Monday, September 24, 2007

All Strings Night

It has been a long week... Last tuesday was Delta's third lesson... and we hadn't really practiced. It went ok (I told Miss A before we started that we hadn't practiced.) Delta was not fully attentive, and was eager to leave by the end of the lesson.... apparently that is common among young children when they hadn't practiced.... they know they didn't practice and are edgy about doing stuff they know they aren't doing as well as they would have.

Anyway, Delta is working on the same stuff - the main thing is placing the box violin into playing position. It is probably one of the more important things to practice, and of course it is the one thing we practice that he doesn't really want to practice. I can understand his feelings on it though - it does feel awkward.... and he is having to do it with a box!

On Thursday there was an All-Strings night for the suzuki program. All the returning string instruments would be playing their songs.... and the beginning students could come and watch. Miss A wanted to properly size all her students for their violins (as there would be a selection of the sizes there). Of course it was a night that my husband worked. I had planned for him to drop us off there (it started before his job), and then we would take the bus home. But then I had to take Charlie (my step-daughter) to the doctor because she wasn't feeling well.... so we didn't get home in time for that to work out - so we took my husband to work, then drove to the strings night. By the time we found parking and everything, we were about an hour late - and they were half-way through the last song. And guess what - the last song was "Twinkle Twinkle". Delta loved it though. I felt so frustrated I wanted to cry! Anyway, we went up to get sized.... and it ended up being worth it because Delta got to take his size of instrument home for his. We will be renting it. They only had 1 of each size there that night, so he was fortunate to get it.... and they only have a few at all to rent in his size anyway. He is in a 1/16th violin, which is the smallest they use here. (I have heard of a 1/32nd violin, the only smaller one, and they are pretty rare and not used much... and apparently it is not much smaller anyway.) It is SO TINY!

Delta was so excited about getting his violin, that he wouldn't let anyone carry it back to the car. He carried it very carefully (in it's case) all the way back. Before we left, I made sure that Miss A explained (as did I) that he still needs to use a box violin until he can show her that he is ready for the real one.

Practice has been going a bit better this week. I still didn't manage everyday with him (I gotta get the whole life routine worked out!) - but did manage about 3 or 4 times. He is upset that we aren't using his violin though. One practice I did use it for the "Name the parts" game. But I think that will be a bit of a treat though. Tonight when it was time to practice, he didn't want to, so I started practicing with Beta (his little sister...) - and zoom - he was right over and co-operating. Mind you, when I had to put her in a time-out a few minutes later for hitting him (she didn't want him to have a turn!), I have to wonder if maybe it isn't that great an idea.... Also, I lost the little footboard I made for her. He didn't want to practice putting the box violin in playing position, so we only managed to do it once - but I think it was a bit better. He is good at singing "Twinkle", generally aces naming the parts, is not too bad with his feet (oh - I think we forgot to practice the bow tonight.... oops!) and is overall still interested. But his favourite practice activity (and always has been) is singing the "A" to the note played on the violin or on the computer. The really neat thing is that he is actually getting the pitch pretty much right now! I'm impressed - as it shows that he understands what the purpose is, and can hear the pitch, and match it with his voice! I think that is amazing for a boy that isn't even 4 yet!

Oh, at the lesson I also learned how to hold the bow. Delta isn't ready for that yet. I suspect he will have a box violin for a LONG time!

We will see how lesson 4 goes tomorrow. Hopefully our practice has helped, and he will be attentive tomorrow. Also - Saturday is our first group lesson. That should be quite the interesting experience I should think! Not sure how big the beginning group is (but I think I heard 25 at some point?) - but I'm just picturing 25 little 3-5ish year olds with their little foot charts and box violins.... with no-one but the group teacher knowing what is going on and what to do. I'm sure that later weeks will be a lot easier, as the routine will be there - but I'm sure this Saturday will be interesting!

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