Thursday, November 29, 2007

This and That

Well, it has still been an interesting experience with lots of ups and downs. Delta has earned his bow (a week ago) - and was so close to earning his violin. Unfortunately, he totally refused to do anything at lesson this week. I was about ready to cry again - the weather here was so bad (a snow-storm the day before) and it was so cold, and I took him to the lesson..... he was happy to be there - then ended up not doing ANYTHING.

Miss A talked to me after he was done - had him look at books in another room because I was clearly at the tears point. He really is at the same basic point as her other students (although some of the kids with different teachers are a bit further) - which really is amazing because of all the challenges he has been giving. She knows he can do everything he has been taught so far (really, he is learning very quick.) She figures it is basically a form of perfectionism and performance anxiety. He doesn't want to do things because he is worried that he will make a mistake. Especially if he thinks that it is important. She has sent me via email some thoughts and ideas.

Yesterdays practice went really well - I kept it low-key and short, trying to keep totally positive - and he co-operated great - did a fantastic bow hold and held it - and put up his boxillin properly and held it. Today's practice he wasn't as keen, so I also kept it short, and just did stuff that he knows really really well and likes to do.

His first concert is in about 2 weeks - he and a few other kids will be doing "Up like a rocket-ship" with the bow I understand. Some of the other beginners (mostly older) will play the open "E" string in the "Manitoba Hot-Dog" rhythem.... which I have heard elsewhere called the "E-string concerto".

It is frustrating - but he is learning. It is so hard not to focus on where I want him to be.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Doing Better

I was sure I had posted one more time than I see here.... hm......

Well, things are going a bit better. Delta has still been refusing a lot of stuff - and we had one lesson with Miss A that all he did was do his bow, sing "A" and refuse to do anything until she convinced him to do a closing bow. The rest of the time was spent on my lesson. (By now, I am now playing Twinkle in all variations/patterns - but with long pauses between notes)

I made up the "Violin Game" - which is cards that we draw out of a hat. I made them with pictures to give visual clues to Delta.  Delta is doing practice a lot better, but is still refusing most of the time to deal with the "Boxilin". But he was refusing to practice ANYTHING before that, so it is still better.

Talked to his group teacher today, she suggested having him say how long he was going to hold the boxilin, and to use a timer. And if necessary, offer something like a chocolate chip for each 5 seconds. The talk was also good - she said that every child will have a "block" like this at some point. Some kids have it when they are starting and young - others might be 6 or 8 or 12, when they come across something they are having problems doing. She said that when they are older when it happens, they are more likely to quit.... while those that have it happen while they are young have learned to work through it. It is a hope I guess!

So anyway, last lesson with miss Anna, he did hold the boxilin for 10 seconds - which is great since he was refusing to even try before. 2 days ago in practice he did it for 32 seconds - a record for him.... but yesterday he refused, and during the group class he refused. So that is frustrating.

He is doing better at getting ready for his bow. He is the only kid in the group class that hasn't earned his bow yet. But he has 2 things he needs to be able to do to earn it.... one Miss A has already checked off. The other, he did 3 times the other day - so if he doesn't refuse to try it with Miss A during his lesson, he should be able to earn it! I'm hoping that that will make a big difference towards him working towards earning the violin.

It amazes me some of the stuff he can do already. I just get so frustrated when he won't work on what he needs to get to where he wants. He wants the violin - he kept going into my room and getting it out (until I put it on top of the bookcase...)

One other item - during group class, everyone played on the open "E" string (or pretended on the boxilin) - so once he has the violin things should start moving again!