Music School…

Here’s another aspect of the Swiss education system we are in which i like – Music School. i’m not sure if this holds true for every local school here but i believe most, if not all, do provide the kids with an opportunity to learn a musical instrument. i like it that they feel strongly enough about providing a well-rounded education to make sure that if a child wants to play, the child will have a chance to do so.

Currently Tobias has what is called Grundmusikschule (Basic Music School) one morning a week. This is provided for within the regular school timetable. They learn about different instruments and different types of music.

The same people who provide the above basic class also provide private lessons (only 2 instruments have group classes) with an opportunity to play in an ensemble when the child is ready. Now while this is outside of normal school hours, it is not charged at the exorbitant prices which i have seen private music schools here charge. It is made to be affordable. The school also works with the music school to provide a morning where the children from 1st grade and 2nd grade can watch a demonstration and learn about each instrument offered, as well as try it out for a bit.

So we (parents are invited to come along too) went to Music Introduction Morning a couple of Wednesdays ago. It was a great experience. In about 2 hours or so, we saw and tried out about 11 instruments and the kids had a great time! (i had good fun too and learnt a fair bit at the same time.) The individual teachers were great about explaining how each instrument works and helping the children to try them out.

Here’s a picture summary of our music morning:

Here are the brass/wind instruments – Left: trying out the clarinet. Middle: blowing the trumpet. Right: the teacher had them try to make a sound with an instrument constructed out of PVC pipe and a funnel. It was hilarious! This was to show them how the wind moves through the instrument to create a sound/note.
Left: look at that big recorder he is holding in his right (your left) hand! i know the instrument as a recorder but it is called a “block-flute” here. i never knew that there were such big ones! Right Top: trying out the flute. Right Bottom: hitting away at the drums.
Left: trying out the cello. i personally like this instrument a lot. The cello teacher is a very humourous guy. Right: getting shown how to hold the violin. This teacher is very different from the cello teacher – he is quiet and gentle but he plays a mean fiddle! i also love the sound of the violin a lot.
Above: trying out classical guitar. It was new for me to see the guitar held so upright – not the usual way my hubby holds his. Below: seeing how the keys in the grand piano works. In Swiss-German, they call a grand piano a “Flugi” which means wings – that really tickled me! She even made a joke about how it might fly if we put 2 together.

Now some of you know that my hubby plays the guitar (all sorts) and sometimes the drums and he will try his hand at almost any instrument. He’s gifted that way (Proud!). So of course my son wants to be like his daddy (Did you know his first word was guitar?!) And some of you know that Tobias had wanted to learn the guitar very much and has been trying to learn for the past 9 months or so (see post here). But he has not made much progress. One, he finds it so painful, he doesn’t want to practice. Two, Daddy travels so much, it was hard to keep the lessons a regular thing.

So… what do you think he picked to learn?

Well, he was interested in quite a few instruments but could not decide which one. So we went to visit the different classes. The Music School had 2 weeks of open house where you could just pop by and watch a lesson. We visited the following lessons: drums, violin, french horn, classical guitar, electric guitar and saxophone.

So now, do you have an idea what he picked?

He quite quickly decided not the French Horn. Then not the drums as his beloved Uncle had told him it is not so good for his ears. So we were down to 4 instruments. He still could not decide. We had to hand in the registration pretty soon at that point. i decided he needed to see each instrument in action. Off to YouTube we went. (Isn’t the internet great that way?) We spent a fair number of hours over the last weekend watching YouTube videos of all 4 instruments.

Sadly, he decided not the guitars. Well, only i was sad. Daddy was fairly nonchalant about it and would be happy as long as Son picked an instrument he was really interested in. Now it was down to the saxophone or the violin.

Come on now, give it a guess – which one?

He chose… the… VIOLIN!

i was a little surprised. i thought he would go for the saxophone. He was leaning that way for a while. But in the end this was the video which sealed the decision for him. He has been watching her channel a little everyday since ;). My brother thought it was funny (in a good way) that she seems to be a Cos-playing violinist :p

So there you have it – Tobias is looking forward (so eager is he to start, he wants his violin now!) to violin lessons come August. i’m keeping my fingers cross that he will love it and keep at it. Every teacher we visited have said the same thing to him, “Practice. Practice. Practice!”  i hope he remembers that.

syc

PS: there are aspects of the Swiss education system which i do not like… but to think about them is just so… sigh! i rather look at the positive side than complain about the negative because complaining isn’t going to get me anywhere and my life isn’t going to get any better by giving you a verbal diarrhea of what bugs me. So let’s just stick to the silver lining, shall we? 😉

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10 thoughts on “Music School…

  1. Violin, huh. That’s my favorite instrument when it is played well. My kids all do piano and then in school one has picked flute, two the trumpet and one percussion. 2 of my girls have picked up guitar as teens and quite like it as well. I think exposing children to instruments young help them pick up other ones more easily later if they want to…so don’t give up on him learning guitar later.

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    1. Yep i know… not giving up on him playing the guitar… after all hubby picked that up in his teens with no training at all, so he has his father’s genes, he likely can pick it up later 😉 i am excited that he picked the violin… i’m even tempted to ask the teacher if i could take lessons with him – hehhehee 😉

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  2. My Kidlet chose violin too! And we were equally surprised! But it was the only instrument she went back to try twice. When asked why the violin, she said that she likes the ton (sound). And the way she said it, made it clear to how much she wanted to learn.

    We went through the same process a couple of weeks ago. Our runners up were marimba (!), recorder, and flute. I’ll have to email you with the details we got about rental from the shop in town.
    Like you, this is something I just love about our schools.

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    1. Oooh how exciting! Now i can tell him she is learning too… maybe they can practice together some time 😉 Oh yes, please do email me about the prices of rental – thanks my dear…

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  3. Sorry, me again. I featured your blog today on my post and gave you the Versatile Blogger award and tagged you with the 7×7 Meme if you want to do it. If you don’t want to do it, or have already got it, just know that I enjoy your blog and love trading comments back and forth.

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    1. Oh my, thanks so much – this is certainly a nice surprise to come back to (we were away at a friend’s for one night)… i’ll check it out 😉 May not get to doing the meme for a while… but i will eventually get to it…

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