Friday, November 17, 2006

Goodbye, Suzuki Book 2

Benny had his Book 2 Graduation Recital last week. That's right. No more Chorus. No more Musette. No more Lully Gavotte! I'm just so... HAPPY.

It was a festive night. Because it was on election day, we decided to do a patriotic theme. Sadie wore the Uncle Sam outfit that Benny used to campaign for John Kerry in 2004. I added a flower to the lapel and did a ceremonial smudging with sage-and-citrus fabric spray from Yankee Candle, to remove all those John Kerry-ish residual energies. The man of the hour, Benny wore a flag jacket that I made immediately before the recital.

It's important to have a theme and dress up and create a lavish buffet for these events. We just don't have enough to do without extending ourselves in this way. Fortunately the buffet was handled by Ahno, so all I had to do was make sure the kid practiced his songs, and of course create the patriotic fashions.

Here's a picture of the kids in their outfits:

Here's a picture of Benny with his awesome violin teacher, Mrs. Ford, at the Academy of Music:

Here's a video of Benny playing Bourree by Handel. He kept doing the repeat again and again until Mrs. Ford kindly prompted him to move on to the run that starts with F sharp. :D His *fantastic* accompanist, Mrs. Pougher, never missed a beat.

Here's a side note, as I write this blog: Benny heard the video playing, and was walking around the downstairs looking for the source. I saw him putting his ear up to the baby monitor, and then he asked me, "Mommy, where is the Book 2 CD coming from? Is it upstairs?" I said, "That's not the CD, baby, it's you." He said, very quietly, "Is that music coming from inside my head?" Hehehe. NO, it's not your imagination, it's YOUTUBE, Benny! *cackle*

The recital was fantastic. Benny and another student at the Academy both graduated from Book 2 at the age of six and a half, which is pretty impressive. It *was* impressive that he played well, and that he remembered his songs, and that he had such poise and aplomb in front of his audience. He

What pleased me the most, however, was the fact that I saw him specifically thinking about things we had worked on that week, and I saw him specifically trying to implement little things that Mrs. Ford had taught him. To witness him really trying to do his best, and really engaging his brain in the music, and not just whanging through it any old how, to get to the end, while he's thinking about the chandelier (as often happens in his performance situations) was really fantastic. The child is growing up.

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