Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Fifty Twinkles

Fiona, who began her diligent daily work on the violin about eight months ago, at age 2, is now a three-year-old Twinkler. First she learned rest position, and where to put her feet in rest position and playing position. She learned to make a bow hold. She learned to hold her cardboard violin on her shoulder. She learned to mimic the four Twinkle Variation rhythms, and to identify them with accuracy. She practiced ear-training exercises and learned about the form of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. Then she got a "real" violin and learned to make a nice sound on open strings, mimicking those same rhythms with the appropriate bowstrokes. In February we started training her fingers to tap the strings. In March she learned a little exercise using three fingers on the A-string called the "Monkey Song". In April she began work on the opening part of the Twinkle variations.

Now, in late June, she is Twinkling! She can play all four Twinkle Variations and Twinkle Theme all the way through without help. She is counting her unassisted Twinkle repetitions on a counting frame and has 50 accrued. She practices eagerly, in good cheer, punctuating her practising with hugs and kisses and giggles and happy conversation.

I wrote about Expectations in a previous blog entry. Things continue in very much the same vein. My excitement at the tangible gains she's making have not yet contaminated the process-oriented work she's doing. I never expected her to be working on the violin at this age, so any progress she makes still feels like gravy to me. She is so pleased with herself and is delightedly looking forward to showing her grandmother, her aunt and the other Suzuki teachers in her life what she can now do. She will be enrolled as a pre-Twinkle student at the Suzuki Valhalla Institute this August and is thrilled. After three older children, I seem to finally either (a) have struck it lucky with an eager, easy-going child who loves to please the adults around her or (b) be doing something right!

1 comment:

  1. Your children and their unschooling adventures never cease to amaze me...


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