It’s been a busy few days around these parts: catch-ups with friends (amazing), busy days at work (fun) and lots of last things to get done before the school year finishes in EIGHT MORE DAYS. So apologies RRs* for going AWOL….
Two weeks ago, we had Unit One in tears when I suggested he do a practice-run of the song he was due to play at his end of year drum recital (Is it a recital when it is kids smashing the crap out of a set of skins?). We have not heard one single skerrick of practice all year, and believe me, with the size of our house and the type of songs he learns, I’d know if he was playing. Let’s just say it is not Vivaldi. So far, I’m told he doesn’t need to practice because he “learns it all in my lessons”. The lessons go for half an hour. Per week. Sounds suspiciously like that old “I did all my maths homework on the way home on the bus” chestnut. Anyway, I said “give me a run through” and he cried. Because, shock of shocks, he couldn’t remember it.
It’s funny, he’s been the type of kid who hasn’t really had to work very hard for anything so far. He’s naturally good at most things, has a great memory, and could read fluently at four years old. This means there have been no hard-won battles to learn sight words or times tables, no trial and error, no striving for success. So of course he wanted me to call the drum teacher and get him out of the concert. Or change songs to something he already knew.
In the interests of making a point (and being right in the process- my two fave things) we made him practice that song three times every night for the next nine nights, and guess what? He learnt it. He bashed those drums as hard as he could and he did a great job. Not perfect but great.
You see, the reason why he didn’t want to practice it was because he couldn’t do it perfectly the first time. He was concerned, because even though it looks like an easy song, he says it’s quite difficult. I suspect when you’re a kid who has had things come easily, you don’t have resilience or determination in your repertoire. Maybe persistence isn’t something you’re born with, but something you have to practice, just like your drumming. So we entered tenacity training. And it worked (Of course it did, did I mention I’m always right?). He did the song, and by the look on his face, and the chatter in the car afterwards, the victory tasted sweeter for being something he’d worked on and worked out. Thunderous applause.
Crank up the volume, sit back and get Thunderstruck
PS Please click the link- he’s collecting views and I promised I’d blog up the numbers for him….
* Regular Readers