Tuesday, September 16, 2008


All of the sixth graders have to take either orchestra, band, or chorus; Deirdre chose orchestra. When she moved into seventh grade, she stayed in orchestra. She chose to play the violin. I have no idea how difficult it is in comparison to other instruments having never played anything except the recorder (badly) and "banging" on the piano. I do know that many children (students) play the flute. Three of my Girl Scout troop girls are playing the flute.

With my tin-ear, or whatever it is, I can sort of tell when D can't hit a note correctly, but other than that I have no clue. I have almost no rhythm sense. When I had bad days during my dancing years, my teacher would have to clap the beat for me. When we did solo work across the floor I had to count from the start to the end of the entire group demonstrating. This meant counting to eight for five minutes or so. Anyone reading this who was a student when I did the Junior Prom will now understand why every song had to have a strong beat. If it didn't, I couldn't pick it out and teach the dance.

Deirdre is one of four new violinists in seventh grade, so they are "taught" by an eighth grader. Clarissa must have the patience of a saint to help these seventh graders. She is awesome fierce on the soccer field too! We love Clarissa!! And she lives around the corner!!! (I'm liking exclamation points tonight!!)
Deirdre is following in her great-grandmother's footsteps by picking up the violin. My grandmother played until she got married. My great-aunt, her sister, played the piano and could have been a concert pianist, but in 1924 women didn't do that. They got married instead. In hindsight, she should have been the concert pianist; she would have been much happier. My cousin, Jim, also played the violin. I always wanted to play and instrument, but there wasn't money for my ballet lessons ($1200 a year+), and instrument lessons. Plus, it wasn't like here in Ephraim where someone knows someone who teaches piano or another instrument. The suburbs of Chicago are a lot harder, surprisingly, to find teachers of instruments.

Right now, Jeff is helping D with her timing on "Ode to Joy". She has the notes down, but her timing is lacking. Some of her lack of timing is that she is not 100% sure of the notes yet, but as she improves, so will her timing.

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