Friday, October 31, 2008

Our Newest Music Venture

On the way home from our family reunion in Pennsylvania, I received an email about a beginner orchestra starting up within reasonable traveling distance. I had been looking forward to an opportunity for Sophie to begin playing in an orchestra, knowing that the social experience and the challenge of playing with a group would encourage her to continue with cello. At first I was very interested in the orchestra, because of its location and the originally-stated evening rehearsal. However, my enthusiasm become somewhat dampened when the time got changed to a school day morning

Why, oh why do so many HOMEschool activities get scheduled so as to interrupt HOMEschooling?!!!!

...and now you know my basic approach to homeschooling. I am not a go-with-the-flow homeschool mom that sees life and all of its interruptions as educational. I have found in my family that if schoolwork doesn't get done on a regular basis during the morning and a good chunk of the afternoon, it is very easy to get derailed and not get it done adequately.

But I digress... I decided to try attending the first day of orchestra to see how it would go. Thankfully, James had the day off from work and was able to supervise the boys while I chauffuered Sophie. It was a brutal day. Two hours of driving: back and forth to the orchestra, and then back and forth to Sophie's cello lesson. I had all but decided that I couldn't handle it, but I prayed about it while driving, and surprisingly (to me) the cello teacher was able to reschedule Sophie's cello lesson for the half hour before orchestra with a fifteen minute break to jaunt the few blocks over to the rec center for rehearsal! Additionally, the conductor, more of a winds guy, recruited me to help the cellists.

Sophie and I have now been to three orchestra rehearsals while Grandma (James' mom) supervises the boys so that the older boys can focus on their schoolwork instead of tagging along. Sophie willingly practices a lot more and is quickly learning how to read bass clef applied to cello. (She already read bass clef for piano, but she hadn't gotten far enough with the Suzuki method to get to sight reading for cello.) The cello section is quite small, only three young cellists, but I play along in order to help them. Since the orchestra also includes winds and brass, some of the music is really a bit too difficult for a truly beginner orchestra. It really is not ideal. However, since I can help Sophie on a daily basis, she can keep up relatively well, enough that I think it is a beneficial experience.

1 comment:

Jackie said...

wow, what a great opportunity for both of you. glad that everything worked out for it.