5 years

Next week my youngest will play her last violin concert at her school and that event will finally end 5 years of tears and tantrums.

It all started in when she was in grade 3. She was chosen to learn violin at school. I remember how excited she was when she came home with the letter from the school music teacher that she was selected for the instrumental music program.

I also knew if she joined the music program, it will involve regular practicing and early morning lessons, so I explained to my child that I will only sign the parental consent, if she signs a declaration that she understands it is a long term project, that she has to practice everyday and that she will not be allowed to quit and must complete the full program ( until grade 7).

I also felt it is not fair to her music teacher, who really works hard to teach musical instruments to children who have never played violin/cello etc before and  most children quit when going gets tough and she can’t replace children half way.

I wanted to teach  my child about  commitment and not to be a quitter in the game of life. Signing up for violin lessons provided an opportunity for her to learn about commitment and 5 years was a really long time..

Grade 3 and grade 4 was alright. She practiced every evening. Grade 5, she felt learning violin is a waste of time and we began to have regular arguments. She wanted me to tell her what she would gain by learning to play violin and I told her very frankly that  perhaps her destiny is not going to be like Vanessa May, but sticking with the program will teach her a valuable life skill.  We argued passionately. She said how much she hated violin and  me I said I am sorry you feel that way, but you will still need to practice because you signed a declaration saying you will. And she did. ( grudgingly)

When she went for her high school interview, her interviewer noticed from her report that she is in the school musical program and asked her ” will you be continuing your violin lessons in high school?” and she replied very frankly ” not in this life time”

And that is that.

4 thoughts on “5 years

  1. Must of have been tough to commit to something you no longer have passion for. But yes it does teach a valuable life skill. Kudos to Baby and best wishes on her final concert.

  2. 🙂 I subscribe to the no quitting mantra, but when my daughter was in 5th grade, I actually let her quit her orchestra where she was playing the violin. She did not want to play the violin and in 4th grade when she could have chosen her instrument, I was in India with her and she missed out on the choice and default was violin. She did not practice, she could not read music and I couldn’t either. Band practice mornings at school became dreadful and stressful events. I went and told the teacher that I could not help with reading music and asked for help, which she did not provide and so I wrote a note to the teacher and the principal and got her out. In her 6th grade, she wanted to take up flute, but then her classes clashed, so we got her private lessons and in 7th grade she was playing flute in her school orchestra. In High school, she gave that up and is in advanced choir. She can sing and auditions for county and state women’s choir and gets in. I am still illiterate when it comes to reading and writing music, though I love to listen to it!
    The key point of that rambling was that may be your little one likes instruments other than the violin. May be she will discover another instrument that she will come to love.

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