Liz loved her violin from the moment she got it. While not every practice session has been stellar or without complaint, she has steadily worked away with enjoyment and pride.
Now, she practices more often (and more successfully) on her own, setting her own challenges and finding her own way. She has worked hard and is far beyond her classmates. Last winter her teachers began urging her to join an orchestra outside of school and, gradually, she became excited to do so. Our local music center offers three levels of orchestras for children and teens, all by audition only. Yesterday was the big audition. Lou planned it all-- her outfit, the scale that would most impress, the song.
As the week went on, Lou became more and more nervous until the big day when....she lost it. She became so so scared and refused to go. No amount of convincing would allow her to realize that it was last-minute nerves. She was convinced that she had never wanted to do it in the first place. Nels and I had one of those awful parental dilemmas. Would we force her to go or let her off the hook? Had we pushed her into something that she actually didn't want to do? Is it OK to push a child THIS scared?
Well. We made her go. We carried her kicking to the car. Threw in the violin. Took off down the road. None of us feeling good about it. And then magic. Nels began to quietly talk. He told story after story of auditions --the time he choked when playing for one of the top 5 trumpet players in the world (and didn't get into BU) and the next day when he nailed his audition and got into Tanglewood. As he told story after story, her head came up. Her shoulders quietly straightened. She had a sip of water. And she got out of the car. Calm(er).
And. She nailed it. She played better than I'd heard her all summer. The conductor smiled, gave her some pointers, and told her she was "in."
In. Not into the intermediate youth orchestra. Into the teen Green Mountain Youth Symphony. My girl is standing TALL and Nels and I are breathing easier that we did the right thing.