Music and Almost-Ten-Year Olds

Anders has been taking violin lessons for about a year now. There's a great organization, Hopewell Music Cooperative North, that provides free and reduced lessons to qualifying students in North Minneapolis (click on that link if you feel led to donate). Nils has recently started taking piano lessons with them, too. While practice isn't their favorite thing, they're both pretty good.

Anders had his first concert yesterday. Hopewell started up a Children's Festival for Minneapolis (there's a big one in St. Paul). His beginning orchestra group played a few songs. He's had opportunity before, but he's inherited his father's shyness. I remember as a child, being afraid to go up front of church for the Christmas program. I think I even backed out of taking palm branches up front on Palm Sunday once.

Thankfully, he went through with it this time. And though he was nervous--who isn't?--he enjoyed it. 
I think It gave him a sense of pride. He's a first born who I think has that sense of perfectionism; he can get down on himself and be afraid to try things at which he might fail. I'm familiar with those qualities, I hate to say.

It was his last time for beginning orchestra; tonight he started with the regular orchestra group. He's one of the youngest ones there, and I think it'll be good for him to have some older students and adults to learn from.

Music is good for both of the boys. Finger dexterity improves, math skills improve, self-esteem is built. I think they're discovering the joy in playing for other people and giving them the gift of music.

I recognize that not everyone has musical talent. There are members in my family who are notorious for not being able to sing on pitch. But I also know that music is still a part of their lives. Every once in a while I pick up my guitar and play. Not often enough. I need to make more time for it. Playing music is relaxing and speaks to the heart. It's never too late to start, either. One of the women in Anders' orchestra group tonight is probably around retirement age, I would guess. She started violin just a few years ago.

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