is correct. The simplest answer is "Practice after the kiddo goes to bed."
Thank you for the insights so far.
I believe every family situation would be different, i.e. what your family dynamics are, do you have a boy or a girl, etc.
At least in the US, it's common to put toddlers to bed by 7 or 8 pm in the evening. That's generally well before most adult bedtimes, leaving significant time to practice.
When my oldest daughter was around 3-4 she liked me to practice the violin in the next room while she was going to sleep.
In the vein of the above. I know it's easier said than done, but it's not a bad thing to just practice while the kids are playing. When I had two under 3, and then three under 4, I'd seta time and have "music time" while they played in the same room. Did I have to deal with interruptions and distractions? Yes, but they learned. It was usually about a 20-minute timer at first, with reminders to let mommy practice and occasional emergencies that killed the time, but as they got used to it I was able to go longer and actually get pieces prepared! Now I don't have it formalized, but they've learned to function more independently. Not that there aren't still interruptions and emergencies (apparently not being able to find the remote is an emergency!) but I can sustain a thought for more than a minute at least :)
Not a perfect solution, but I also use timers with my kids, because it helps both them and me be aware of what's coming/when. In this case, something like, "I'm going to set a timer for 20 minutes while you play with legos, and then we'll do X." I have a kid who struggles with transition and this also helps him with that (knowing that this activity will end in a certain amount of time). Not a perfect solution, but may give you an extra 10/20/30 minutes from time to time.