It is clear, even at such a young age, that my big girl is an artist. Undoubtedly, she will have a love of the arts, forever. It’s in her blood. She’s a ballerina, a painter (well, a crayon-er right now), and I’m pretty sure she will be a musician.
When she was a baby, she would willingly give up her toys to other kids. She was never fazed when another child grabbed something from her. The only exception was if it was a musical instrument. She would go ballistic if someone took her harmonica, her drum or her fake saxophone. For her second birthday we got her a small acoustic guitar. Subsequent birthdays and holidays have added to her collection: a ukelele, a banjo, a violin and several small pianos. She is going to turn 4 next week and we decided instead of buying her more instruments, it was time to explore legit lessons.
I don’t want her to feel pressure to play, but I also see that those who are truly great at something have usually started at a young age. Yo Yo Ma started playing the cello at age 4. Tiger Woods was putting on TV with Bob Hope at 2 years old. It is said that Mozart began composing when he was 5. Clearly, she’s behind the ball here and we better get started (kidding, sort of).
On Saturday morning, I took her to a music school that teaches the Suzuki method. We observed two young violinists during their group lesson (they couldn’t have been more than 5 and 7 years old, respectively). They were amazing and my big girl loved watching them. I thought the lesson seemed boring, but she said she liked it.
I’m torn, because I don’t think this method of teaching will intrigue my little creative soul. It seems too rigid for her, but is this just conjecture on my part? Am I letting my own feelings about the lesson we saw overshadow what might actually be interesting for her? The lessons are a big commitment: monetarily, yes, but time and effort, as well. The parents have to sit in on the twice weekly lessons and practice with the children at home. This would mean I would have to find a babysitter for the little one during the lessons (that are at least a 20 minute drive from our house). I want to encourage her as much as possible and give her the opportunity to explore this passion. Yet, I feel a little guilty that perhaps I’m letting my future inconvenience (and my guilt over leaving the little one) play a part in this decision. But then again, aren’t a lot of worthwhile activities in life a bit of an inconvenience? That’s a lesson I have definitely learned in the past year. Her life may be fuller if we go out of our way now, and I just have to take that chance.