Friday, August 21, 2009


Here's Big Kid before his violin lesson today.

Violin is...not going so well. Is it possible to get worse after 6 lessons?

He spends most of his time looking like he wants to murder his teacher for correcting his stance or posture for the 300th time. He is very clearly sick of her bossy shit and the exaggerated sighs and slumped shoulders testify to that. She is very sweet--maybe too sweet. I've had to tell her a few times to feel free to get on his ass or interrupted them to remind him to straighten up. By the end of the lesson though, he seems fed up and tired.

However, if I point out that violin is perhaps a waste of money at this point, he gets pissed at me. The violin rental period is up and we've got 10 days to decide if we're buying an entry level violin or giving up all together because I'm not re-renting. I made him a deal today that if he practices every day for the next week, we'll buy him a violin and continue lessons. After an exhausted sounding sigh, he agreed. I pointed out that if violin makes him so tired, maybe it's not his thing and our argument started all over again.

So, I don't know. He's not the natural-born violin virtuoso that I'd hoped he be. Or maybe he just tires too easily to demonstrate his skills. Maybe if someone else would hold the instrument for him, he could get down to creating masterpieces.

Lately he's obsessed with what he's going to be when he grows up. His main criteria seem to be: working from home, no hard work, nothing that takes too long to complete. I've tried to point out that this probably isn't the best way to search for a career, but you know what--maybe it is. Even if you're doing what you love, you usually wish you could work less. Maybe people just need to aim for finding a profession that allows them to work less from the get go.

Maybe he's right.


Anonymous said...

I think he is actually looking for the same job I'm looking for. Would he mind looking over my resume?

Susan in Texas

Maggie said...

Wouldn't BK like to play something easier and less expensive, like the recorder? He's awfully young, and the violin is difficult. As a kid I didn't have any trouble with piano and flute, but I lasted a month with the violin at about age 10.

Anonymous said...

I'm a music/education major, and trust me - the violin is HARD. It takes years to be able to play decently. Why not take him to a music store and let him try out a few different things? I'm sure the staff would be willing to help, and finding something he would enjoy without getting so frustrated would make him a much better musician. Piano is simple, and if you can count lines and keys it would be easy for you to help him at home when he needs it (a small keyboard, which you can get for well under $100, is all he'd need to practice at home).

My fiance swears the trumpet wasn't hard as a child, but I haven't gotten to that class just yet. Best of luck!

Unknown said...

I've always told my sons that i don't care what they do for a living - as long as they do what they love doing. There is nothing in the world much worse than being trapped in a job you hate.

Allison said...

Tell the teacher to teach the kid the theme to Jaws already. It's easy and he can play it when he gets frustrated and it will probably put him in a better mood.

Or maybe only my brain works that way.

Anyway, if he finds a job that fits that critera, I'd love to know. Sounds great.

Julie H said...

He's kind of little for the violin isn't he? Around here they start most kids around 4th grade.

Unknown said...

He saw a bunch of kids his age playing at a concert thing we went to and that's when the interest started. All of the violinists we met at the orchestra started around 5 or 6 too. We would not (could not) buy him a violin for more than $100, but his teacher did recommend a few that she said were fine for the stage he's at.

The Jaws thing is a good idea. He wants to learn to play the Yo Gabba Gabba theme.

He probably would like piano (it's just kind of boring for me).

Onthefarshore said...

All four of my children are grown (my youngest just turned 18 and is starting university) but one of the things that I learned is that, as parents, we tend to want to make things easy on our kids. If we see that something is difficult, we want to jump in and fix it by making it easier, instead of encouraging them to continue to practice and work hard. There is a great sense of satisfaction that comes with accomplishing something that was at first difficult. I highly recommend a book called "The Outliers" now in print by Malcolm Gladwell. Having said that, I should clarify that I do not believe in forcing children to pursue an activity that they hate- it just seems to me that Big Kid really wants to learn to play the violin. He has just realized that it will take a significant amount time and practice- hard work even to become an accomplished musician. I'm just saying that this is not a bad thing. He is bright and he will always need challenges. I just think that encouragement may go a long way in helping him through this to reap the rewards that come along with mastering a musical instrument. These important lessons carry over into life and work. Best of luck whatever you decide. I enjoy reading about your kids now that mine are grown. Thanks for sharing!

Lin said...

ha...big kid & my husband have the exact same work requirements.

Jennifer said...

I don't know what I would do. Probably give up. But then again, I wouldn't Baby Girl give up on dance. She doesn't like the structure of going to a class and being told what to do, but she loves to dance and I know one day she will appreciate that I made her stick with it.

Missives From Suburbia said...

I admire his work ethic. It's the same as mine.

Mitch said...

I'm really impressed that he'll sit through what he does. Ray and Chay?? Never. And he is as handsome as ever. Love the hat.