Life, Love, and Passports

Posts tagged “violin

The panic room

Charis my 7yr old daughter did her grade 1 violin exam today. A large part of her Easter break was spent practising exam pieces, scales, sight reading and aural tests. There were days when she’d just huff and puff from sheer frustration and others when she’d just get on with her practice. We did make sure she got to do stuff she enjoys like craft, going to the movies, baking and attending a jazz session. I still think learning a musical instrument should be fun alas it appears it’s much more than that!

Last night she said she needed a early night so she could be fresh and prepared. She slept peacefully through the night while I was having restless dreams of waking up way too late for her to do the exam. Never mind the pressure of taking an exam I felt the pressure of being a mother and wanting her to do her best and letting her know it would be good enough. She described the practice room at her exam venue as a panic room because she felt scared. I do wish there was an easier way to grade the music. She’ll wait a while for her results but in the meantime we’ll all enjoy a break from the rigorous schedule.

Tonight I’m looking forward to a peaceful sleep filled with visions of daffodils!


It’s not a game anymore

Today was one of those days that called on my husband and I to present a united front when dealing with my seven-year old. I’ve come to realise that parenting is a multifaceted occupation. Some days I feel like I’ve got a split personality. The challenges come thick and fast and then there are periods of smooth sailing when everyone seems to know what’s required of them.

My daughter has been playing the violin for little over a year now and we still have to deal with these intermittent outbursts when she doesn’t want to practice. She recently joined a junior orchestra and things have stepped up a gear. She is more than happy to attend her lessons but is not in favour of practicing at home. I’m looking forward to the day when I’ll tell her that she has put in more than enough time. Truth is that’s a long way off and for now we just have to encourage and occasionally threaten her. Whatever gets results!

The road ahead is long and we’ve agreed that she won’t be allowed to throw in the towel because quitting is for quitters. I must admit at the height of her music tantrums I want to throw the towel in for her. Here’s hoping that she’ll thank us one day for teaching her the useful art of hanging in even when things aren’t going your way.

Opportunity or overload?

Today my girls had their first lesson in African drumming and I must admit their enthusiasm or rather a lack of it was slightly disappointing. Gemma did ask if she could change her mind and my response was a bit threatening I might say. I gave her a mini talk about taking every opportunity she can and how she should be grateful for the opportunity to try new things. I felt pretty rotten as the day went by and have decided to give her the choice of dropping out. After all fun shouldn’t be stressful!

As parents we have officially entered the phase in our girls lives where we get to decide certain things for them. The difficulty now is deciding what is necessary for their personal growth and just how far to push them. The violin has become a bit of a sore point at the moment. It started off with lots of enthusiasm and no skill. Then some skill and a lack of practice. We thought we’d reached the plain sailing part with daily practices and the mastering of pieces. Sadly the last two weeks have been filled with tears, tantrums and threats. My husband and I have decided that there will be no bail out on this one. This is the activity that will eventually teach my dear little six-year-old the importance of perseverance and never giving up even when things get tough.

I’ve been looking at all the activities available for our girls I’ve had to be sober about getting them involved in every activity available. After all I can’t expect them to do the activities they are interested in and the ones I wish I’d had the opportunity to participate in.
Here’s to their future let’s see how it all plays out!

To the beat of the rhythm

It always amazes me how music really is a language of its own. I listen to a wide selection of music mainly because I enjoy listening to appropriate music at the appropriate time. It is quite shocking how music has an effect on your mental state. So for me its got to be the right beat for the occasion.

When driving I find my skills quite erratic while listening to upbeat music and parallel parking is virtually impossible while listening to the Chipmunks soundtrack! Whilst shopping I’d prefer the sound of the saxophone or even the violin but it always seems to be Jessie J which seriously has me collecting more garments than I care to buy. I do try to remember to take my iPod that way I’m locked in a zone of my own and I choose what kind of space I want to be in. Most of the time it is a very relaxed and no hurry track that I can hum along to and perhaps annoy some shoppers along the way.

Music is a really important part of my life and can’t imagine my life without it. My only regret is that I don’t play an instrument. I know it’s been said you’re never too old to learn so I won’t write that possibility off. While all our tastes differ I guess the end result is getting pleasure from whatever it is we choose to bop or sway to. Rock on!