My oldest daughter is in 7th grade and her passion is music. She plays the cello, is in the chorus and last year, was in the school’s musical. She takes private lessons once a week. This year, she tried out for Chamber Orchestra and Honors Chorus and was selected for both. These are both before school activities and she gets up at 5:00am four days a week without complaint. She joined Honors Chorus in the hopes of landing a principle role in this year’s musical. She has asked me about getting voice lessons and piano lessons. She talks of being a music teacher one day.

Although our school district’s music department is one of the best, it does not make it easy for students to be in both orchestra and chorus in high school. They usually have to choose one over the other. Although she has 1 1/2 years until this happens, it has been weighing on her mind. Her love is singing and therefore, chorus will be her choice.

She has a beautiful voice and walks around the house singing all the time. She had a great time being involved in the musical and is excited for auditions this year. When she isn’t singing, she is talking about singing. She truly loves it.

But what about the cello? She is taking private lessons with a fabulous teacher. She worked hard all summer to learn the pieces for the Chamber Orchestra auditions. She enjoys the music they perform and practices without too many reminders from me. She has been playing for two years and I would hate to see her give it up.

Therein lies the truth. I would hate to see her give it up.

She will be 13 next month. She needs to start making some decisions in her life. I don’t want her to do something because I like it. That will cause resentment later on. I know this, and yet, I am struggling with it. Why? I don’t want her to regret this decision later. I never played an instrument as a kid and I always wanted to. I don’t want her to say, years down the road, that she wished she kept playing the cello.

As a parent, I know that this will not be the only time in her life when I want something that she doesn’t. Right now, I can only hear her out, make suggestions and let her make the choice herself. I hope we are both doing the right thing.

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