Tuesday, August 21, 2012

 Is this kid too much or what? She is going to be the one to keep us on our toes. 
 Blake started kindergarten yesterday. He was so happy. The kid was ready to go back to school the day it got out. He said he likes his class, But he said he liked Miss Michelle's class better. {This was his pre school teacher, and they were best friends} I think he maybe just needs some time.{Which unfortunately he wont have at this school.} His teacher, Mrs. Colclough {cole-cleff} is very nice. And she seems to be very patient and very good with the kids. I don't know if this is normal, or if I'm just not allowing myself to get attached because I know we're moving, But I am just not feeling this school. I know people would die to have their kids attend Chets Creek, But I am just not really feeling it. It's huge,  There are more than 20 kids in Blakes class with one teacher. It just seems like it would be impossible for my kids to form a relationship with their teachers, and I feel like if they have a good relationship with their teachers they will thrive in their learning environment. I don't know, I just feel like something is missing and I don't know what it is. I just don't feel like it's where he belongs. Again, Maybe that's just because I know we are leaving in a couple of months, or maybe I am just deep down a homeschooling hippy and I don't know it. I'm hoping that wherever he ends up when we move, I will be a bit more excited and have a peace come over me knowing that he is where he will do best. I don't feel that way where he is now.

LaLa starts VPK next Monday. She is so ready to go and the extra week is practically killing her. 
But she also had a big day yesterday. She got her first violin. {I had one for her, But it's still too big. She will have to grow into that one} So we went to the violin shop and had her fitted for the right size. Look how teeny hers is... I felt like I was going to break it while I was tuning it with those teeny tiny pegs, In fact it was hard to get my fat little fingers around one without bumping the others.
 It made my heart so happy that she wants to play. And I love that we have something to do together that is just our special mama and lala time.  
 She is so eager to learn. And won't stop pestering me about teaching her. I'm okay with that! She has a fantastic grasp of how to hold it, and is very insistent that I show her how to hold it correctly, And she is really phenomenal at playing just the string I tell her to play. Most kids regardless of age, It takes a while for them to figure out the angle that they need to hold their bow at in order to play just one string not two at a time. And no squeaks! Hallelujah. My mother was a saint for listening to me practice those first few years. Yikes! The violin is not like a piano, or something else that if you strike a key, that's the note it makes, on the violin, If your finger is off by a tenth of a millimeter, it will make it sound like a cat is dying. It took me a good bit to figure out how to make that beautiful instrument sound -not-so-dying-cat-like.

I have taught violin for years, Many many moons ago, But I have never taught a child who cant read. I've never taught a kid under 7, And they already knew how to read music, making my job easy. So I was really struggling how to go about this. I looked on a few teacher discussion boards, and of course everyone has different opinions, But what seemed to be the majority vote for kids this young, was Suzuki.
 I. HATE. SUZUKI. Like, with a passion. It teaches children to play like robots. They learn to play precise, exact, and like little bow-slinging-fast-finger-moving-robot-zombies. There is no feeling or emotion. Don't get me wrong, Those suzuki taught kids have impeccable timing, And can sight read like a hawk. But if you want a beautiful musical number that will speak to our soul, Those kids can't give it to you. Obviously there are some exceptions, and I do like a few of their books, But I do not like the Suzuki method. So, I was basically up a creek and on my own to figure out how to go about teaching her. So upon some searching I came across this.

This was the best method I have come across. Even for kids who can read, But can't read music just yet. I did not want to teach her to play by ear because I know far too many people who started playing an instrument by ear, and never learned to read or rely on reading music and as a result have put limitations on themselves. But when you put a kid who can play by ear, and read music, watch out world. Call me crazy, That's alright. I'm excited about all of the possibilities that are opening up with them getting a little bigger. I can't wait to start the kids in piano lessons, and am so thrilled with the thought of them learning new skills and finding out what talents they have been blessed with, and then helping them develop those talents and interests. {Blake told me today he wants to play the tuba. LOL. Where are my ear plugs? Perhaps I can persuade him to play the cello.}

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