Learning Vivaldi

Elmo's violin teacher gave him a new piece to learn the other day. It's Vivaldi - specifically, the first movement of the Concerto in A minor.

It could have been the sign that I was waiting for. For weeks I have been toying with the idea of stopping his lessons, because I don't think I see any strong will on the boy's part to keep learning. You have to remind him to practice, and when he does practice, he keeps looking at the clock to see if his 45 minutes are supposed to be over.

I thought, that could not be the attitude of a protege.

He's come a long way, though. Elmo started in November 2011 and has stayed with his teacher who plays with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra. We have kept up with the lessons even after he had moved schools and had to troop to Quezon City every weekend to his teacher's house.

It's an investment, all right, He has also graduated into a full-size instrument -- something I had to pay on installment over many months.

The boy does sound good when he puts his heart into playing, but I expected more passion, persistence. More to-hell-with-everything-I'll-make-some-music attitude. Like him playing even when he did not have to, or looking up pieces on the Internet on his own, or crying over and protesting my proposal to stop his lessons.

He did cry, though, and said he would understand if we were doing it to maintain a budget. I explained it was not about the budget. It was about how much he really wanted it.

He said he wanted it. He just has to make it more evident.

When we went to lesson last Sunday I was trying to see how we could tell his teacher that we would be stopping for a while. But there were a lot of "very good!" remarks on how he played his latest piece, Seitz's Concerto No.5, First Movement

But of course! He has been at it for months!

I guess I have to give the boy some leeway. He's a kid and he's playful. But his teacher said he was talented, so maybe if we stick around and let some maturity kick in, and everything will be, well, in better harmony.