There’s been a post-concert (I’ll come back to that later) lull in my viola playing, hence no blogging. In the meantime, I’ve been grappling with getting my oldest child to do her music practice. In the early weeks, she was delighted by the newness of it all and practice was still a novelty. Now, inevitably, I’m trying to strike the illusive balance between pushing her enough that she improves (and, in turn, gets more pleasure from playing) and not pushing her so hard that she gets bored and decide it’s all a bit too much like hard work and that she’d actually rather watch Pingu with her little sister.
Her teacher gave me a tip along the lines of: ‘as far as possible, make her feel practice is her choice – give her ownership of it, offer her options etc…’. He told me how one set of parents had crafted a mini chest of drawers made from matchboxes, filled it with little notes detailing musical activities and left the kids to choose a draw. Worked a treat apparently. So over the holidays I channelled my inner Blue Peter presenter, and my daughter and I created this little beauty:
Enchanting I’m sure you’ll agree, but not complete without these:
Three Blind Mice, the Grand Old Duke of York, Pop Goes the Weasel, One of the Twinkle variations – I’ll leave you to work it out. We keep it really short, 5-10 mins, which is about as much as her concentration span and my patience can take. Seems to be working for now, watch this space.