Decisions, Decisions, Decisions.
Recently we attended the 4th grade Orchestra Orientation and learned that students attending the program will be pulled out of regular classes once a week for about half an hour. Initially, I thought that this was just another after-school program, but apparently, the instructors worked the regular school hours like any other elementary school teachers. I wouldn’t object to my son’s attending the program, as I don’t think missing classes for half an hour a week would be a big deal. However, just in case that he does lag too far behind on a particular subject that he will miss, we would like to find out how far advance we will be notified of the schedule for each week since the schedule fluctuates each time, and if skipping the Orchestra lessons is an option. This will help us work out a plan with the homeroom teacher ahead of time. It is comforting to hear that the lesson time will not interfere with any school testing.
By the way, my son is going to have his violin recital this Saturday. He will be playing two pieces, one of which is Allegro. I can’t recall the other piece. My son has an exquisite ear for music. We are glad that he wants to continue to play violin. We have thought of introducing my son to violin when he was four, but the Suzuki lessons offered at MacPhail Center for Music will require us to drive him twice a week in the evening to the institution 45 miles away from our house. We cannot commit to that kind of schedule. Life has been busy when we got our second child. We put that thought off until the summer of 2010 before my son turned into a 2nd grader to enroll him in the violin class offered by our Community Education Program. Our Community Education Program offers after-school violin lessons once a week at our school during school year and at the school’s summer care location in the summer. The method taught by our Community Education Program is not Suzuki. However, unlike my husband, I don’t really mind that much, since I have never learned a musical instrument before. All I want to do is to provide him an opportunity to be exposed to playing musical instruments, so he can decide whether he likes it or not in the future. We want him to live a happy childhood and to have fewer regrets when he grows up. I would wish that my parents would have given me similar opportunities to relieve my feeling of missing out on so many things in my childhood. I did somehow manage to fulfill my dreams in adulthood. However, they weren’t exactly the same.
The decisions we made for our second child were a lot different from those made for the first one. We put more time and thought into raising the first child. When the second child arrived, we were too exhausted to pay any attention on her. We enrolled my daughter in the violin class last summer before she turned into a kindergartner, three years earlier than her brother. Maybe it is too early to introduce violin to my daughter. She has more resistance to practicing violin. It works well with my son when he was introduced to violin at the age of 7. We will see how it goes and if we should withdraw her from the program and enroll her back in when she is older enough to appreciate it. Oh, by the way, for her recital this Saturday, she will be playing Twinkle Little Star.
Aside from making the decisions of enrolling the kids to the orchestra program and when to introduce the kids to learning violin, we also face myriad decisions each day. I will talk about them later.
Written by Elisa English
On May 15th, 2012.