Monthly Archives: September 2015

Fall Extracurricular Classes

Yes, it’s that time once again!

I had to switch my time slot for cello, as we were looking at registering Owlet in an intro to music class at Preville, the arts centre with which Sparky does his summer camp and art lessons. With two kids doing extracurricular activities on Saturday, I either needed a second car or to switch my lesson time. And since a second car isn’t in the budget, I worked out a new slot on Friday at midday with my cello teacher. (This means working on the weekend if necessary, but ehn. If I have to, I will.)

I had my first lesson yesterday, and the work I did on the Vivaldi sonata over the summer wasn’t a complete waste of time (go me!). I didn’t get a debrief of the concert and assignment of summer homework in a final lesson back in June, as schedules didn’t align, so I just guessed and went with it. My teacher congratulated me again on a terrific recital performance, and asked if I’d seen HRH’s recording of my solo Bach yet; I had to admit that no, I hadn’t, because as happy as I was with my performance, I haven’t had the courage to sit down and watch it. I got two stickers in my book for it, though! (I am in my forties and still like getting reward stickers in my music book, thank you very much. It’s the little things.)

Orchestra also began this past week, although I had to miss the very first rehearsal because of work (hey, there, busy season and rush jobs and everyone needing everything tomorrow morning). The upcoming programme looks terrific: some Debussy, Vaughan Williams, Stravinsky miniatures, a Mozart overture… stuff I’ve enjoyed playing before, a couple of new things. Our annual membership fee has increased by 40%, which is ouch even though the reason is valid (our conductor, who is excellent, has until now been accepting payment way lower than other orchestras of this level are paying). My individual lesson fee has also increased; I suspect I’m going to have to make a compromise somewhere, maybe by dropping one lesson a month.

Sparky is now in Cycle 3, and that means band at school! It’s wind and brass instruments, so right now he has been trying to get sound out of the headjoint of my flute to see if that would be interesting for him. If not, he thinks either trumpet or trombone would be fun. We shall see what happens there.

I went to the Preville open house this morning (with Megan! and I ran into my friend Adelina, whom I haven’t seen since we did our workshop on alternative-spirituality parenting discussion at the Yule Fair a few years ago!) to see what was on offer. We got to see and say hi to some of the teachers we’d become familiar with over the summer at day camp, which pleased Owlet. In the end, she will be doing her intro to music next semester; this session, it’s all about art, thank you very much. (That’s what I get for suggesting she move on to explore other tables rather than just standing at the intro to music table, banging the little cymbals. We then had to pry her away from the glue, feathers, and Plasticine.)

She also totally schooled the violin teacher as only a four-year-old can. He showed her how to rest the instrument on her shoulder, and she sighed and said, “That’s not right.” Then she lowered it and held it vertically in front of her. “No… that’s how you hold a cello,” he said, a bit puzzled. “Well, yes,” she said, giving him a flat stare, and you could tell she was thinking, ‘Seriously, dude? You teach this stuff? Everyone knows you hold these things like this.’ One small victory in a world where most kids call violas and cellos ‘big violins.’

So both kids are now registered in their respective art classes. Sparky is delighted (I am not entirely sure why, but he thinks both he and his sister taking art with the same teacher, albeit at different times, is terrific) and Owlet is looking forward to it as well, because (quite apart from the exciting making art thing) her friend Audrey is in the class with her. And I’m looking forward to not having to drive 45-60 minutes first thing on Saturday morning and then be focused enough to play cello and process musical instruction for an hour on Saturday mornings, then drive another 60 minutes home. Everyone wins!