One thing I love about our girls’ school district is that kids get the opportunity to start instrumental music lessons in third grade. Georgia is excited to start next year, and Audrey is in her third year of playing the violin in the school ensemble.
Music is very important to me: I started playing the piano in second grade, and continued through high school when I accompanied the chorus in concerts. I also sang in several choruses and played the violin from 5th-7th grades.
So I think it’s wonderful that they can have this experience, and learn music in an extremely affordable way. But the problem is that, even though the violin teacher asks the children to practice every day, none of the students do.
The result is that a girl like Audrey, who listens well to directions and is pretty quick to pick things up, is getting an A in violin even though she puts forth absolutely. no. effort. And I can understand her reasoning: why work if she’s going to get an A anyway?
And now she wants to start piano lessons. When she was in second grade, I tried giving her lessons myself. But every week, we would put off the lesson time–wait until after breakfast, after I run errands, after Sydney’s nap…and then weeks would go by without a lesson.
So I have decided that both Georgia and Audrey are going to start piano lessons together. This way, I figure, they won’t want to disappoint their piano teacher (who they already know and love). I will be more on top of them, since I will be paying for the lessons. And finally, they will have that bit of competition to motivate them.
We’ll see how it goes. But I’m optimistic that soon we will have the lovely sounds of beginning musicians floating melodiously through our home. Hey, I can dream, right?
Do your kids play any instruments? How do you handle their practice schedules?