Sunday, October 26, 2008


I love taking pictures of my little violin girl, there's something so picturesque about a studious child and a beautiful instrument. It seems that we have fallen into a good practising groove lately and I really appreciate all the work this little girl is puting into it. We seem to manage 5-6 days a week, 20-30 minutes a day. Now, I do not claim to be an expert in the area of getting kids to practice, but a few things are working for us lately. Just thought I'd share in case anyone out there is in my boat. :)

~Morning practice is way better for us. I wasn't so sure about afternoon Kindergarten, but now I'm loving it because morning works so well for practice time. I have no idea what we'll do next year, but we'll just enjoy the moment.

~We don't watch movies or use the computer until practice is over, this goes for me too. I try not to turn on the computer until after practice time, I'm too tempted by emails and blogland! E is much more motivated when she knows she can watch a favorite show afterwards.

~I try to always sit with her while she practices and make it a group affair. G usually tries to copy his sister with his box violin, or he plays with toys. (Or he makes messes and wrecks things and hits his sister and throws fits because he doesn't get to touch the violin. Just keepin' it real here!)

~We usually do some sort of fun activity. Some favorites are.......playing a board/card game (play a song, then roll the dice and move), play a different song in every room of the house including outside (although last week she threw her violin on the grass mid-song because a spider was crawling on her arm!), pick songs out of a bowl and throw in fun things like jumping-jacks, play a little family concert of every song she knows.

~Charts work great around here! We usually do a big chart with about 2 or 3 months worth of practising days. Every week or so she'll have a little prize day where she picks a very small prize (like stickers, pencils, or plastic animals) out of our "prize bag." At the end of the chart is big prize day where we pick out a special toy she's been hoping for. Her last big prize day was a Webkinz, something she'd wanted for a long time!

~Please don't think I'm bragging about how great practising is around here, because we still have those days where she's quickly practising a few songs behind me in the kitchen while I'm franticly making dinner! And then sometimes we go 4 or 5 days without practising at all! I definitely know what it feels like to be the guilt-ridden mother when we're not practising regularly, and being the teacher it's intesified ten fold! But this good practice streak is what we've been averaging for about 6 months now, and I'm so proud of her. She seems to be enjoying her violin more because it's a regular part of her day, not just a dreaded task (although some days it's still not her favorite thing to do). This week she's spent a few minutes on her own every day working out how to play Happy Birthday, in honor of her upcoming birthday!

So this post is a little thank you to my sweet violin girl who has been working so hard! I'm proud of you!


Romerils said...

Ember looks so beautiful in these pictures. I totally agree with you that a little girl holding a violin is picturesque.

Z Family said...

THat was a really touching post. You should print that out and add it to her baby book or scrapbook (or whatever you chroncile her achievments in). Having played the piano for 5+ years growing up, I too realize and appreciate the challeneges in regular practice. You have a great lil lady and sounds like you are a supportive and inspiring mother. THUMBS UP!

Steph said...

Man that last picture of her is GORGEOUS! Seriously, I think you need to blow that up and put it on the wall. Beautiful!
I'm glad for your pointers on practicing. We have NOT been in a good streak. Could you send me the name of those Suzuki books that you talked about once? I could use some new ideas and clarifications on what to do with my little guy.
Great post!

littlegreen said...

oh my goodness, she is such a cutie, and not only is she a cutie, but brilliant as well... I am glad practicing is going well for right now, you're one hard workin' mom, it's impressive that you're able to be her teacher, I know I would be terrible at it, hopefully that improves with time as my kids grow up, I'd love my little girls to know how to sew and love it like I do!!

cwalburg said...

Way to Go E and you!! I also LOVE the picture of E at the bottem of the post, she lookes GREAT! Hope you have a great Easter!

A Day That Is Dessert said...

sweet pictures!

CrystalHW said...

Wow, her hair is so LONG in the pictures on here!!