Saturday, February 16, 2008

December Recitals... Can We Fit a Piano in the Apartment?

I've never gotten around to writing about the holiday recitals at Katya's school and I've been meaning to for a while. The first and second grades had an English-language holiday celebration that parents were invited to attend. Of course I went--but I had no idea that it was actually a play, and Katya was one of two leads!!!! She had never told me! IF ONLY I'D ALREADY GOTTEN MY FLIP VIDEO CAMERA! None of the videos I took with my old digital camera came out; there's a picture, but no sound. Boo hoo!

Here Katya is with most of her classmates, waiting for the performance to begin. Katya and another little boy played a brother and sister who eagerly await Santa Claus; the other kids were in multiple musical numbers woven throughout the script. This performance was MUCH more fun that the traditional "Yolki" New Year's performances at most Russian elementary schools and kindergartens; no l-o-n-g poetry recitals by very scared children and long-winded monologues by Grandfather Frost and Snegurochka, his annoying grandaughter (yeah, I'm a little biased). The kids at Katya's school actually had a lot of fun putting on the show.

Katya was a little scared in front of the dense audience; there wasn't ANY space left in the overcrowded room. I was glad when I finally got to hug her at the end.

That night was Katya's first piano recital. She had been taking lessons twice a week for two and a half months from a teacher who comes to their school to work with children individually in the afternoon. Katya has tried a variety of lessons over the years, never wanting to stick with anything long term... But piano seems to be different. She has a passion about it that we've never seen before.

We've held off about buying a keyboard or piano, wanting to be certain that she would continue with her lessons of her own free will. In the meantime, her interest has only grown stronger. She plays Natalia's Barbie keyboard with such seriousness!

The time has definitely come to upgrade. Given Katya's musical background (Chris's mom is a professional violinist who has been first violin of various orchestras and ensembles and his dad was offered a professional contract as an opera singer--but he became a surgeon instead), we want to "do this right." It doesn't seem to make sense to start her on a keyboard, encouraging bad habits (the keys wouldn't be the right weight, with authentic sound or feel) that would then need to unlearned in the future. I think we're going to get a piano, and soon.

Now where, oh where, will we fit it in our small apartment? Oh, well--where there's a will, there's a way!

As a bonus, here's Katya playing on a friend's piano in Connecticut over the holidays. She sings the song first in English and then in Russian. Note her sassy little sister!


Rachael said...

I wondering how you're going to get the piano up the stairs? They are HEAVY!

Good job Katya!!!

Muddy said...

Katya, you did a great job.

Is there a church(or would your church) nearby that would let you come in to let her practice a bit more each week before making the investment?

Christine said...

What a pianist! At one time we had five kids in piano! Now we only have one in piano and it is nice to hear her recital.

MoscowMom said...

Muddy-- I loved your suggestion about finding a spot somewhere for Katya to practice before delving in and buying a piano. Unfortunately, traffic in Moscow is so unbelievably dense that taking her anywhere just isn't an option (unless we hire someone to accompany her or I stop teaching). The stress from daily commuting really takes a toll on the kids; I find that they're too tired to enjoy the activity once they arrive to it--and they're soooo cranky afterwards.

Katya said...

Buy a nice keyboard! Make sure the keys are regular size and that they have weighted action so it FEELS the same as playing the piano. My brother spent his first couple of years of piano lessons using a keyboard!

Annie said...

Lovely! I enjoyed hearing Katya sing, too. Nothing about parenting, I don't think, is as delightful as seeing children discover what they love and where their talents lie.