Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Piano "Lesson"

Our oldest has been taking piano lessons for three years and is really showing some talent. For a kid who seems to float through school without having to do much work, piano is a challenge that we feel he needs.

He started out taking lessons from Mrs. K., an 80-year-old lady with a professional history complete with being a concert pianist, an operatic soloist, and even playing at the Grammys one year! She is a sweet lady who peppered lessons with stories of her children and grandchildren. When I used to pick up my oldest from her house, I always went inside to talk to Mrs. K. because she was a delightful person to be around. When my oldest listened to her talk he always watched her closely, with a look he normally would reserve for a favorite grandparent.

She moved away to Florida last year and both my son and I were devestated. And Mrs. K. tells me the only thing she regrets in moving was losing my son as a student. Would we ever find a teacher who instilled a love of learning music like Mrs. K.?

Mrs. K. recommended another teacher, Mrs. R., who had a stellar reputation for teaching students to the best of their ability. So we signed up. She is a toughie, and normally I like that in a teacher for this particular son. However, this year is a challenging acedemic year for 4th Graders in our school. They have the two toughest teachers in the building, and they are learning more than they have ever learned before. So why put this extra pressure on my boy for a hobby?

Last night she reprimanded him for not practicing enough piano. She wants him to practice 30-40 minutes a day. He can maybe muster 10-15 minutes a day what with the book reports, test studying, and homework. Don't forget, we don't get home from school until 4:15.

So, I don't know what to do. He loves piano, but not the always the teacher. Do I switch him knowing we'll only be here for a few more months or stick it out and make it clear to her that our son is only capable of half the practicing time she demands?

Oh, by the way, I happen not to like her....Don't tell my kid.


Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

wait it out to see if he starts to resent the lessons, or is encouraged to work harder. I took music lessons. The nicest teachers aren't necessarily the best.

November 30, 2005 2:25 PM  
Blogger Rolling hills of green said...

if he doesn't enjoy going he would probably start resenting it.

November 30, 2005 2:33 PM  
Blogger zemirah said...

As a music teacher, and someone who struggled to fit in hours of music practice with school work not so many years ago, I understand the difficulties of your dilemma.

I think you have two separate problems. The first is that your child (and you!) don't really like the new teacher (or their teaching style). A good teacher/student relationship is incredibly important and no good music teacher should be offended by being told that its not working for the child. Chances are, its not really working for the teacher either!

The second problem is managing to get a certain amount of practice done everyday. I know how difficult it is to fit in practice time with school work, sport and other activities, but I also know how frustrating it is to see a talented child make limited progress. If the teacher has demanded a certain amount of practice time I think you have a duty to either fit in the practice time, or tell the teacher that it's truly impossible at this time. Once you tell the teacher how much time your child can realistically manage to practice she can either accept this and work with it, or reccomend another teacher (which may solve your problems anyway!)

Whatever you do, don't do nothing; you'll only end up with a frustrated teacher, child and parents. Good luck!

December 01, 2005 1:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are leaving the home of the brave in 6 months.
screw it.

December 01, 2005 1:44 AM  
Blogger Krunk said...

Anon has a damn good doesnt matter so much if he drops her now,you guys will be gone in half a year.

December 01, 2005 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i make a lot of good points.

if only people wouldnt treat me like cassandra the world would be a better, less hypocritical, and less shallow, place.

December 02, 2005 3:09 AM  
Blogger Veev said...

Anon and Krunk-

It does matter because this decision could affect his entire future in music. I don't mean to be melodramatic, but I want him to have a positive experience all around.

I love him.

December 02, 2005 10:23 AM  
Blogger Veev said...


Thanks for your help. Can you move to Detroit and then to Israel with us to teach our kid?

December 02, 2005 10:24 AM  
Blogger zemirah said...

Absolutely! (if you could just help with visas, airfares, accommodation...)

Seriously though, music is important and it's worth the effort (both from the parents and child). Once you've found an inspiring and enthusiastic teacher the practice time should take care of itself.

December 03, 2005 12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you any idea how totally stressed out your life is going to be for at least the next 2 years?

piano lessons are going to be the last thing on your mind.

musical future? gimme a break.

as usual, i need to repeat myself.
screw it.

December 03, 2005 11:30 AM  
Blogger rockofgalilee said...

In my experience, the stress of moving doesn't last 2 years. It lasts only until you find a job.

December 04, 2005 5:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

come on, rock.

are you telling me that how the kids adjust academically and socially is not a stressor?

and then you got to find yourself a piano and an apartment big enough to hold it, and a bank account big enough to buy it (unless the air piano is going to make the long, bumpy, damp, mildewy, permanent-damage-inducing, aliya as well).

gimme a break.

here you are, relocating to a wildly different system and country, and as long as you have a job there is no stress?
ah, those pie-eyed dreamers...

israel is a murderously hard life in the beginning.

and then it get impossible.
the sense of bitterness and desparation in israel, especially among the religious orthodox bunch, is almost palpable.
the stress never leaves you, it just takes on different forms, perhaps.
avoid living in israel at all costs.
visit, maybe. but do not live there!

December 04, 2005 6:17 AM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Anon, you have no idea what the hell you're talking about. The experience is different for everybody. The stress different for everybody. I came here on my own, and it was not stressful for me at all, nor am I stressed out now. But, to think that there is no stress involved in living anywhere else in the world is as you call it, a pipe dream. Your "STAY OUT AT ALL COSTS!" warnings are disgusting, unwarranted, and have absolutely no merit. I think starting on piano lessons and continuing a routine as soon as you get there would help the transition smooth over quicker. Good for you Veev.

December 04, 2005 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oc, oc,
you really need to take a chill and a reality check. and probably some other stuff which may not be legally or halachicly permissible.

you say, 'Anon, you have no idea what the hell you're talking about.'
you do not know this. and your needless invective and irresponsible comments delivered loose-cannon style only support my case that a) all those living in israel are under stress and b) do not move there. thank you for supporting my case.

you then continue: 'The experience is different for everybody. The stress different for everybody. I came here on my own, and it was not stressful for me at all, nor am I stressed out now. But, to think that there is no stress involved in living anywhere else in the world is as you call it, a pipe dream.'
the contradictions and self-deception here are so blatant here that you make it too easy to fulfill my primary function.
first you say everyone stresses differently, then you say you are under no stress, not now or ever (!!!).
but reading your gratuitously vitriolic posts indicates, above all, an oc under stress.

and then you say that wherever you live you are under stress. everyone but you, perchance?
i think we have someone in deep denial over its stress level since how can living in israel possibly be bad, after all im a zionist and all jews should live here and all who dont are shirking their duties as a jew, etc. etc. and the rest of the new oleh syndrome of neophyte zeal.
and the level of stress living in greenwich conn, are far lower than those in chevron, or some other moslem bastion being invaded by citizens of the zionist entity; nes pas?
but where was i?

oh yes...
whats with the ad hominem attacks? really, unbecoming of you.

'Your "STAY OUT AT ALL COSTS!" warnings are disgusting, unwarranted, and have absolutely no merit.'
this is a claim that needs substantiation or qualification. temperance, please!

and oc concludes: 'I think starting on piano lessons and continuing a routine as soon as you get there would help the transition smooth over quicker. Good for you Veev.'

as someone who has never experienced stress, and has moved to israel all by her lonesome without anyone by her side, i really question your ability to know what the best process of moving to an entirely alien culture is for a family of 5. hence, i question whether you are justified in giving advice to veev (whom we all love, cherish, and respect in some familial fashion, depending) re: uprooting her family to the wilds of the middle east.

oc, your reactions are exhibit #1 in my response to people asking me why i dont go to israel.
and i love you and thank you for it. keep up the good work!


December 04, 2005 12:59 PM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Anon, first of all, I never said that I have never expeienced stress. If you would have read what I wrote, you would have understand that I speaking about the transition process, FOR ME. Also, for some-one who writes anonymously and won't give a name, your "high language" does nothing to show any sort of intelligence. You go on an incredibly long tirade and say absolutely nothing. Thank you for the psychological treatment for my stress level. Please send me a bill in the mail. If you tried living here and it didn't work out, Kol HaKavod for trying, and I'm sorry it didn't work out. If you've never tried living here, then I keep my statement of who the hell are you to talk about something you know nothing about. Assuming by this, and your Aliyah was not a success, maybe you can share your negative experiences with the Air squad, so they can try and avoid making the same mistakes that you did since they seem so hell bent on not taking your heartfelt advice. Might I remind you that there are over 6 million Jews living in this country, who are living a normal every day life, with the "normal" stressors that exist everywhere else. I might also remind you that it is the only country in the world, where the Jewish community is growing; not diminishing. As of next year, more than half the world's Jewery will be residing in the Holy Land. According to you, everybody who moves is crazy and just submitting themselves to a hellish existence. Well, I guess then that Aliyah is "the opiate of the masses", because everyone's doing it except for you and a few other "normal" people. You should be happy then that all the crazies are leaving the U.S. for Israel. What's the problem? Why are you trying to convince these looneys to stay in the States? You're better off without them.

Veev, if you want any help with how to become a fellow nut in Israel, please feel free to contact us. Also, if you haven't already, you might want to consider signing on to Janglo to get a head start on what's happening. I find it's very helpful. Have you guys made any headway in terms of a final destination when you come?
A crazy Israeli.

December 04, 2005 4:20 PM  
Anonymous iSrAeLiWannaB said...

wow veev, started a whole war. all i have 2 say is ask ur son what he wants. maybe he'll tell you.

December 04, 2005 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oc, i really like how you frantically claim that you are not now under stress nor have you ever been under stress, in your entire occupation of israel. the lady doth protest too much. and way too emphatically, too, i may add.

you state: "Also, for some-one who writes anonymously and won't give a name, your "high language" does nothing to show any sort of intelligence."
now there is a non-sequitur if i ever heard one. how do we go from anonymity to "high language (?)" to intelligence"?
furthermore, why do you repeatedly and nonstressfully insist on attacking me personally? please, let calmness and logic prevail. everyone is better off that way.
and in case you were wondering, whatever sexual currents you may be feeling for me, let me assure you that i am not "that kind" of girl.

and whats with the nonstress-oriented cynicism?: "Thank you for the psychological treatment for my stress level. Please send me a bill in the mail."

"You go on an incredibly long tirade and say absolutely nothing."
Actually, I think I said an awful lot. i offered my opinion about moving a piano, and a family, to a war zone of the middle east, in the middle of umpteen arabs who would only be too happy to kill a jew (i am not making a judgment here. i am merely stating the facts as i see them. the local arabs have plenty of grievances committed against them by the zionists.).

as for where i live, lived, or tried living, i find the entire issue irrelevant.

also irrelevant is the rising or falling number of jews in the us. why cant you stick to the issues? are you feeling, possibly, on shaky ground, issue-wise?

i certainly question your stats. most of world jewry in israel? highly problematic if only for the reason that so many 'jews' in israel arent really.

and in any case, who cares if the national jewish pop is growing or not? again you are nonstressfully waxing on with some zionist agitprop for the masses.
irrelevant to the discussion at hand.
unless, perhaps, you are trying to justify a move you made for which you currently have regrets?

anyway, if you really want to run the numbers game, there are a whole lot more jews leaving the country than coming. 10,000 frenchmen cant be wrong, as the saying goes.

as for the loved, cherished, and respected veevs impending move, as always i wish her well, even if she is making the biggest mistake of her career.

in nonstressful solidarity with those in search of truth and values,

December 05, 2005 6:55 AM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

OK, you're right. You're absolutely right. I'm convinced. You have tapped into the root of the problems that I have been trying to avoid ever since I moved here. I have no decision left to defend. Thank you, Anon. I'll be moving tomorrow. I just have to cancel my cable, internet, cell phone, etc before I leave. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I hope that the Air squad will also take your advice and decide not to go. Thank you. Thank you.

December 05, 2005 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

from your fingertips to gods ears!

but in all seriousness, i never had any intention of getting you to return home stateside.
if you want to live over there, thats your business.

one must be honest, especially with oneself, at all times.

if you think you can fulfill your jewish destiny in israel, whatever. but at least be honest in your assessments.

i would like to thank air, inc. for this opportunity to straighten out oc.

December 05, 2005 9:49 AM  
Blogger Olah Chadasha said...

Sorry. No time to talk. I've already started packing. Air Squad, if you need a temp apt to stay in once you get here, mine will be opening up shortly.

December 05, 2005 10:13 AM  
Blogger Veev said...

Get a room, you two!

December 06, 2005 7:12 PM  
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February 16, 2007 1:55 AM  

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