After 1 year of lesson, we moved house, and I had to stop his lesson because our new home was quite far from the music school. Plus, all the energy was focused on the moving out and moving in process, including starting Ariq in the new school.
After one year adjusting to the new life, I finally found a new music school for Ariq, not far from home.. Right when Ariq had had enough of waiting and bugging me to start drum lesson again. This time, Ariq was starting 1st year of Primary School.
He was so happy.. I was happy to see him happy..
Third year of Primary School, Ariq started to perform in his music school concerts. He played drums to the songs prepared by his drum teacher. The first few concerts were quite a challenge. He wasn't always flawless, but he finally understood that it wasn't perfection that matters, but his understanding of himself, his skills and his technique. He rose up to be more confident.
At the same period of time, Ariq auditioned a few times for the school orchestra team, but he kept coming home with the news that he wasn't chosen. I kept encouraging him to keep trying and be confident. He must believe that he would make it the next time.. And he kept trying, every audition..
Fifth year of Primary School, I was really puzzled with Ariq's school teachers' questions about why Ariq still hadn't joined the orchestra team. I replied that he still hadn't made it through the audition. The teachers were puzzled by my answer. Trying to end my confusion, I finally decided to meet with the orchestra teacher, from whom I finally found the answer to the mystery. Ariq didn't understand that he wasn't auditioning for membership, he was auditioning for songs. Since there were more than one drummers, the orchestra teacher had to place the right drummer for each song. Ariq always felt uncomfortable and kept leaving the practice.. When I saw the orchestra team, I understood why Ariq thought he wasn't chosen. The team was full of highly talented, dedicated, young musicians, and most of them were older than him.
For almost a year, I had to personally took Ariq to orchestra practice, 'hand him over' to the orchestra teacher and wait until the practice was over.. Finally, after a few orchestra performances, and he has started to get to know his teachers and friends (seniors and junior members), Ariq finally felt belong in the orchestra team and he would go for practice by his own effort.
Orchestra became Ariq's passion and his world. More than learning music, he learned about teamwork, harmony and advancing skills.
Throughout sixth year of Primary School, both Ariq's drum teachers (at school orchestra and the music school) always gave Ariq advice and encouragement. They knew Ariq so well that their advice was always in sync though they never met. I was so glad that Ariq had two excellent teachers.. And Ariq respected them very much..
At the end of sixth year, Ariq graduated and decided to study in a boarding school. He wasn't meant to abandon his drum playing, instead, he wanted to a different side of it by moving into a new environment..
Unfortunately, Ariq kept getting sick through the first year of Junior High School, so that his dad decided to take him home after the final exam.. Once Ariq's health was better, he decided to rejoin the orchestra team, and start his drum lesson again. Both his teachers happily welcome him. During his fragile time (becoming adolescent, changing schools and not perfectly in good health), his drum world was the steady thing in his life.. I was really grateful of his teachers..
For one year, Ariq's adjustment into the new life (again) was not as smooth as I would hope.. The new phase of life, new friends, new experience, triggered the emotional roller coaster in him.. Still, he found his constant and stability in his drum world.. When his dad had to challenge him by taking away his drum lesson, orchestra became his primary anchor.. His interest expanded. He started learning bass guitar, piano and violin on his own. His teachers and friends in the orchestra team were his inspirations..
During this year, Ariq watched his seniors in orchestra left the team for their new lives.. Until he became the only senior member left.. And as he is now in his 3rd year of Junior High School, he is preparing for another new phase of life next year..
Last Saturday, during the orchestra parents meeting, I was informed that the school orchestra was reorganising. The school committee clarified the guidelines of orchestra membership, which was only current students and alumni, who graduated from Senior High School, could join or stay as members. Therefore, current active/non-active members who did not fall under this category had to resign immediately.. This came as a shock to me, and it felt really hard for me to tell Ariq about this.
However, when I broke the news to Ariq, his replied was really unexpected, "Mum, my teacher needs to let me go, to let the new drummer adjust quicker. People do better without a constant backup. He is good and he will be fine. He just needs the chance and time to adjust. My being there might only be only holding him back."
I lost for words...
His orchestra teacher was still hoping for the senior members to be able to help out with the upcoming performances in the current month, but it looks like that the school committee has a different idea.. There is no transition period.
This morning I had the formal notification, and I couldn't help shedding my tears.. And I talked to Ariq again.. And again, Ariq's reply hit me hard, "Mum, why are you so sad about this? Look at it this way, the teachers have taught us everything that needs to be taught. We, the senior members, have learnt everything that we need and can learn from the teachers and the experience. We have our instruments and our skills, we are ready to move forward in our musical lives.. Yes, the teachers are starting from zero again, but we can't escape that.. Just take it easy.. It is time to move on.."
Oh my... I'm speechless again..
When times like this happen, I feel like I'm one step behind Ariq.. I still hope for stability in his life, but he keeps reminding me that his world is not about stability, it is about the strength to keep moving on and forward..
The confidence Ariq shows me calms me down, and despite the daily unending chase I give him, I am truly proud of him..