Home education diary, November 2004

November 17th

In addition to working irregular (and sometimes extensive) hours at Antidote Theatre, Daniel is practising clarinet for about an hour a day, and usually spending another hour on drums. He's teaching himself to play the piano again, too. He spent a good hour doing scales and arpeggios and some simple piano pieces yesterday evening. He's thinking now that he might do a music degree or diploma. He'd quite like to go to mainland Europe, but realises that as English is his only fluent language, it should probably be Scotland or Wales (since he doesn't like England so much), maybe starting in September of 2006.

He definitely plans to spend a couple of months on the MV Doulos on one of their short-term training programmes, some time next year, and thinks that after that he'd like to take Grade 8 clarinet, and perhaps work in a music shop in Larnaka to earn some money. He might also see if he can teach some beginner clarinet (since there's such a shortage of teachers), and perhaps do Grade 5 piano.

It's great to see him more positive about the future. But now I'm getting more concerned about Tim. He's not altogether happy about Daniel taking up piano again, and is currently even more computer-addicted than I am.  Some of it's very constructive - helping on forums, and doing some of the technical stuff - but he seems to be rather neglecting real life unless something is scheduled such as a music lesson.

November 21st

I'm happy that Daniel is still finding some focus in his life, and is spending a LOT of time on music. He's doing an hour's clarinet practice per day and is going to buy a proper wooden clarinet (at huge price!) when some inheritance money from my grandmother comes through. He should probably have had one before now - he has a good student clarinet but is playing music that's too complicated for it and getting frustrated - but the price was very offputting.

Dan's also spending an hour a day playing drums. He's quite sensitive about when he plays it and how loudly, and has organised himself some lessons. He's still re-teaching himself to play the piano, doing an hour a day on that too! He hadn't played piano for about five years but it seems to be coming back to him. His clarinet teacher said it was the most useful instrument any musician could play.

This may all change but it's encouraging and has given him a definite pattern to his days. Even if he does end up doing something completely different, I guess it's useful discipline doing all this hard work on the instruments. I'm sure he'll never regret being able to play them well.

November 22nd

Tim just got back with his easiest ever earned 25, playing the organ for a funeral at the local Anglican church. It was just two hymns which he knew already, that were very easy, so I think he spent about ten minutes practising them at home beforehand, then an hour at the church (he got there half an hour early deliberately so he could practise on the organ).

A few weeks back he got the same fee (which is standard) for playing at a wedding, but at least he felt he'd earned that. He had to play three hymns, plus both processionals and a piece while the couple signed the register. As he didn't know either of the processionals they wanted, he had to spend quite a bit of time learning and practising them beforehand!

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