the balk

The balk. It’s happened once before. And then, at Saturday’s lesson, Opie again decided she was done playing. What to do?

I chose exit without fuss. If she’s not going to play, we shouldn’t waste Teacher’s time. Made sure I knew what she was supposed to be doing in the coming week, said good-bye & thank you, and then we headed out.

I knew I needed to talk with her, but waited until much later in the day, when we were driving somewhere and she was nibbling on a treat.

“What happened?” With a little encouragement, it spilled out: the oboe wasn’t working, she couldn’t do the B-C transition correctly, she couldn’t play the Peasant song well enough to play with piano, didn’t want to play Preludio, and she can’t play Allemande.

Her ability to explain in the moment is limited. She balked because she was overwhelmed with what she felt she couldn’t do well enough.

Now I’m trying to figure out how to help her move forward. Making this into a battle means both of us have lost. I don’t know how to force someone to play, to really play with commitment and desire. I’m mostly just trying to keep her practicing in hopes she will grow into it herself.

But sometimes it’s so hard.

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One thought on “the balk

  1. Pingback: just three words | how about oboe?

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