Foundational Ideas of FiddleQuest

Overcoming fear

Sarah, an 11-year-old, had been coming to lessons for a couple years. Lessons were fun and she was making fast progress. One day, Sarah (not her real name) told her mom that she wanted to stop. Not wanting to force music on her daughter, her mom was willing to let Sarah stop.

But, as she probed a little deeper, her mother learned that, though, her daughter enjoyed playing violin, enjoyed the lessons, Sarah hated the fact that when she completed a song, I took a video.

Videos are a staple of my teaching. When kids finish a song, we do a short, informal video that marks the song as completed. It is a cross between a snapshot and a recital.

Sarah is very shy, but I was surprised to learn how uncomfortable she was about videos. I was more surprised, though, by the fact that she never said anything to me.

A year later, and Sarah hasn’t made a video since. But we have made progress. When she completes a song, we have a practiced routine. I will ask her if she wants to make a video. She now smiles and says confidently “I don’t make videos.”

I’d love to see her overcome her fear of the video. But in the meantime, telling me what she fears is a valuable experience, too.