Two Years, a Violin, a Hug, and a Smile

“What is this place, someone’s house?” he asked. We walked up to the dark wooden door and walked in. We stood there for moment without saying a word. My seven-year-old looked around. It didn’t take long for him to figure out where we were. He walked over to me with a smile on his face. A long hug around my waist felt like two years in the making.

For two years he asked for a violin. I acknowledged his interest, but wanted to wait just a bit to see if it would change or wane. For two years a violin appeared on his Christmas list, or as a suggestion for us to consider for his birthday. My husband and I told him we would think about it.

A few months ago my seven-year-old and I went to see our local symphony orchestra. I asked him if he still wanted to play the violin. I whispered in his ear to watch the strings on stage, listen and think about what the instruments were saying with their sound. Afterwards, I inquired again about his interest in the violin, stressed that playing an instrument is a commitment. He nodded as if he understood and still professed his desire to play.

I knew I wanted to expose instrumental music to my sons, for them to play instruments of their own one day. I spent 18 years studying piano, flute, and music theory. I know what it’s like to play, to practice, to dedicate the time and space to learning an instrument. I’m happy to encourage and support that experience for any of my sons who express a desire to make music, but I also want my sons to want to play an instrument because their hearts tell them so, not because I do.

Today my husband and I got our son his first violin. The smile on his face was a song in itself.

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Categories: Education, Parenting, Photography

6 Comments on “Two Years, a Violin, a Hug, and a Smile”

  1. Lesley Jones
    January 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    Yeah!! I am glad to hear Mason is playing the violin! I can’t wait to hear him play! I expect great things from him! Your writting was great!
    Les

    • January 8, 2013 at 2:06 pm #

      Thanks Les. You should have seen him, he was so surprised!!!

  2. January 6, 2013 at 3:01 pm #

    This is a great story and memory. I also like the way you wrote it. The last line was perfect.

    • January 6, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      Thanks Peter, it was a lovely moment.

  3. January 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

    My daughter (who turned five last month) was clear from very early that she wanted to play violin. She’s been taking Suzuki lessons for almost a year now, and still seems serious about it despite not enjoying to practice. (And she’s learned incredibly well.) It’s great when the passion comes from the child. Here’s wishing the same for your son! :)

    • January 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      Thanks Rebecca. It’s great to hear from you and hear your daughter is not only having a great time playing, but is really good. That is encouraging. Music is such a gift and I love that I can watch my child discover it for himself. You should have seen his smile–priceless. :)

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