Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tupperware containers...

Haley is a whole to parts learner. She learns an entire piece of music (actually entire CDs worth of music) on her own because she has a great ear and an amazing musical memory then she goes to Suzuki lessons with the next piece for her teacher to fix her bowings, change fingerings, add in dynamics and encourage more advanced musicality with bow control/tone/vibrato, etc...

Because Haley is talented, she knows what she wants to do with a piece of music (how it should sound) and will compromise certain things to get there like change her wrist position or fingering or bow any old way. This week her teacher told her that for kids who are not like Haley, it is easy to have a perfect wrist or proper bowings because they learn the piece one part at a time and are told how it should all be done.

Many times her teacher has told us that she feels like she is trying to fit Haley into a Tupperware container that is too small by slowing her down and making her fix technical issues.

Haley wants and is perfectly capable of playing each song but plays them at a much higher level once she has fixed all the technical problems. Luckily she doesn't seem to mind the changes or slowing down too much. She seems to easily incorporate the new things she is taught about a song so within a week or two each song is learned well enough to move on to the next only needed a week or two more practice to polish it up to performance level.

I appreciate her teacher's dedication to perfection. I see so many video clips on youtube or watch other children at Suzuki events playing the same songs as Haley but without the bow control/distribution, dynamics, and musicality. I often wonder whether these kids are taught properly and that is just the best they can play (the most they can get out of it) or whether their teacher didn't know to teach a more advanced way of playing the piece.

Anyway, I am just so glad we found this teacher and that her personality and Haley's work so well together. She made a comment once after we heard her daughter playing a very advanced piece that someday Haley will play that piece but that she will need a violin teacher to teach it to her (Haley's teacher teaches advanced viola). It made me wonder at what level/age that would happen but I didn't ask...don't think I really want to think about that just yet.

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