Friday, June 13, 2014

Bravo, my boy!

It takes a village to teach a child the violin. 

In this village you'll find a teacher, the school, parents, grandparents, the music community, the violin shop, fellow students and greats like Brahms, Mozart, Beethoven and Suzuki. All of these individuals play a vital role in shaping the young musician.    

Of course, the greatest responsibility lies with the child himself. The countless hours of practicing, the memorization, the raw chin and sore fingertips and aching back. The forsaking of extra playtime and appeasing the nagging mother (guilty, Your Honor!).

When Caden started this journey 15 months ago, it looked like a crazy up-and-down-and-up graph. There was excitement and curiosity in the beginning (the graph ticked way up) followed by a sobering end to the sweet honeymoon ("What, you mean I have to practice every day?!") with plateaus in between (triumphant lessons and confidence-boosting practice sessions). 

There were also times he wanted to quit. "This is too hard!!" he huffed during one of our early practice sessions. Caden was so frustrated I thought he was going to throw the violin across the room -- or maybe he wanted to chuck it at me! 

Last night's end-of-the-year recital was a reminder of how far my boy has come (how far the entire village has come!). Caden played so sweetly. He is the consummate performer. While most of us get jittery with nerves right before show time, Caden is calm and centered. The moment he walks on stage he owns it. He savors every note, every measure and the best part, he told me later, is sharing the music with his audience. And he does it with such style (the shirt! that tie! those skinny jeans!). 

I was so proud I felt like my heart was gonna burst.

Bravo, my boy. Bravo.

Why the violin brings out my inner Tiger mom.