Friday, May 15, 2015

Changing keys

The brunette twin has struggled this year to play both piano and flute. As she settled into her fifth grade band practices, it became clear that she wanted to spend more time playing flute with her friends.

While she enjoyed piano, the brunette twin did not enjoy being in the spotlight for recitals and other performances. She was happy to be part of the band where she could play her flute as part of the group. She enjoyed the ability to hide among the group.

The brunette twin worried about telling Miss Anna that she wanted to stop piano lessons for a while. We decided to take the summer off so she could concentrate on her flute practice. We arranged for the girls to take private lessons this summer. They came home from their last band practice with a packet of songs they needed to learn before the first day of sixth grade. The summer music instruction will focus on those songs so they are ready to start when the sixth grade band meets for the first time.

Miss Anna understood. As I explained to the brunette twin, Miss Anna was a middle school student. She understood the pressures of playing multiple instruments. At the recital, Miss Anna wished the brunette twin well with her flute lessons. It was gracious and kind.

I have often said that the brunette twin is not a child who handles change well. Even if it’s change she initiates, she frets as if it’s the end of the world. The brunette twin knows she can always go back to piano lessons, but that hasn’t minimized her distress. When we walked in from her final piano lesson, the brunette twin started crying. She said, “I don’t want to leave Miss Anna.”

We agreed to focus on flute for the summer, while she kept practicing her piano songs. She’ll come to a middle ground where she feel comfortable with her decision, but as with all decisions, it will be a long, winding path.

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