Sunday, January 28, 2007

Meanwhile on the piano

We were sad to learn that his current (and first) piano teacher has decided to leave.

She's moved away and offered jobs elsewhere and it seems logical for her to make this career move.

It's such a shame as son seems to get along with her so well and has learned so much.

He's had 12 lessons and come to the end of the book, bar the last page.

This weekend we had been trying to play the duets.

I said 'we', but son didn't really like the idea of playing with mummy, it seemed.

I struggled with my bit of the music -- although I read music and play other instruments, I've never taken lessons on the piano and only learned to play it myself recently -- and he struggled with his, but he did not ask for help.

This morning (Sunday), before we set off for church, we finally played the first part of the first duet together. Despite the mistakes we both made, it sounded really good.

So, more practice, and we had another go later this evening.

He still gets cross when he makes mistakes as son is a perfectionist, but I think -- I hope and pray -- that he's beginning to see/feel/understand the joys of making music after the hard work has gone in.

Front Crawl

Fridays are mad days.

Son has piano lessons at school in the morning. I head off to do my bit for parents and toddlers.

Son has swimming lessons at school in the afternoon. I collect him after school, and we head off together for his drama classes, which he absolutely loves.

There was excited chatter as he was released. Something about swimming right across the length of the pool doing front crawl without a float.

He's been able to do the length of the pool without a float for some time. Now the instructor is refining their skills and son was delighted that he could do the front crawl. Even turning his head on the side to breathe.

Last summer (early July), he was so nervous in water we were told to give him extra tuition in swimming. Looks like all those trips to the leisure centre paid off, despite having to pay an exhorbitant entry fee to the pool. It also helped that we stayed at the 'Y' in Singapore with its rooftop pool during our brief sojourn there last year.

Though he's still not the best at swimming in his class (a couple of boys are way ahead of the rest), son now likes being in water so much that he thinks swimming is his favourite sport.

That is what I call a 'result'.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I forget

Wanted to say something about son's achievement at school yesterday. But there was such a kafuffle getting onto the blog -- because Google decided to switch us bloggers all over to Beta whether we liked it or not, after which I couldn't log back on -- I've forgotten what I was doing to say.

There must be a reason for 'Old Blogger', for bloggers who are old and short on memory power and who want life kept simple.

Digital clocks are OK so long as the instructions on the display aren't so small I can't read them, for example.

My son's clock-CD player-radio was broken and we bought him a new one. The writing is so small on the display and the buttons so minute for my fat fingers I find it very difficult to get it to do what I want.

There's the trouble these days with young prime ministers, young politicians, young designers, they don't realize what life is like -- going to be like for them in years to come -- when life, vision and touch all get a bit fuzzy.

And you know, those letters they make you identify before adding a comment on a blog like this, it's hellish difficult to make out sometimes.

Padding things out here. Still can't remember the idea behind my original post!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Tooth is Out

"Mum! Could you come to my room please?"

"No," was my prompt answer.

"I've lost my tooth!" And he was in our room in no time at all.

He did, tiny little tooth in his tiny little hand.

"It felt a little uncomfortable. I was grinding my teeth and it fell off. There's no more pain."

Thank you, God!

The new tooth did not cause him any pain, but the wobbly one seemed to be causing some distress. Now that it's out, the new tooth can move forward -- as a couple of dentists say it will.

We're absent from church while Dad is helping out at the baptismal service. Son has still got a cold and my injured leg and stomach cramps conspire to make us feel rather lazy.

O! Must not forget the iron tablet.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Talking Teeth

It was last Thursday evening, I think, when son approached us in the kitchen, finger in his mouth, mumbling, "I think I've got a wobbly tooth."

At last! Yay!

There was great excitement as there had been no sign of his baby teeth going at all. A new tooth has already sprouted behind this tooth but his teeth were solid like rock (OK, I exaggerate).

Son has all but given up hope of playing a wind instrument. So last week, after careful consideration, we decided that it would be a good idea for him to take up drums and percussions so that he could enjoy some ensemble playing which you can't do if you only played the piano. So the wobbly tooth is really welcome.

As for the piano playing, he's sailing through the 'difficult' pieces. He's even begun to work on the most difficult homework piece so far and he was even calm enough to work through several bars on his own this morning, both hands together. He didn't get upset that he didn't get all of it perfect the first time around.

There is hope.

Thank you, God.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Well, he actually managed to string the notes together without too much difficulty after all.

Now it's only a question of practice to make it sound 'confident'.

Which is why it is so-so-so frustrating.

I know he can do it, but it's often, "I am rubbish!"


Having second thoughts about him doing exams. If it stresses him up so much, why bother?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Do or die?

But would he attempt a new piece by himself?

It's too difficult, he says, and leaves it.

Don't mind if he leaves it, but he then screws himself up into a ball under the piano and cries, saying he is stupid, he can't figure out his music.

It might help if he plays the music right hand, then left hand, then both, instead of trying to play with both hands at the same time.

Arrrgh! What do I do?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Piano Exam

Looks like son is really keen to do his piano exam. Said he wouldn't mind if he just passed.

Which is unusual as he often does expect himself to be ahead of the rest.

Went to the RAF Museum and according to an exhibit, he is better than 52% of all the people who have taken the test and he is therefore ready to begin pilot training.

He does so want to take up flying, my boy. In fact he has set his eyes on a particular (boarding) school because they have a flying club. We have set our eyes on the same school because they teach Mandarin Chinese.

But would he prepare for his next piano lesson?

Apart from playing a tune here, a scale there, he does not seem terribly interested in doing the hard work.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Jumped in the deep end of the pool today

With a float, and swam the length of the pool a couple of times.

"I'm really pleased I did that. It was fun."

My son enjoying being in the pool with his feet not touching the floor? Miracles do happen. And he was so chuffed.

Played one of his compositions to piano teacher. Then Teacher made him play to the next boy waiting for lessons, the Head Boy, no less.

Also, he told me, he's been asked to play "Indian Dance" at Assembly for the big boys.

Teacher wrote in son's book that he is talented and a natural at the piano. She is going to push him. How do I feel about him sitting his Grade 1 exam very soon?

My initial reaction is "Not". Son would not be happy if he did not gain at least a Merit.

Does son want to do exams soon? Apparently a resounding "Yes".

Enjoyed his drama classes. We had nice chats on our walk to and from drama class. We noted especially how 6+ boys do not often play the piano at 'big boy assembly'. Son and a classmate were the first.

Good news from the accountant, too. My tax bill is much lower than expected.