Nathan started violin lessons last December, 3 months after he turned 3 years old. He attends a group Suzuki violin class once a week, and we practise daily (weekdays only). A few months ago, we were told that they'd be a school concert, and Nathan will be playing a few violin pieces together with his friends. We practised hard for the concert and have been looking forward to it. Nathan said he'd give his best, and we promised to take him out to celebrate if he gave his best. On the whole, I am pleased that he did a pretty good job. In a span of 8 months, he experienced learning a new instrument, the grind of daily practise and subsequently putting up a mini performance with his friends. :)
His journey of learning a musical instrument has only just begun and as I learn alongside him, I still struggle to find the right balance between pushing him to practise hard and letting him enjoy and cruise along as he pleases. It is clear that he feels a certain sense of accomplishment when he has mastered a song, and would love to play the piece that he has mastered for daddy or his teacher. But to arrive at the point of mastery, many hours of practice is required. Some days, he tells me that he's tired and doesn't want to practise. Some days, he gives me a half hearted attempt. Of course, there are good days, when we both enjoy the music he makes. I've tried the firm approach and this has driven him to tears sometimes. I've tried the fun approach where we play our violins together on a pretend stage, to an imaginary audience and this, he enjoys. Recently, I've tried accompanying him on the piano and this is a nice change (but I do need to practise the piano more so I can actually play the pieces he's learning). So it is a delicate balance between instilling discipline and pushing him to excel, yet not killing the interest and joy one gets from learning and playing a musical instrument.
Next year, Noah turns three. I've been thinking about whether to let Noah start learning the violin like Nathan did. My plan is to expose both boys to two different instruments until they are in lower primary. And as demands picks up in school, they can then decide whether to continue pursuing both, or to pick just one instrument. Some parents I've spoken to intentionally chose different instruments for their children, just so there would be no means of comparison / competition among the kids. I don't really think that would be an issue, so it is likely that both my kids will be exposed to the same instruments. I just hope that I'd be able to balance our schedules well, so I can continue doing parent accompanied classes with them until it proves not beneficial for me to learn alongside them. I have enjoyed the journey with Nathan thus far, and I am glad he's enjoying it too.