Blogging about music, family life, the outdoors, unschooling and everything else

for more than a quarter century

Category: Music education

  • My big kid’s big job

    My big kid’s big job

    Erin was poised to finish her Masters in Violin Performance at New England Conservatory this past May. We anticipated that she would eventually land a full-time orchestra position, but the classical music world being what it is, we knew that would likely take several years of auditioning, taking stop-gap fellowship positions with training orchestras, freelancing, […]

  • Will school ever be the whole story?

    Will school ever be the whole story?

    Although she’s only equivalent to Grade 9 by age and this semester is taking three academic Grade 12 courses, school has ended up being fairly unchallenging for Fiona. She picked up a DL Spanish course in October to fill her days and that helped while it lasted. It’s not like she’s completely miserable; she enjoys […]

  • SVI 2016

    SVI has come and gone for another year. Registration filled extremely early this year (third week of March) and that allowed me to get a jump on the scheduling. We had most of the basics fleshed out by mid-April, which took some of the pressure off me in May-June, when things normally get fairly frantic […]

  • Brahms Concerto

    Fiona and I made a whirlwind trip to Vancouver. For me it was the second in as many weekends. Erin had pulled up her roots in Montreal, and was making a stop in the Vancouver area before heading home to the Kootenays. She had a date to perform the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Richmond Symphony. […]

  • Accomplishments

    Over the past few years the focus of my blog (well, it’s arguable whether it has any focus at all) has moved away from the specifics of what my children are up to. That’s been the natural result of them growing up and becoming their own people, and my feeling that I want to honour […]

  • Summer, here and gone

    It was an early summer. The trees were greening up a good 3-4 weeks earlier than usual, and the season continued to unfurl early. The lake got “warm” (as warm as it ever does) in June. The wildfires were burning by the end of June. The huckleberries peaked in mid July. The wildflowers up Idaho peak […]

  • Letter from college

    Normally it would be odd for a parent receive an unsolicited email from one of her now-adult children’s university professors. This is different though, because this prof has been Erin’s violin teacher for four years. That includes the very first year, when Erin was still a high schooler by age and enrolment, but moved to Montreal to […]

  • A working summer

    Last year we managed some spectacular alpine hikes to cap off the summer. This year, so far at least, has felt much more like a working summer. There have been a few afternoons at the beach, but little hiking (yet) and it has felt like we’ve all been quite busy. Between us we’ve had multiple […]

  • Creative Arts vs. Pure Sciences

    It feels like things are starting to fall into place for Noah. He’s in his final year of high school, and hadn’t until recently been terribly forthcoming or taken much initiative concerning his plans for the future. Part of that was no doubt due to the delightfully flexible but exceptionally vague school he attends: there […]

  • SVI 2013

    Another SVI has come and gone. This year a lot of the organizing fell to me, since my mom moved away last fall. So I found myself doing my usual Suzuki-parenting, plus a lot of the this-and-that volunteer stuff I’ve usually added to that, plus the lion’s share of the administration. I confess I didn’t […]

  • Music Explorers

    Fiona has that gene, the one that instinctively attracts her to young children. How tragic that she’s the one of my children with no younger siblings. However, she makes up for it when she’s out and about: she gravitates to young kids, and they gravitate to her. She’s done a little bit of mother’s helpful […]

  • 40th Anniversary SSSG Trip

    This year was the 40th anniversary of the Suzuki program I grew up in. The program back “home,” in Ontario, a place I left in 1981, where none of us lived for a while but where my sister and my mom now live again. A few months ago I had been warned that I was […]

  • NYO Redux

    If ever ever wondered whether we were doing the right thing sending Erin off to live on her own in a big faraway city while still a high schooler, her experience at NYO is providing some resounding reassurance. Last summer, before she moved away, she participated in Canada’s National Youth Orchestra. She did well. She […]

  • Corazón

    Corazón, how we love thee!  For parents this youth vocal ensemble is like an insurance plan for the souls of their teenagers. Priceless.

  • Graduating

    We have Erin home for almost four days. She made the trip back from Montreal for her high school graduation weekend. While she’s been living there this year studying violin and playing in an orchestra, she’s officially still been a student within our local school district, earning credit towards her graduation diploma through independent study […]