We have been back at the violin for almost a week and I am happy to report that things are going swimmingly, far better than I ever could have anticipated. Daddy has set up a practice time ten minutes before bed-time. At first he picked that time because it was when he thought of it or remembered to do it. But in the last few days we have discovered that it is extremely motivating to Curly because the longer she practices the longer she can put off going to bed! Hubby commented to me that if he'd thought of that, he would have been quite clever but instead it was mere coincidence. Last night she insisted on continuing to practice for 30 minutes until finally he had to make her stop and go to bed.
We have done several extra things to make her practice times more special too. Normally the "Tower" is off-limits to kids so of course that is where she gets to practice. She loves the one-on-one time with Daddy, too. He is careful to keep things extremely playful, asking her to imitate his playing, performing for one of her favorite toys instead of him, naming the strings after Thomas the Train characters.
All of these factor in to creating a beautiful atmosphere for learning. She is eager to go down and practice every day, reminding him when it's time. Things she had struggled with last Spring such as putting her fingers down on the tape she suddenly finds to be quite easy, since she has several months' worth of growth and coordination advancement to use. She is reviewing her "Open String Blues" by getting good string independence and also learning to play along with Daddy's accompaniment on the guitar. Her "Monkey Game" where the fingers climb the fingerboard to "pick a pink banana" is really showing improvement in pitch; she matches Daddy's pitch on the big violin and I can hear great progress every day. She's also diving into her Twinkle rhythms with gusto. Soon she'll be able to put all the pieces together to learn "Twinkle Theme".
Today we have our first group class and I am excited and a little apprehensive. I enrolled her in Pre-Twinkles again, starting completely over with the box violin. We'll see how she does feeling ahead of the game this time; I hope she has fun and isn't bored. I trust the teachers a little more this time around to watch out for things like that and to reassign her as it becomes appropriate. For now she can enjoy knowing a little more than her peers and not feeling so hopelessly behind like last year.