There he was on stage, my 4 year old grandson, William..... DU-U-DU and he was finished.. the crowd went wild. I couldn't have been prouder.. SO..He played 5 notes...What is the big deal?
Well, to play those 5 notes, this 4 year old boy had to :
get his hair combed..
learn to stand properly
get his chin on the chinrest
hold the violin up withOUT his hands
take a bow
walk on stage (that would be the hard part for me)
play in front of 50 people
hold the bow properly
get the bow onto the string is the right place
make 5 notes without hitting a second string
take another bow
and walk off stage without tripping...(Hey, he's 4 )
When a musician 'makes it look easy' we often forget just how much prep goes into playing.. Even musicians who perform poorly (by OUR standards)... may be working harder than we can imagine..I know you know this...but this is what was on my mind while walking in a lovely woods this morning with my lovely wife...
Typically, the Suzuki program starts kid four years of age..My own children were that old when they started.. The burden of them playing falls on the parents ...not the child IMO...Children will learn what they are exposed to...but the parents must keep them on task..That can be WORK...
As a child I hated recitals. I played the piano and you never get to play the recital on your own piano. I put my fingers down and went "Aaakkk! That doesn't sound like my piano!" and that was the end of that! That kid was lucky! I could play his own violin. And good for him. He'll be an expert and even if he hates his violin lessons as much as I hated my piano lessons, he'll have a base of music he can always come back to.
I'm not sure about the best way people learn music. I mean, when I was a kid I would do anything to try to get to play music. I've attempted to teach kids what I know a few times, and I just don't see much motivation...at that point I just back off because I don't see how anybody can force someone else to like or play music. I know there are lots of people who were taken (or dragged) to lessons and they came away liking to play their instrument...but seems to me, those who really wanted to play found it somehow in their own lives, and those who didn't, dropped it if they'd ever been to their lessons. Of course I guess the luckiest situation would be the musically motivated kid who also gets and loves his/her lessons...lol...that would be a great thing.