Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Our Little Violinist

We're a pretty musical family...in that we like to LISTEN to music. Sure, Shane plays the drums, but is that really MUSIC?

When I was little, I played the piano. I can remember practicing...although I don't remember dreading it...and I don't remember when I stopped...or why (I'm sure my mom would say that's "selective memory" and she'd be more than happy to fill in those details, though.)

This year, Zoe's school offers optional violin to her grade level. I was slightly shocked when she said she wanted to participate. Really? Violin? I told her she had to ask her father. His response was, "if you like hearing 'eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, errrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee', then sure!" She laughed and laughed...and signed up. Even when the teacher called and said there'd be a chance that Zoe would miss her lunch recess every Wednesday so she could have class, Zoe was still gung-ho. Mrs. Clark's only request is that kids stick with the violin for the whole year.

Confession time: In Junior High and High School, I played the clarinet. And I'll let you in on a little known secret: I was a Bando! Yup...Did Marching Band for 2 years. But seriously, it was a bit too hard core for me (we practiced after school 2-3 times a week, competed on the weekends, went away for a week in the summer and even practiced in the freezing cold...outside...at night...for hours on end). And since I liked having a life (and the ability to feel my fingers) I remember quitting. Yes, QUITTING! Don't tell my kids...they aren't allowed to quit anything. Ever. But Zoe assured me that she was "committed".

Thankfully, 2nd grade violin isn't quite as hard-core as Marching Band. Zoe is required to practice a minimum of 4x/week @ 10 min/practice. I can handle that. The first week Zoe had her violin, She practiced everyday. And the only thing she had to do was practice the proper way to take it out of the case, the proper way to hold it, and the parts of the violin. So for 10 minutes every day, Zoe would take the violin out, "feet together, unzip, violin foot back, statue of violin, deep breath in, come in for a landing".

By week 3, they were practicing rhythms and "Mississippi Hot Dog" got very annoying...very quickly.

Now, 8 weeks in, I'm proud to say, She can successfully play "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"...sort of.

Last week, while watching the CMA's, I quick ran upstairs and grabbed Zoe to watch The Zac Brown Band play "The Devil Went Down to Georgia". (I'm aware this song isn't the greatest and has some questionable lyrics and even a swear word...I muted it...she was too dumbfounded by the speed at which the boy played to actually listen to the song).

She REALLY likes her violin.


Alexa said...

I remember the violin oh-too-well. Those were some tough practice sessions. Good for Zoe! She looks adorable playing it.

Alexis! said...

It's so cool to see young kids getting into an interest, especially one as rewarding as music. Tell her to keep up the good work!

Jacky said...

How cute! Tell Zoe if she really likes it, to stick with it! I started playing piano when I was 9 (10 years ago!), but there were some times I wanted to quit. I am SO GLAD I didn't! :)

stopping in from SITS!

Helen said...

So cute! I started playing the violin in 2nd grade too! My parents got it for me for Christmas and I was beyond excited to start my lessons.

In elementary school I was invited to join the school band, with my violin. I was THE string section. LOL! I played the Obo or Flute parts because most of the music didn't have a violin part.

Some of Nick's favorite things to make fun of/impersonate of me are the home videos he's seen of me trying to play the violin at an early age.

Ahhh memories.

Sarah said...

That's so great. I never really learned to play an instrument and now I regret it. My husband plays the guitar. I'm hoping my daughter picks up his musical inclination. I'd love for her to learn to play something!