Parenting a Tiger Child

I’m not a Tiger mom. (If you’ve been under a rock in regard to parenting trends, see the article here.) But, since the high school orchestra visited Coco’s school last year, she’s wanted to play the violin. I explained, “You’ll have to learn to read music.” She taught herself notes and fingerings on a dollar store recorder. I said, “Wait until fifth grade. Then you can learn with your friends in the school strings program.”

“I want to play the violin now.”

After she made her big sister watch an entire PBS concert featuring Itzhak Perlman and YoYo Ma, I gave in.

Last June, we agreed to lessons on a trial basis with a rented instrument. We found Miss Winnie, who is Chinese like Coco. She played second violin in the Shanghai symphony. She is a luthier, which means she makes violins as well as plays them. Coco adores her. Once a week, I sit outside a practice room and listen to my nine-year old explore a world that belongs only to her.

This week she gave her first public performance. In the school talent show, she played for 350 of her classmates. Where did she find the courage? I’m not a Tiger mom, but it’s possible I have a Tiger child.

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