Thursday, January 20, 2011

The downbeat

my brother and I practicing violin under the watchful eye of our teacher/aunt, circa 1991

As a former full-time musician, sometimes I get a little lost as a new full-time mom.  I've been practicing and playing the violin for about 28 years now, but I've only got 4 years of experience into this parenting thing.  When my now 4 year old daughter WonderGirl was a newborn, the one thing I felt confident doing was changing her diaper.  I couldn't figure out how to feed her, how to get her to stop barking at me - yes, literally barking - but when I changed that diaper she went from dirty to squeaky clean.  I felt a surge of accomplishment, dagnabit.

 (Of course now that I have my second baby - the Dude - I'm feeling better about my abilities so you you are welcome to come by ANYtime and do some diaper changing for me :)

My parents are musicians and teachers, so we were raised with music at the core of our family.  We all grew up singing, dancing and learning instruments - all four of us played the piano, then we split off evenly with two clarinetists and two violinists.  Then I spent my college years getting my undergrad and graduate degrees in performance, while always teaching private lessons in both violin and piano (full disclosure - I was raised Suzuki, did teacher training, teach it and love it).  I even did a stint as a high school orchestra teacher.  I married guy who plays the guitar, bas and drums and plays styles I had never even known existed.  Punk yes, but ska?  It gets a little interesting when we jam.

When I reach into my bag of tricks for inspiration , I go to what I know.  We sing, we listen, we dance, we rock.  Currently we are living in a small town with very few instrumental teachers, so I'm teaching WonderGirl the piano by myself, gulp.  Violin is an ongoing experiment.

I'm not an expert parent, but I'm kind of an expert at this music thing. Part of the purpose of this blog is to follow the music part of of my parenting journey and learning to teach an instrument to my own kids (gulp!), but also to share some of the materials I use, what works (and what doesn't!) and most of all to get some ideas out there from the other awesome Treble Makers out in the big wide intrawebs (that's you!  please!).  Got it?  Let's go!


Jane said...

I disagree about the inexpert parenting part but I wholeheartedly concur about the expert musician part.

Master P said...

Jane, you are wonderful and amaze me!

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