The first week of August is the busiest for us, as all four kids are involved in the Suzuki Valhalla Institute. The second VSSM week is less busy, but still very hectic. Erin is fully enrolled each year as a piano student, with choral and string add-on ensembles, while the younger three attend family choir, and I work as full-time taxi driver to my kids running between two communities several times a day, rehearsing and playing in the faculty concert, and looking after various organizational and logistical duties around the music school.
Erin had a reasonably good week, considering that anything would have felt like a let-down after the heady SVI week. She reconnected with some piano friends from last year, and sang a brilliant solo with the adult choir. (Or so I'm told; she informed me that she would not agree to sing the solo on the concert unless I was out of the building, so I dutifully left.) Her orchestra experience was a bit of a disappointment. She had chosen the orchestra option in the hope of being in the most advanced orchestra which has in the past done some brilliant performances of advanced repertoire. However, this year the most advanced kids were skimmed off the orchestra to do exclusively chamber music, and so the challenge in the top-level orchestra was not to Erin's liking. She coasted through. The performance was excellent, very polished and tight, but it was of fairly tame stuff, at least for a 13yo in the second violin section -- Bartok's Rumanian Dances and the first movement of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Still, there was lots of busy-ness and stimulation during the week with piano friends, all the choir music to learn, and the various performances (mine, hers, the younger kids').
By contrast the third week is much tamer. Only one of mine (Erin) is involved, and only in the evenings. There's only one concert. Wow, piece of cake!
So this weekend really represented the end of the craziness for me. It feels great! And how did we celebrate? We invited two of our favourite faculty members over for brunch and then they and the kids washed their car.
It was a lovely fun time. The car-wash was by necessity, but has the feel of an annual tradition. I wouldn't be at all suprised if next August 16 finds us all washing that white Toyota again.
Erin also managed to squeeze a lesson in with T., who has, I think, given her a little to go on in her Kabalevsky concerto and made suggestions for one or two new pieces -- like the Kreisler Praeludium & Allegro which I'm sure Erin will love.
Where has the summer gone, though?