Posting my Big News from yesterday’s Facebook page:
I think the reason the post got so many Likes is because the idea of an imperfectly dysfunctional ADHD mom (me) doing an NFL-style victory dance in front of a group of stuffy Tiger Moms is so over-the-top that someone should actually do it. It won’t be me, at least not this year, but I would pay money to see it.
The thing is – this victory isn’t just for Fiona, it’s for the un-Tiger-Moms everywhere. Although I joke that my husband is the Tiger Mom in the family – he isn’t. He is certainly disciplined enough to make sure our kids practice, but there is a big difference between being disciplined, and being a Tiger Mom. We are not Tiger Parents – Fi is well-rounded, she plays field hockey, has sleepovers, loves Irish dance, does gymnastics, has play dates, is a good friend and kind, and spends lots of time lounging around watching Pound Puppies on Netflix, too. She’s not a peculiar robot, like so many violin kids tend to be – she’s a regular kid who loves to play violin. And yes – okay, I admit it: before I had children the one thing I knew was that when I did have them, they would play the violin, because I did. And now I’m living vicariously through them. I don’t think that’s so terrible, as long as they are enjoying it.
UPDATE: I’ve just learned that along with a $100 prize, which is a lot for an 11-year-old, Fiona gets to take a MASTER CLASS WITH HILARY HAHN!!!!!!! Holy flipping Stradivarius!
Oh my God! If you don’t know who she is, this would be the equivalent of me getting to meet Elvis Presley when I was 10 (which I didn’t) but I was so into Elvis that if I had gotten within a 5 mile radius of him I would have evaporated with sheer joy. It’s like that for Fi with Hilary Hahn! OMG!
My husband and I must have watched the video of Fi playing her concerto seven or maybe seventeen times last night. I was so proud my uterus was humming. I’m not kidding. Watching my baby play that song with all of her heart and soul - it made my uterus hum. I know that sounds crazy but it did. It hummed. As we sat there watching our daughter, our mouths hung open. I said to my husband, “We made her, you and I.” And you know what he did? He shushed me because he wanted to hear her “expressive shift to the high E” for the sixteenth time.
As we watched her, I kept having flashbacks to that Christmas when she was 14 months old and we had our Irish-style “sing for your supper” party, where everyone performs a musical party piece. I was squeaking out some Irish tunes on my violin, and I remember vividly how mesmerized she was with my violin. She kept watching it, wanting it, reaching for it. The next day I let her carry it around; I let her pretend to play it. She was so proud to be carrying that violin, and she was sill only in diapers. (Yes, I know this is like Tiger Woods dad letting Tiger sleep with a baby golf club in his crib. I know.)
I posted the video of Fi playing her concerto below. The song is 7 minutes and 20 seconds long so my feelings won’t be hurt if you don’t watch the whole thing. But for you musical peeps, those die-hards amongst you who will watch the whole piece, a few moments to look for:
- She takes a deep breath right before she begins. Her Daddy told her to do this right before she went up to play. He’s so wise. (-:
- I am in awe – absolutely in awe – of her accompanist – that she can play under such pressure and manage to turn the pages is incredible to me. There is one moment that shows her real talent – she plays the piano with one hand for just a second, while using her free hand to brush her hair back from her face. Now that’s talent!
- When Fiona plays, she becomes one with the music. She translates what the composer is trying to say, emotionally, to the audience. Anyone can learn technical perfection if they work hard enough, but there is something she has that you can feel when she plays, an emotional connectedness to the notes – and it’s something that can’t be taught.
- The last note at the end of the song is the most dramatic – she’s got this beautiful Austrian bow-hold, and she pulls a little Maxim Vengerov move – she extends the very last note by bringing her bow up once more after it should have ended. A magical little choice of flourish – if you watch closely, it even caught the pianist off-guard and she smiles at Fiona after that one note.
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