Saturday, August 29, 2009

Day 241.

Dylan, Noah and I went to the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute concert on the lake today at noon. It was a gorgeous day - 60 degrees and sunny, and we wore our jeans and brought sweatshirts. We heard some great music from the students at the Institute, bought some baked goods and signed Dylan up for Suzuki violin starting in 2 weeks. Yes, 2 weeks. WOW.

I am grateful for my violin roots.

As a former Suzuki violinist, I have great respect for the Suzuki method. I know I learned in a way that was invaluable to me as a lifelong musician. No, I don't really play violin anymore, but that may change - I feel inspired to pull it out and make beautiful music with an instrument that I once was pretty gifted.

As I sat and watched these 3-16 year olds playing violin, I found myself unexpectedly tearing up. At first I thought it was because Dylan was old enough for this - and she could actually be doing this next year - performing with her own wee little violin. That would have been enough to cry about. But then I realized it was deeper. The tears stemmed from my childhood, and really were about my gratitude for being trained as a Suzuki student. Gratitude to my parents, who made it a priority to pay for Suzuki lessons, even though it is dang expensive (I know that now!!). Gratitude to my whole extended family, who encouraged me, listened to me screech through my initial practices, and came to see every concert faithfully...even though they probably really only cared about my 30 second performance.

I guess that's why I find it really important to give Dylan this chance since she is really interested in it. I am so grateful that I played violin, even though I quit in middle school, when I could have really gone far with it. I guess a piece of me feels like this is a second chance for me. I'm going to get out my violin with her and remember the great feeling of making beautiful music. And how cool that we will be able to do it together.


  1. what a wonderful thing you'll be able to share. I think she'll enjoy playing even more, because you play with her!

  2. What a coincidence, Hilary. We took the kids to see a marching band and "try out" their instruments yesterday. I played the bass clarinet/marched for 5 years, and quit after my freshman year of high school. I now wish I would have worked harder, or at least tried a different instrument, since my heart wasn't with the clarinet really. I am so grateful to have the band experience, though, and to know how to read and play music. I am going to sign Meg and Sean up for something they're interested in (hopefully violin, as their elementary school offers it!) sometime soon, and hope they learn the same skills that you and I learned when we were young. Go Dylan! Invite us to your concerts little lady!