Attending workshops with three children


Róisín said: Jul 15, 2018
 1 posts

How do parents cope when attending workshops with more than one child and of various levels or instruments? There is so much chopping and changing for child, and missed opportunities to listen… I found this very frustrating this year, missing out and assisting my two elder children and devoting all attention to youngest. I nearly felt it would have been best not to send youngest, and thereby pay more heed to older two, but even then I would have fallen short. How do other parents feel?

Melanie Drake said: Jul 17, 2018
Melanie Drake36 posts

Over the years, I have attended institutes with one, two, and three children.  Attending with one child was awesome, but it got more difficult from there. When I attended with three children, I had the help of my husband, and it was still difficult.  The whole experience was exhausting, especially when you are carrying two cellos, two heavy and awkward cello stools, a music stand, bags, and a full size guitar to various buildings.  At the latest institute that I attended, my oldest son was probably 12, so he was able to follow his schedule on his own.  I’m fairly sure that the other parents thought I was a deadbeat Suzuki parent for not attending his classes.  I did my best.

Our local institute in Pittsburgh (GPSI) is introducing a buddies program this year.  In their brochure, it’s described as: “Buddy Program—for students ages 7 to 12 whose parents cannot attend the institute with them. We will have a teen-age music student attend your child’s classes, take notes, and practice with him/her daily. There will be an extra charge of $150 for the week. Extra electives may be appropriate.” I think this would be helpful even for parents who can attend the institute, but have multiple children.

As much as I’d like to attend an institute every year, I can’t always save enough PTO (i.e. vacation time). This buddy program would be nice for those of us who need to work two full time jobs to support their family’s music habit.

I have seen grandparents attend to help get 2nd and 3rd children to their classes. If you have an adult (or teenage) helper in your life, that may be a good option. Best wishes!

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