In spite of my voice still sounding like a frog, I called Natta's violin teacher and we had a long conversation. She is planning a sabbatical to England in a month, so the stress of planning for that combined with me being a finicky parent has swayed the balance to the negative and she decided it is time for us to find another teacher, one who is more "in tune with three-year-olds". Hmmmm... I saw this coming. She did have a teacher to recommend, a young woman that Hubby went to school with at UI. I guess I'll give her a call, although we may not begin lessons until next fall. I hate to lose the momentum we have gained, but maybe we can maintain a little bit of ground over the summer and start fresh in the fall.
I have thought of enrolling Natta in the Pre-Twinkle class over again this fall. She might really benefit from being a little ahead of the game rather than miserably behind. I need to talk to some more teachers and get some more advice.
All in all I am not a whit discouraged as far as long-term music goes. We have plenty of time and there are so many wonderful teachers in the area I know we will find one who "clicks" with us. The whole reason I am doing this is because music enriches life, not to make her into some sort of child prodigy or win music competitions. The study of an instrument teaches self-discipline and the joy of working hard and accomplishing something, as well as the aesthetic experience of music.
For now we can keep working on our twinkles and monkey game. She did practice tonight, which was a good sign as this week has been a bit spotty since we have all been sick (except hubby, of course). Hubby has been using her "Lightning McQueen" toy car as a kind of substitute puppet-teacher who encourages her and looks for things like good bow-hold. This technique seems to be working really well. She would far rather show off for Lightning McQueen than for Mommy or Daddy. I have a feeling that it is safer to do so as she doesn't have to worry about being a perfectionist with him but can relax and have fun.