Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring Concert - Caution: Very Long

As promised, more about the concert.

This is *very* long, but if you want you can jump to the end of the post for some videos.

The Spring Concert was held at a local church, where we normally go for the group classes (for the individual lessons instead we go to the teacher's home). I was a little worried about how I was going to handle the kids, but Genevieve had reassured me that I wouldn't be the only one with small children and that there would be a room for playing and be noisy without disturbing anyone.

I was still doubtful, so I really dreaded the event. The only reason why we went at all is that I thought it would be good for Appu and I wanted him to have this experience. I think it was, in the end, a good experience.

Rajiv was a great big brother on this occasion. He held Rohan's hand - and quite surprisingly Rohan held his, without complaining. We navigated the parking lot and made it into the church without a problem, with Appu and his little brother walking by themselves and Following. My. Instructions. Can I say that again??

Inside it was quite overwhelming. There were lots of kids trying to get ready and getting their instruments - mostly violins - tuned. Parents and teachers were arranging their dishes for the dinner and I couldn't even get hold of someone who could tell me where to put my pies (store bought, of course, I wouldn't want you to think I can make a pie.)

I looked at the program and I wasn't quite able to tell when Rajiv's turn was going to be, but I knew it was some time near the end. We had to listen to almost an hour of music before that.

We sat for about a minute and a half before I had to hastily remove us from the room. The first pieces were all played by just a few kids at a time and every noise in the room could be heard. But Rohan didn't seem to care, he was so happy to have so many people to chat with :)

Rajiv didn't want to sit, but he did want to listen. He walked around, sat on the steps near the musicians, sat on another chair, and kept changing position after each piece. I felt this was ok, because while they were playing he was very quiet, so I thought he wouldn't really bother anyone with his manoeuvres.

I stayed outside but near the door so that I could watch Rohan outside and still keep an eye on Rajiv. At some point the mother of the other kid who plays the cello with Rajiv caught hold of him and made him sit with them. He did for the remaining time, but I was not able to see him from outside and he could not see me, so I could only wondered whether he was ok by himself.

Rohan had fun outside, but to keep him quiet I had to allow him to steal a few crackers from the buffet ahead of time. I know some people disapproved, but I can't bring myself to feel bad about this kind of stuff.

We had an interesting moment when we spotted some ants on the floor trying to take a bit heavy crumb away. I told Rohan to watch and not touch, but then a big kid came to sit there too and after watching for a few seconds he dropped a big piece of lint from the carpet on top of the ants. I said "That's not nice!" and Rohan immediately said "not nice!" and removed the lint - a little too roughly maybe.. - to help the ants. I was sooo proud of him.. :)

Anyway, my main thought was: how am I going to be able to go near enough to take a video of Appu while he is playing and not have Rohan become the main performer?

Fortunately the second part of the concert involved more instruments playing together, so the noise made by a toddler happily playing with his toy car was completely covered by the loud music. Relieved, I went back inside, first on the back and then a bit farther in, just in time to see Rajiv play.

Rohan decided to hang from a chair in the back and play with his car. I left him there, keeping an eye on him, but I did notice some parents who were again disapproving of the fact that I left him "alone".

Anyway, here is the video I managed to take. I was a little surprised, because I expected Appu and his little friends to be playing only for one minute. Instead, when the older kids started after the little ones had finished their introduction, the teacher asked Rajiv and friends to keep playing. I think Rajiv was surprised too and felt lost.

My camera kept shutting off for reason, so the video is in three parts. I think in the first part Rajiv is doing well, but later he gets discouraged.

Here he even stops playing..

And even worse, here Genevieve is essentially playing for him.

As a result, he wasn't as proud of himself as he should have been. I asked him if it was difficult and he said yes. I asked him if he had to play something he didn't know and he said yes. Then he added sadly and cutely "It was Twinkle Twinkle on the D string.."

The fact that my son can say things like that is amazing enough to me, maybe because of my complete ignorance in matters of music.

After the dinner Appu quickly recovered his cheerfulness by joining a bunch of older kids in a game of tag. I wish I could have let him play. Instead I was exhausted and tired of being criticized - not in words, but some stares are enough - for how I was handling my kids.

Now I know what single mothers must feel like all the time. Hello? It is not my fault that I have two kids and my husband cannot be here to help. If I am ok staying with one kid while the other is in the next room, maybe I know what I am doing.

So I had to drag Rajiv away from the fun and go home, where I made it a point to tell him again and again how proud I was of him and how it was ok that he couldn't play the part that he didn't know.

I think it worked, because yesterday he said that maybe he would like to do another concert :D

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