Tag Archives: music

The Value of a Meltdown, Part Two

When my son Lewis was about seven, I should have been able to predict my meltdown over his cello lessons. He’d been playing since age two-and-a-half, and even though I’d achieved considerable insight into his learning style, I still felt … Continue reading

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Why So Many Gifted Children Are Stubborn, Part Six

We need to learn to stay out of the way of our children’s learning patterns, even if these patterns don’t make sense to us. When my son wanted to daydream through his cello lessons and practicing, I was sure he … Continue reading

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Fostering Independence of Thought, Part Five

At seventeen, Lewis is a folk musician who enjoys pieces from a variety of cultures and traditions. Certain pieces seem to call forth his best, and when he plays “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” you have to tap your toe, … Continue reading

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Your Perfectionist Child, Part Five

When my son stubbornly insists that his cello playing should match the perfect music he hears inside his head, I’m not disturbed until he quits a practice session too soon, stating gloomily, “I’ll never be able to play well enough.” … Continue reading

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The Creative Moment, Part Four

When an idea hits your gifted child, the ability to carry through may or may not be present. Thus, in cello practice, when Annette discovered how to use her bow better, this didn’t immediately translate into better playing. On the … Continue reading

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The Creative Moment, Part Three

When my daughter, Annette, then approximately seven, hit on a great idea for practicing the cello, she could think of nothing else. For hours she’d sit in her room, working out this idea, and all her talk about it dominated … Continue reading

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Trying Impossible Things: The Process

When I practice the cello, I never try to recover what I did best the day before. Instead I let all those remembered sounds and sensations float around in my head until they come clear again. In letting go of … Continue reading

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When Your Gifted Child Tries Impossible Things, Part Three

Annette was well prepared for the “project that never ends” by her years of cello lessons starting when she was two. The nature of musical proficiency makes your skill always a work in progress even if you’re a virtuoso. So … Continue reading

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Independent Learning: Why I Guard It in My Children

My glorious discovery of how Dorothy Sayers put together one part of her plot in The Nine Tailors was only the first of many similar experiences. At some stages of my cello practice, I’m showered with nearly continuous revelations about … Continue reading

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Independent Learning, Part Two

As we have seen, my son Lewis couldn’t take my advice in cello lessons because he needed to learn in his own way. This drive to discover things for himself ensured that he would become an independent learner. Until I … Continue reading

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