When we made the switch from homeschooling to public school, I remember the morning that we visited the school and learned about the different opportunities. In fourth grade, kids were able to join the orchestra and Colin was entering fourth grade. I encouraged him to talk to the orchestra teacher that morning, and he wanted nothing to do with the idea. I remember feeling frustrated and annoyed, then surprised a week later when he came home and told us that he wanted to join the orchestra!
He chose the viola that year, and is in the 3rd year of playing. In the second half of that first year, I learned about a program through ASU's School of Music called the String Project. They offered group lessons once a week at an amazing cost ($35 for 10 weeks!) Colin joined and had so much fun he has been working with the group ever since. At the end of each semester, the classes put on a recital at the School of Music, which is always enjoyable. Last year, he joined the Fiddle class as well as the String Project class.
Again, he didn't think he could fiddle (it requires memorizing the music,) and I admit I pushed a bit (again), but if you ask him today he would tell you how much he loves to fiddle. And, yes, he managed to memorize the music just fine!
The teachers are learning to be music teachers, and have such fun with the kids. The program has grown quite a bit since we joined, and the recital tonight almost didn't fit in the hall where it's always held. I'm interested to see where it goes, as Lydia informed us tonight that she wants to be in Strings, too!
I am very proud of Colin and his commitment to musical groups. I confess that I wish he would practice more often -- but his school orchestra teacher says he does wonderfully and he has become a leader of the extra fiddle group at school that meets before school once a week. He tells me that he loves music, and will even admit that he is glad that I pushed him to consider orchestra 3 years ago.
Nate played string bass with the String Project classes this semester as well, but unfortunately, he wasn't up to playing at the recital tonight. It's been a long road to recovery, but we see him improving quite a bit finally. He is still weak, though, and needs plenty of rest. He loves music, too, and we hope that he'll be back to performing very soon.