The Guardian recently interviewed violinist Nicola Benedetti about parents, children, and opportunities:
“A lot of the most privileged children face far too many choices. It is almost paralysing for children. It can disorient them like a constantly faulty light, flicking on and off…I was encouraged to be consistent with something and I wasn’t allowed to change instruments.” Nicola Benedetti.
Indeed. One of the reasons I’m reluctant to accede to ViolinGirl’s occasional pleas about learning the piano. There’s is a well-roundedness that comes from being able to approach music from different angles. But depth can be lost. As a parent, I’m not against the idea of adding another instrument. But I’m wary. The timing has to be right. Practice has to be more efficient, and she needs to be at a point of more self-direction.
Benedetti’s point also has something to say about subjecting kids to too many varied unconnected activities. It’s also a problem.