Right now I’m listening to Laura’s CD from her violin book. She has been so blessed to have the chance to learn violin. We are so grateful to those helping make this possible. And I think it’s worth every penny for one reason: behavioral changes.
Right now, Laura needs achievements. She needs to see progress. And since we’re holding off on starting school until we move next week, her progress revolves around her violin. As we push, shove, cajole, and threaten to get her to practice, she stores away each evidence of talent and hard work.
Honestly, though, I was nervous about her taking it up. Not that it’s a bad thing, but I remember my younger brother starting violin when I was in 6th grade. While I’m sure he enjoyed it, and has enjoyed the opportunity to fiddle (pun so intended) with one since then, let me tell you: it was painful. If someone tells you that bagpipes sound like tortured cats, don’t believe them. It’s the amateur violinist that sounds like he is running his own feline Gitmo in the other room. I love my brother, but at 11 years old I made sure to stay as far away from his practicing as possible. To my pleasant surprise, Laura was not nearly so screechy. While I admit that my hearing could be a) biased as her mother and b) dulled by years of screaming children, I think she has a talent for this instrument. I love to sit and watch her practice. She sits on the piano bench or cross-legged on the floor (ala Lindsey Stirling) and her fingers move confidently over the fingerboard, the bow smoothly passing over the strings. She’s not perfect but she’s pretty darn good for her age.
Anyways, behavioral changes. Laura has some anger and mood issues we’re constantly working on. Some of it is working out with age, but to anyone who is struggling with a special needs child, I would jump up and down yelling “Get them an instrument!” She is happier, calmer, and more…centered. Again, she’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. But she’s better. Part of that is the homeschooling I’m sure. But in a period of two days earlier this year when she participated in two performances of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, I had a perfect child. No, seriously!!! Somehow that public affirmation worked magic.
I love magic.
As I listen to this CD, I think of my little girl learning and growing. I hope she is feeling like she has a place in this world and that she is already doing so much that is good.