Tuesday, February 03, 2009

So long, farewell

auf weidersehn, adieu

In the Suzuki world, you move slowly and carefully from one book to the next. And when you get to the end of a book, you get to graduate. You make a graduation tape, and a different teacher than your own listens to it gives you comments. You play in a graduation concert. You get a diploma. You get a pin.

So today, Ziad and Maya graduated from their books. Book 4 and Book 3, respectively. And since we are leaving the school where they have been studying Suzuki guitar, it was a real graduation for them, a chance to say good-bye and thank-you to the teachers they have studied with.

Leaving the regimented world of Suzuki was in some ways disconcerting. It can be so absorbing, and so challenging, to meet all the requirements of this structured and disciplined approach, that you never have time to question whether this is something you even want to be doing. Stepping outside all that, though, is to immediately confront the question of whether guitar lessons are really the appropriate activity for two children who, while musical, are hardly prodigies. Is it worth the time? The money? The effort? I don't know the answers to those questions.

What I do know is that going to the graduation today felt really good. Saying goodbye to the Suzuki world felt REALLY good.

So which child, do you think, came to this event with a pocket full of hard plastic magic props? And what better time for them to fall to the auditorium floor than during the guest violinist's elegant solo? Let me tell you, it was really something to listen to that plastic rattling down the slanted floor and to watch people looking nervously at their feet as it rolled past. In case you're not sure who I'm talking about, I'll tell you that it was the same child who, while walking offstage after playing, did not even wait to get back to the audience before beginning to tug his tie off with one hand while holding his guitar in the other.

I'm thinking they may have been glad to see the back of us.


Blogger Vivian said...

I'm sure the years of Suzuki lessons are going to benifit the kids later in their lives more than they can imagine now. Henry had the same reaction when he ended his Taekwondo, couldn't wait to get the last class over with.

9:20 AM  

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