17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Growing up, I used to abstractly envision my future. It was usually a wedding with a man, and it stopped there. I have said before that because my imaginings were not very specific, this is why I struggle with the "AM I DONE?" question (in regards to number of children).

My daughter is turning 5 this week, and we are making preparations for her schooling. We had a meeting with her teachers last week and we departed with a question...what instrument will she play? They pushed the cello.

Cello! Cello?

It feels so weird to think about a cello. I thought that my imaginings had been quite abstract, but evidentally they are turning out to be more specific. I pictured the piano, not a cello.

So, now I am trying to open myself up to what life would be like with a cello...and here are my thoughts:
Julliard-$40,000 Cello

Dixie Chicks

And I am having these thoughts: What about drama? What about student council? What about dance class? What about Singing? What about..........

Uh oh....I am trying to fill in her life with mine. And so I have to fight against that and realize that even if I never pictured having a daughter play the cello, that it's ok and in fact it's pretty freaking awesome.

And of course now I am starting to think about my toddler, and is she going to play an instrument? And what instrument would it be? And what if she doesn't want to do music and is gifted in something that I know nothing about? How am I going to know what to do? Where will I turn? HOW WILL IT ALL TURN OUT?

And now I am getting hysterical.

And I shouldn't even have a 5 year old and a toddler because I am only 27...I should be out at the bars or something right? And how did I get here and how did I get a cello in my life?

It's exhaus-ilerating!


  • "They pushed the cello."

    posted by Anonymous JKS at 3/06/2007 01:55:00 PM  

  • (Sorry so long!)

    I drive myself crazy with these same thoughts? What should I "giude" her into? I mean, we all know if you don't start whatever it is early that you'll have no "hope" of "making it" for the most part.(At least in the areas I was into- ballet,gymnastics,cheering)I mean, my sis in law got her degree in modern dance and says there's really no beginner's dance class for 8 or 10 yr old little girls. They'd have to be with the 3 and 4 yr olds~ So what do you do?

    I am doing what my mom did, get us into thngs young, and possibly gently encourage it for at least a year or two, and if they end up not wanting to do it, then they can quit and move on to something they really want to do.

    I am one of those "artsy" moms, I can deal with lots of painting and music and dancing and creativity- but what if she wants to go to the school for MATH kids? I just don't know how I'll be of any help! I want her to like what SHE wants, not just what I like. It's a tough situation!
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 3/06/2007 02:02:00 PM  

  • I played the cello for years. With a five year old involved I'd be much more concerned with how easily destructable cellos are than with how heavy (they're hollow). Needless to say, I think cellos, and by extention, cellists are awesome.

    But I think the most important question is; is it what *she* wants to play? I'm curious why the teachers were promoting that particular instrument for her.
    posted by Blogger Starfoxy at 3/06/2007 02:04:00 PM  

  • Same question as the others - they pushed the cello? WHY?
    posted by Blogger chloe at 3/06/2007 03:52:00 PM  

  • I wish I learned the cello. Cellos are awesome.
    posted by Blogger tamrobot at 3/06/2007 04:24:00 PM  

  • To answer THE QUESTION:

    1. I think that the two of us reminded them of a current kindergartner (who plays the cello) and her mom...and so they were kind of thinking she might be a good mentor/friend for us...

    2. They were pushing string instruments for sure and the only two choices are cello and violin.

    3. This point, which would NEVER have occurred to me, and I find to be the most valid: Playing strings is much more social than the often isolated piano. Duets, Quartets, chamber music, orchestras, etc. are this whole music culture that as a singer (diva) I flat-out ignored...and she is right...it has to be totally rewarding to play all over town and with all sorts of people.

    4. She doesn't want ALL the kids playing piano, so she is probably encouraging strings for everyone, knowing that some parents will just refuse.

    Right now I just have visions of her with her cello on her back, and it getting stuck in the subway doors....
    posted by Blogger Kage at 3/06/2007 04:33:00 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 3/06/2007 04:33:00 PM  

  • I played the cello for years.... Needless to say, I think cellos, and by extention, cellists are awesome.

    Starfoxy! My cello soul sister!

    When I started my undergrad, I declared myself a cello performance major. Hilarious idea, and it didn't last. But I love my cello and really wish I had more time to play it. :(
    posted by Blogger Eve at 3/06/2007 04:41:00 PM  

  • ...to speak to the issue at hand a bit more directly: I do have bad memories of lugging my cello around and fantasizing about playing a little piccolo instead. It definitely can be a pain. But it's so beautiful it's worth it. In my opinion, anyway.
    posted by Blogger Eve at 3/06/2007 04:43:00 PM  

  • My father plays the cello in the Orchestra at Temple Square so I second any and all pushing to cellos!

    That being said, I wasn't really pushed toward the cello when I was young, it was strictly piano with the assumption that I would want to learn cello when I was older...
    posted by Blogger Jon at 3/06/2007 06:46:00 PM  

  • Kage, Your explanation makes more sense with the added background... it sounds like you and D still make the ultimate decision about what instrument she will pursue.
    And that is a pretty funny...but scary...image of poor little D on the 7 train with her cello.

    Our neighborhood school happens to be an art/science magnet school where in the 1st grade all of the kids play a string instrument and then at 3rd grade they decide between strings and band. My first thoughts were...what if I want my kids to play piano ...they'll have to play two instruments at such an early age? What if they are completely NOT into music? It doesn't seem like forcing an instrument on them will make them appreciate music.

    Although I am in love with the school, I'm not in love with this policy. Your situation is different because you have chosen this school for D....but this is our neighborhood school. It's weird...Maybe my kids will love music and it will be a wonderful blessing we are at this school, but I'd still like to know the theory behind it.
    posted by Blogger Jen at 3/06/2007 07:55:00 PM  

  • "the only two choices are cello and violin"

    Is this because those are the only two the school offers support for? If not then there is also the Viola and the String Bass, (My best friends were Violists and I also played the Bass).

    I might recommend looking into the Viola for her unless there is no support for it at the school. The Viola is only slightly larger than the Violin (which would make it easier to deal with on the subway). It has a deeper tone than the violin (I personally find violins rather screechy, even in the most capable hands) and is playd by fewer people than either the Cello or the Violin. If she will be playing in quartets or other ensembles then playing the Viola would put her in higher demand.

    Eve, I also have not so fond memories of walking home from school with my cello. In HS I auditioned for several orchestras on both my Bass and my Cello, and I was quite the spectacle trying to lug those things around. I often joked that I should take up the Tuba next. I hated watching the flutists happily put their instruments in their backpacks and frolic off into the sunset while people quizzed me about my 'guitar' and asked if it was heavy.
    posted by Blogger Starfoxy at 3/06/2007 07:59:00 PM  

  • I definitely had flutist envy in high school when I was lugging around my French horn. The tubas and baritones had one at school at one at home, and the trombones weren't so awkwardly shaped. But I secretly wished I had picked some small woodwind instrument.
    posted by Blogger Becca at 3/06/2007 08:35:00 PM  

  • I just HAVE to say it... I played the flute and piccolo and it was awesome...heehee! But, I wonder, how does a 5 yr old hold a cello?
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 3/06/2007 09:03:00 PM  

  • A couple of my cello thoughts:

    1. My mom played the cello in junior high and I always thought it was so cool.
    2. There was this guy in high school who played the cello and he played in a string quartet with his brothers (who all played different string instruments). When he played the cello, I thought he was so HOT.
    3. Cello would be awesome but it's definitely not the most practical instrument for a NYC elementary school student. But what the heck!
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 3/06/2007 09:45:00 PM  

  • Both my sister and I played the cello. She still plays (professionally), and I don't. One of the reasons she chose the cello is because then she DIDN'T have to lug the thing on the bus, like she did with her violin. The school had a cello she played at school, whereas she was required to bring her own violin. The irony, huh, that she picked an instrument so she would get out of carrying one, only to have a lifelong issue of getting the dang thing around (she even bought a ticket for it on an airplane once. No luggage compartment for her baby, no siree!)

    When I played in junior high, I had a similar arrangement--our orchestra had a cello I used. It wasn't a good one, and I didn't like playing it, but I didn't have to lug my own around all the time. You might want to check and see if they have some old instruments around, or something like that, which might save her the grief.

    My mother and my other sister play the flute. My mom can fit 2 flutes in one carry on bag.

    I play the piano. Flutes and cellos are MUCH cheaper. We have yet to be able to afford any kind of decent piano. We got out current piano out of the trash (literally!) so that our son could at least start to learn how to play, even if it is on a piece of trash. DH insists that he learn to play the piano, because he remembers that all the piano players at the Y were babe magnets.

    Hey, good a reason as any, I suppose.

    Oh, and I played 2 instruments as a kid in elemntary school. Most of my family did, as well. Only 3 of us can actually play anything really well anymore, but it made for a very musical childhood, and a life long love of music thereafter. You'd be amazed at what little kids can accomplish when given the right environment.
    posted by Blogger Heather O. at 3/07/2007 12:51:00 PM  

  • I managed to fail miserably at violin, flute, AND percussion thank you. Not a whole lot of musical inclination was wasted on me.
    That being said, piano, flute and violin strike me as being the most "done" instruments out there. Aren't there any other options?
    posted by Blogger Mo Mommy at 3/07/2007 01:37:00 PM  

  • It's interesting how much we want to push our children to be just like us and have our same interests. While I think some of this is a natural evolution (my children LOVE the backcountry because we've spent a great deal of time there), I need to keep reminding myself to open doors I never would have opened myself.

    Case in point: I was a serious athlete growing up and sports were my life. I secretly long for my kids to follow that path. That said, I plan to enroll my daughter in dance and gymnastics this fall, something I NEVER would have done. I figure expose them to enough positive influences and let them follow their own path!
    posted by Blogger Amber at 3/08/2007 06:42:00 AM  

  • It's too bad she can't take some sort of general instrument class and then decide on a instrument later on (like in 2nd or 3rd grade). Is she allowed to change her mind if she isn't loving the cello? Or once you choose, is that it? It is pretty overwhelming to think of a little kindergartener being pushed to play the cello. Who knows???? Maybe she's be a natural.

    I personally always wished I had played the cello. I love that instrument. Good luck.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 3/08/2007 09:39:00 AM  

  • Does Pukey have a preference? Luckily once she learns one, supposedly learning more is easier and she could stay with what's decided now or change or just add to. I think she'll be adorable behind any instrument--large or small.
    posted by Blogger Katie at 3/08/2007 03:59:00 PM  

  • Is this a specialized school?

    I do think it is good to expose our children to as many things as possible. I really appreciate my children's elementary school because they offer so many extra classes before and after school (chess, orchestra, choir, clogging, art, storytelling). Because of the storytelling class, H, just won the storytelling contest at school and will go on and have experiences that I never did. Wow! It is so cool to have kids.
    posted by Blogger Shaleen at 3/11/2007 08:07:00 PM  

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