Friday, December 18, 2009

Observations on a Violin Recital

This was the end of year recital for Zach and Raef. They worked really hard this year and have progressed nicely with their instruments. During the summertime, I decided to have Raef switch from the violin to the viola. It was a fairly easy decision to make, except for the fact that we had to switch teachers as well. It was sad to say goodbye to Catherine Snow. She has been an incredible mentor for our kids. However, I needed a viola teacher. Raef needed to do his own thing. So now the boys are taking their lessons from Jennifer Peterson.

Now, I have a few observations about the recital last night. There were 30 kids that performed so the room was packed! We got there 20 minutes early and there was nowhere to sit. What is interesting is that the newcomers to the violin scene, the 4-5 year old kids who can barely play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star had the most family members there. I think one little girl must have had 10 family members there to watch her. (I only knew this because when she finished, the entire row got up to leave as Zach was getting ready to play his piece.) Believe me, after they have been subjected to a million mini-concerts whenever they come and visit her, they won't be so exuberant about recitals in the future. I happen to know this from experience because anyone knows that if you come to visit my house, plan on being assaulted with the last 10-15 songs we have been working on. And now since Zach has taken up the piano, there is even more to share with everyone.

As the recital started, my kids were vocal critics to all of the performances, much to my chagrin. First off, they wouldn't stop talking and I hope no one heard what they were saying. But even if people didn't hear what they were saying, they probably didn't need to, because their faces said it all.

"That sounds bad."
"She's not very good."
"That song is not right."
"Those notes are wrong."

When you train your child in the Suzuki method, they have heard all of the songs and played all of the songs hundreds, if not thousands of times. Therefore, when it is played bad, you can't hide it from a 7 year-old. Don't get me wrong, not everyone was bad, but there were a couple as you would expect in any recital for little kids.

The most memorable was a girl that was playing Waltz by Brahms. It was the waltz that would never end. She got lost in the song and since it is very repetitive she didn't know how to end it. Amazingly enough, the pianist was able to follow her mostly. It was funny because I can totally relate. That has happened to me many times while I practice with my kids. Luckily it is just practice and we can stop and I can yell kindly correct them.

Near the end of the recital, Zach couldn't take it anymore. He just sat there and covered his ears.

And now without further adieu, here are the performances you have all been waiting to hear...and if you want to cover your ears, you can at least do it in the privacy of your own home.

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