where wildly different is perfectly normal
‘Cause the struggle is FUN!
‘Cause the struggle is FUN!

‘Cause the struggle is FUN!

See the smile plastered on my face?

See the threats coming out the clenched teeth?

See the relief when the phone rings?

This is me, every week, struggling with J and his violin lessons. He can’t help it, he’s four. I can’t help it, I’m 35 and have three music degrees.

Signing him up this year was a raging mistake. Shouldn’t have done it, but my common sense was apparently out to lunch that day. Hope it was a good lunch…maybe sushi and saki. Yeah, common sense can go out to lunch for sushi and saki; fast food no.

But it’s one thing to struggle to get him to practice…and damn, it’s a struggle. It’s another thing entirely to go through that struggle, only to have his lesson canceled with an hour notice.

J’s teacher has GOT to be the sickliest person on the planet. We have missed more lessons than have taken this term. I do not want to make them up. I want the term to end and return the teeny tiny violin. The teacher is a nice guy, just doesn’t do all that well with very young kids, and gets sick at the drop of a hat.

On the plus side, I’m sitting here typing instead of dragging him off to a lesson that will end with me grounding him for his poor attitude. And it’s sunny out, so I’m throwing both my children to the park, with express instructions to not return until dinner or Armageddon, whichever comes first.

Ahh…character is built through struggle, right? In that case, my character is a shining example to all around me.

You’re welcome.



  1. Molly started violin at 5 1/2 and I thought that was young. She begged us for several years and we finally went for it. She did Suzuki for 3 years and now has moved on to fiddle and celtic. She has been playing for 5 years now and although practicing is still a challenge, I can safely say that music will be a part of her throughout her life.

    I found that to teach to very young children was a skill all it’s own and didn’t have a whole lot to do with the instrument.

    If you are real serious about him starting this young, there might be a better teacher out there….with a stronger immune system. ; – )

  2. Karen

    I made the same mistake with my daughter when she was four and it was pure hell. I think I turned her off from music lessons for the rest of her life by insisting she take piano lessons. Now we both cry when we walk by the piano in our house…

  3. I waited until last June to start my guys on instruments, after a failed attempt at piano three years ago (also a male teacher….hmmm). Now they are doing pretty well. Still have o struggle with practicing though. But it goes in waves here. Strangely enough, threatening to take away the instrument usually gets them back on track.

  4. My son loves music and wants to work at it. My daughter loves music but doesn’t want to work at it. My son plays clarinet and piano. He wants to learn guitar and I will pay for his lessons. My daughter tried to play piano and the insane battles made me quit taking her to lessons. Now she’s headed to middle school and wants to take an instrument. Percussion. Lord help me. I will be paying for those lessons in a much different way. She wanted to play cello. I said no. I may have some sanity left, right? LOL

  5. Jen

    Wow, you’re a much braver woman than I, and I’m 37 with a music degree myself, LOL! My kids have not started any music lessons at all yet, although we toyed with the idea of starting my 7 year old on piano recently. Not having an actual piano in the house has been a bit of an obstacle, though……….

    My 5 year old bundle of energy wants to take guitar, Lord help us. Oh, and he means “rock guitar”, as he so eloquently puts it. *sigh* Maybe in a year or two. Don’t blame yourself for the less than fab experience you’ve had this year with the violin teacher–maybe in a few more years, with a healthier teacher, the outcome would be different. I hope so!

Whaddya think?

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