Suzuki Festival

Hard to believe we are now in our second year of Suzuki violin. I have to first come clean by telling you that I am by no means the model Suzuki parent. I won't get into my list of excuses. But I really do struggle with daily practice. It has been a source of daily guilt for me for many months. But recently I had to just free myself from that guilt and give myself credit for the small baby steps that we DO accomplish. Last Saturday I took my Suzuki student to a festival and graduation concert held at a college campus 2 hours away. We got up at 5:30 am. We left at 6am. We were registered and in our seats, ready for a day of music and learning by 8:20am.

There was certainly no shortage of beautiful music that day.  Our jaws dropped as we heard some of the older more advanced students play their graduation pieces.  It was certainly inspiring.  But as we headed to our first class, not knowing what to expect I was slightly less impressed with the event.  Due to a scheduling mix-up, our first class started 20 minutes late.  Then the teacher who jumped in to save us was promptly dismissed when the "real" teacher showed up, which only added to the disjointed chaos.  I kept asking myself if I had really just driven over 100 miles, paid registration and lost sleep for this?
The day improved as we went on, however.  Our second class was a mini semi-private lesson with a different Suzuki teacher.  It was interesting to have input and instruction from a teacher we were not familiar with.  In comparison, I definitely prefer our own Suzuki teacher. 
We at lunch in the Student Union Building with our teacher.  Toward the end of our meal we were treated by an indoor performance from the school's marching band.

The music was so deafening that we actually had to leave.  We took a little walk in the nearby Japanese gardens.

After lunch there was a technique class, followed by something that we had never experienced before: A Delcroze class.  Never heard of it? Neither had I.  But it's basically letting kids learn about music by responding to it with their bodies.  My Suzuki girl LOVED it.  It was her favorite class and just what we needed to perk us up at the end of a long afternoon.

This was followed by the final play-in concert.  We had intended to stay.  But the prospect of a long drive home, and our increasing weariness, prompted both of us to choose an early departure.  We skipped out and we left for home.  I felt bad that her hard work that day was not going to result in a performance that she had bee looking forward to giving.  But her little slumped body and sleepy eyes meant that it was time to go. So off we went for home. 

She slept most of the way home and I struggled to keep myself focused on the road!  But we made it and we were glad we went.  I think.  I sure hope the next one will be a little closer to home!