Friday, November 17, 2006
At group violin lessons on Wednesday, the teacher asked all of the kids when they practiced. Nobody seemed to know, including my kids. She emphasized the importance of practice, said that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something and practicing ten minutes a day sometimes just isn't going to cut it. She told us that we all needed to have a time set aside for practicing each day. The same time each day, that is.
In the car on the way home I talked to Bria about practicing. It is often an issue at our house, as I am sure it is in many other houses. After hearing the teacher talk about it I realized it is my fault. A set time every day is wonderful, because you just know that is when you are going to play violin and there isn't any dragging away from other activities or (more likely) forgetting. The tantrums should subside and practicing should become a much more pleasant experience. We decided that waiting till after school or after dinner wasn't really working for us. We weren't practicing daily, and when we did practice, it wasn't nearly long enough.
So we are now practicing before school. That actually sounded really good to Bria because she likes to have fun when she comes home and I am usually really preoccupied with a million other things such as getting dinner ready, feeding the baby and keeping the peace. Luckilly, school doesn't start for her until 8:55 am and we live so close to the school that we don't really have to leave very early, especially if we drive.
Yesterday morning everything went quite smoothly, we practiced for 45 minutes, learned most of her new Christmas songs and got to school in time, even though I had to take her in my pajamas. And she did it happily. So happily that she even got her violin right out and played on her own volition when she came home from school. Added another half hour probably to her practice for the day.
But all that's just background for what I really wanted to talk about. This morning. Today Bria got up a little after 6:oo am. She got herself dressed...just came in to my room to ask if her outfit matched. She did her own hair in a ponytail. Just asked me to fix it a little bit. She got herself breakfast, and even got a bowl of cereal ready for Chloe. It was mushy by the time Chloe woke up to eat it, but still. The kid cut out box tops for education off the cereal boxes and got them all ready to take with her to school. She brushed her teeth, got her shoes and socks on and even put her glasses on, all three of which I usually have to remind her to do. Then, still before 7:00 she got out her violin and started practicing. I came out to help her a little later, played the piano for her until around 8:00 and then I had to get ready since I worked this morning. She played and played until it was time to go. That's almost two hours of violin practice, folks. She only got annoyed (mad) at me once for correcting her fingering, and as it turns out, her fingering was actually correct. I realized it wasn't sounding right because her E string had gone way flat. Probably from practicing so much. After I re-tuned for her, all was well...she played every song she knows more than once and worked on learning her new Christmas ones.
All I have to say is WOW. I hope this lasts.