Kid has a fiddle


(Christmas concert at the Harborlight Mall, maybe 1979? I was 7 or 8, had been playing for 3-4 years by then) My sister’s shoes are awesome, BTW)


I asked him LOTS of times, in lots of ways, and always got the same answer.

YES, he wants to learn to play the fiddle. YES, he wants me to be his teacher. He has said so, many times.


Last year I taught a brief series of lessons to children– quite a few of whom Alden knew– and he was VERY interested in the whole thing.

So this year, for his birthday, we got him a fiddle –rented, but indefinitely…. if he likes it, we’ll keep going.

I’m so excited, and also, terrified.

Today was our first chance to spend some time with it, and he was really, really excited to do so. He was focused, able to make pretty nice single-string sounds right away, a little startled at how physically strange it feels at first, very willing to be corrected and adjusted, wanted to do more, more, more.

It’s so strange to see yourself in your child, because you see aspects that you feel great about and, certainly, aspects that are less, well, awesome. (For example lately I am seeing a way of interacting, socially, in him, a way of putting an idea out tentatively, or, couched in “softening” language– because of how he imagines it will be received–  that makes me realize that I do that too.)

I am trying to find a balanced way to navigate this musical exploration– nothing would make my heart sing like Alden finding joy and accomplishment in music (especially on the fiddle, truth be told) but I have a lot of anxiety about being his “teacher”… I know he may do best with a different teacher and there are some great ones in Missoula! But I also suspect that “fiddling” to Alden also means concentrated “Mama time” right now, and that’s OK too… One step at a time.



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