Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Musical Elliots

I don't mention the girls' non-sporting interests very often but Georgia and Josie are still playing musical instruments and are still taking private lessons.  Georgia plays the flute and Josie has been learning to play the guitar.

And Pippa Middleton in still singing along to the long, high notes.

We have teachers who come to our house once a week to give the girls their lessons and the rest of the week, it's up to me to force them to practice.  

Both girls claim to like playing their chosen instruments, but neither is particularly happy about daily practice.  The only one who will voluntarily practice is the dog.

I get it.  I played the violin while I was growing up and while I enjoyed being a member of the New Jersey Youth Symphony and all that it entailed, I didn't like my private lessons or practicing daily.

But I also understood that practicing was the only way I was going to get any better, so I did it.

And also my violin teacher was rather scary.

Josie's cello teacher was more akin to my old-school (strict) violin teacher which wasn't a great fit for Josie.  Her cello career only lasted two years.

Our flute and guitar teachers who are much more lax and mellow.  I found the flute teacher on line by typing Flute Teachers in my area on Google.  That led me to a teacher-finding website and I sent an request to the one flute teacher who was in my area.  I didn't hear back from her for a couple of weeks - it ends up that she no longer checked that website and hadn't paid to advertise on it that year.  I'm not sure how she found out I had even sent her a message - perhaps it emailed her?

I'm happy to have made the connection however it happened, because we really like Emily, her great lessons and the fact that she comes to our house each week.  That fact alone is amazing.

We met Josie's guitar teacher a different way.  I asked my friend Britt who is a singer if she had any guitar-teaching friends to recommend and she introduced us to Phil who is the exact opposite of Josie's old cello instructor.  And instead of playing the same song over and over again, Phil lets Josie chose her own pieces and they often chose from current hits and Youtube favorites.

Both girls have to do music lessons at school.  Georgia participates in the band to fulfill her musical requirement and Josie sings in her middle school chorus to fulfill hers.  What about Henry?  He tried clarinet for a few years but with little joy or interest.  I let him quit but the experience only made me more determined to make Georgia and Josie stick with their music lessons.  
I think it's important for kids to do more than just play sports (cue gasp from Gordy) and learning an instrument is actually fun and very social.  

But mercy is it hard to get them to practice!  I'd love any suggestions that you might have!

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