Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Finish Line of the RACE

It is sometimes difficult as a parent to know what to do sometimes. Thursday evening, Lauren was ready to throw in the towel. She was very sure that she could not take the RACE piano exam the next day, and hoping that we would agree to let her out of doing it. I am all for following your child's dreams, instincts and respecting them as people. There comes a time, however, when a little push is required when the confidence lags, but it is difficult to say to a child that they have to do something anyway, even though they fear the outcome.

Her teacher felt she was as ready as any of her other students. I passed on to her that he had said that she takes for granted the things she does do well, in particular the way she plays some of the pieces. Because of this, she doesn't realize her ability compared to other students. We all knew that she could have been more prepared by the teacher, have started sooner, have worked harder. BUT, we all knew that given that we were all new at this, we wanted her to have the guts to try. she did.

She walked into the exam with great poise. In less than 40 minutes, she was finished and saying that she did pretty well on her pieces, and not as well on technique, though that is what we knew was to be expected. She was glad to have done it, and surprisingly, said she might do it again. I breathed a sigh of relief for having made the right call to insist that she take the exam after all her hard work. Exam results won't be in for weeks, and honestly, it doesn't matter. The learning here had little to do with the exam itself.

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