Thursday, March 27, 2008


Four~thirty in the morning is not when I expect incoming e~mails to pop up on my screen. Normally I can clutch my first cuppa of the day & peaceably read through my bloggy friends news free of interuptions or distractions. As it was from Ditz's flute teacher I promptly opened it to find our lesson times had been changed & I was going to have to wake my child & harrass her out the door by eight o'clock. This is never a good way to start our day.

Predictably enough Ditz came to snapping & snarling, having had a late night after choir & in need of far more sleep. She was so not happy to find she also had an early lesson & that it was drizzling down rain.

Now if I'd been the one working with her after all that I would have suffered from a bout of serious procrastionation, whinging & whining, & other unsavouray habits my child likes to indulge in when she is not at her best & feeling hard done by. But because it was music & flute & Jan (who has the happy knack of terrifying my small daughter, in the nicest possible way) she only muttered unhappily to me on the boat.

Jan has extraordinarily high expectations & I am always amazed at how much he can get out of Ditz because he makes her work very, very hard until the moment he can see she's flagging & the mistakes are mounting up & only then does he call it quits. However he has managed to get through to Ditz that not only does she need to practise, she needs to practise in a particular way. He has carefully shown her over & over what she needs to do with any passage that is giving her trouble & though I rarely stay in the same room when Ditz is practising (anyone who has suffered through flute practises will understand why) I can hear her all over the house, so I know that she has actually been practising as instructed. It is paying off, & Ditz can see it's paying off. Jan is very happy with her.

I breathed a small prayer of thanks. Ditz has only been learning for barely 2 years & then with a school band, so I was slightly worried when Jan announced Ditz was perfectly capable of attempting the grade three work, though it would be a bit of a stretch for her initially. Seems he was right. The piece that was giving her untold difficulties at the beginning of term is now almost ready ~ without tears. She is still struggling with one of her scales (A major I think) as there are 3 new notes & fingering that she is not using anywhere else yet so is struggling to remember both notes & fingerings.

I stand amazed at how much Ditz seems to absorb by a process of osmosis. No~one has actually ever explained to her what a tonic or a fifth or any number of other things are; certainly not me because I have no idea, but Ditz obviously knows. I wish I could teach her math by osmosis. Come to that, I wish I could learn math by osmosis. All I know is we learn easily what we love best & I really wonder what would have become of Ditz if she'd been in a regular classroom getting her regulation 1/2 hour music lesson a week & expected to sit quietly for long periods of time because Ditz has never been a quiet child.

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