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.
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!