Big Girl, had a trial violin lesson, at school a few weeks ago, and was very excited by the idea of playing the violin, and has been asking if she can have lessons. The school, seems to have pushed the idea quite hard, and sent several letters home, with details of lessons and offering a second trial lesson, for her to see if she really was interested.
I have to admit, I have been pretty reluctant to go down the musical instrument route. Not because I don’t want my children to learn to play an instrument, but simply because I haven’t “felt” that feeling, that Big Girl, in particular, was that musical, or inclined towards playing something. She loves singing and dancing, enjoys her ballet and swim classes, enjoys Science Club at school, and will be joining Brownies in September. She is very artistic, for her age, and spends hours drawing, sketching and crafting. Her being so enthusiastic has surprised me, and when I asked her why, she said “I’ve always wanted to play an instrument, like the violin, I just never asked about it before”. Maybe we should have asked her, and set her up with instrument lessons earlier, or maybe now is the right time.
I would, to be honest, prefer she learned to play the piano, because I feel the piano is a better base for learning some musical skills. I can, myself, play a little, and can read music, and carry a tune, and know the basics, and could help her practice. Unfortunately, we don’t own, nor are likely to own, a piano, and I am a purist, and don’t feel an electronic keyboard is quite the same, and piano lessons, at the moment, are hard and expensive to come by, and to fit them into her busy schedule, and then figure out how she would practice, with a lack of piano at home, makes it complicated. The violin, seems intimidating to me, more complicated, and fragile, and harder to learn.
However, after a long chat, LSH and I have agreed to allow her to do a year of violin lessons, then see how she feels, and if she is enjoying it, and wants to carry on, we will, and if she has done a year, and then decides it’s not for her, then she will have accomplished something, and we will feel like it’s not been a waste of time and money.
I realise I sound like I am not being complimentary or encouraging of my child, this is not my intention. I just have a gut feeling that she has decided that she wants to do this, because several of her friends are doing it, and it seems fun and exciting. I could be wrong (and I am most definitely not always right) but I don’t think violin is something she will end up playing on a long term basis.
But, that being said, I feel that there are several reasons why we should allow her to try:
- We are allowing her to choose, she is nearly 7, and whilst not an adult, we have always within sensible limits, allowed her to make choices for herself and she has expressed a strong desire to be allowed to try the violin. If we give her a year, we think is a long enough time for her to see if it works for her, or not, and allows her to realise that she is also responsible for herself and the choices she makes
- It will be a good discipline for her, she understands that she will have to practice, probably at least 4x per week, attend a lesson, once a week and be responsible for caring for her violin and it’s accessories
- It will give her a basic foundation in music, and some musical skills, which are important, and even if she decides playing a musical instrument isn’t for her, it’s a good grounding to have
- It’s a fun, and educational activity, and will give her an opportunity to meet new people, and also, once she has been playing for a few moths, be involved in shows and displays at school and outside school, which I think will be a good experience for her.
- It will be good for me, to dust off my brain, because I also have to attend her lessons, so I can learn with her, to be able to help her practice and make sure she is using the correct techniques. This will be a challenge for me, but I am looking forward to it. I don’t get a lot of one to one time, just with her, and this will be an opportunity for me to do something with her, I am hoping we will have fun, as well as learn together.
So, no more rude remarks about ear plugs, or the cats getting upset by the noise, because it looks like we will be hearing the sweet (I hope) sound of a violin from within our walls, from September. Maybe we will have a budding musician on our hands? Only time will tell!