Advice for my daughter

Last night after an evening at Saleha’s school’s Spring Concert, I inadvertantly got her worked up and mad. All I did was ask a few questions about the performance. She was upset that earlier in the week during the school-time performance, kids were falling asleep during the orchestra program. She was so ticked off at her orchestra director for his music selection. BORING. She was mad as hell that he invites suggestions on what to play, but disregards their input. She was angry that the band director and her band kids composed a song to tell the world that band is better than orchestra. Saleha was pissed off that she is often the one voice among many who has to defend classical music.

My oh my. So this is one of those teaching moments us parents have to grab and run with right? I hope I passed the test.

“All the kids say that music is not going to take me far in life.”

Did you know there are studies that show that music actually helps students in areas like math?

“Yes, music is like fractions.” (She went into a complicated rapid explanation on how she breaks down music notes to keep time and rhythm)


“I wish we would play more modern music in orchestra so kids wouldn’t fall asleep.”

But you love classical music right?

“Yes, but I was the only one in Spanish class this week who thinks classical music is cool. Everyone else thinks it is boring.”

You know if you ever want to stop playing violin because you don’t want to, I would never stop you. But I hope you never stop playing because other kids say it isn’t cool.”


You feel bad because you have to defend yourself all the time, ya?


This is just the beginning my love. It’s going to get harder. You should always be true to yourself.


Saleha, I believe there are two things that bring the world together. Food and music.


It’s hard to explain why you love your music, right? And if you meet someone from Russia, China, Germany, or anywhere in the world, they may not speak English. But if they can play the piano or violin like you, they can share the same love you have for music. And it will bring all of you together. You don’t have to use words to communicate. It’s like music is a language understood by everyone in the world.

So what you’re saying is music is part of the International Baccalaureate program?”

It sure seems like it, doesn’t it? You tell that to those IB kids in band and in your Spanish class.”


Tomorrow do some research on studies that have been done on how music helps students with learning. And next time you have to defend yourself, you will have the facts. Maybe you can also somehow use these findings for the school science fair next year.

Eyes get huge. (Can see brain working in her head)

Good night my love.

“Good night Mama. I love you.”

I love you too.


One thought on “Advice for my daughter

  1. I loved this exchange, it moved me a lot. Parents live for moments like this. Thanks for sharing Ida.
    I’ll leave this quote from Alistair Cook: “The best compliment to a child or a friend is the feeling you give him that he has been set free to make his own inquiries, to come to conclusions that are right for him, whether or not they coincide with your own.”

    Lots of love as always,

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