Friday, 16 December 2011

Sparkle! Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No.27 on Friday 16th December 2011

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Welcome to the Romantic Friday Writing Challenge, started and hosted by L'Aussie Denise, where participants share their own 300-400-word text on a given theme. This week's theme for Friday, 16th December, Challenge No. 27, is 'Sparkle'. My text is written directly for this REW-challenge.

Here is my text :

'Let's bow before we begin. Hold your violin under your right arm, and let the bow hang from your index finger. One - two - three.' Mrs Nichols and her pupil, Sara, bowed to each other.

Sonja Nichols and my son, Erik bow to each other before their lesson:

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Then the teacher took out a large toy dice and gave it to the pale blond seven-year-old: 'One, three or five, I choose; two, four or six, you choose'. Sara threw the dice and it turned up three. 'Let's play Twinkle. Shall I play the violin or the piano?'

Sonja Nichols is looking at how my son, Erik, is holding his violin and bow.

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

'The violin, please,' replied Sara, holding her violin up on her left shoulder, ready to play.

'If you think about the words to the song, you will know when to play the long notes:
"Twinkle, twinkle, little star", long bow there.'

Sonja Nichols and my son, Erik are playing a melody together.

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Sara thought about words like twinkle, sparkle, glitter, and shiny; about the Christmas lights suspended from the trees by the library; they looked like giant snowflakes. Yes, they really sparkled against the the black evening sky!

My daughter, Elisabet, by the library where the giant snowflakes hang from trees.

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

How I wonder what you are, Sara sang silently to herself as she successfully switched strings from D to A and back to D again and got her fingers to land in the right places. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. The idea of twinkling, sparkling stars made her think of pretty jewellery; the rhinestones in the tiara that come with the Cinderella-costume dress that she had seen in the toy store.

'That was fine, Sara. Now let's repeat the first part: "Twinkle, twinkle, Little Star..."', explained Mrs Nichols.
It worked! Sara thought, I can play it!

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

My daughter, Elisabet, is looking quite the opposite of 'Sparkle' in this photo. She did not want me to take any photographs of her during her last violin lesson, today, Friday, December 16th, so her older brother, Erik, is illustrating this story about the young violinist, Sara. But Elisabet looks the part, if she only could play the violin as well!

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

When Sara slept that night she dreamed that she was Cinderella. But instead of loosing a glass slipper at a ball, her shoulder-support fell off her violin when she was to play for the Prince. She ran away from just before midnight, and the subsequent search was for a girl with a violin without a shoulder-support! When the Prince found her, she could finish her concert. And then the Prince and Sara were married, and lived happily ever after.

Sara awoke refreshed from her dream and was ready for the coming challenge that very evening: the end-of-term recital, at which Sara would play 'Twinkle, twinkle Little Star'.

Sonja Nichols, violin and viola teacher, Suzuki-method.

Photograph Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren

Mrs Nichol was very please with her pupil. Sara sparkled with delight and bowed before applauding parents and pupils. She had played well.
[Text and Photo Copyright 2011 Christina Wigren]

Word count according to WordCalc: 400; NCCO; No Critique, Comments Only.

Best wishes,

This is a piece of fiction based upon real life.

I know that many of you will say that there is not enough romance in this text; but what kind of romance can a seven-year-old have? Fairy tales have a bit of romance in them; and 'sparkle' is what you make it to be.

What this text does show is the endless patience that my children's music teacher, Mrs Sonja Nichols, has. It is a romantic (=wishful-thinking) text in that the little girl plays so well and so willingly. In reality, I am constantly looking for ways to get my children to practice and to get them to their lessons on time. I am not above bribing. But if I wrote all that into this text, it would no longer be a romantic text.

Mrs Nichols, who is really their violin-teacher, told me about the alternative Cinderella-tale, that I have used in the fictitious child's, Sara's dream.

All About Suzuki:

The Suzuki-method could also be called "The Mother-Tongue-Method" because its founder, Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998), was inspired by the way all children learn their first language. Listening to music and repetition are also very important. Another keystone is playful, loving encouragement and respect for the child and teacher, rather than demands or punishment. When Elisabet said that she did not want me to take pictures of her during her lesson, both Sonja and I were in agreement that I should put the camera away, which I did.

To learn more in English about the Suzuki-method of teaching music to very young children, please go to this site for the International Suzuki Association, to find a Suzuki teacher in your region please go to this page; and go to this site for the American Suzuki Association. Here is Wikipedia's page about the Suzuki-teaching-method. To learn about the Suzuki-club in Norrköping and the rest of Sweden, please go to this site. To read about the Suzuki-method in Swedish, please go here.

To read a short biography in English of the founder of the Suzuki-method, Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998), please click on his name. His life is interesting enough to read about even if you don't have children who want to learn how to play a musical instrument!

First Commenter:
Sweet Lust: Christmas star

Photo Copyright: Heaven, Sweet Lust: Christmas star

Photo Copyright: Heaven

To read other texts for Romantic Friday Writers Challenge No. 27, with the theme 'Sparkle', please visit this site or click on the image below:


Heaven said...

This is a warm and lovely story. It reminds me of my daughter and her teacher helping her with her piano lessons. What helped her enthusiasm is participating in festivals and light competition. Your story is believable and captured the sparkling dream in the child's eyes.

And your pictures are nice...thanks for sharing this ~

Adura Ojo said...

Hi Anna. Teachers do need a lot of patience. Perhaps more so than us parents. Your story is lovely in the way it moves between fantasy and real life. Particularly enjoyed that bit of it though it took some getting used to but I like that.

Romance does not have to be literal. It cannot always be kisses and roses. Romance (to me) is what ever pulls at the heart strings in an endearing way.

Ruth Madison said...

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star has never had so much meaning. I love it.

Ann said...

I think that it is a fine story. I love all the pictures you chose to put with it as well.
Those snowflakes hanging among the trees are so pretty.

Francine Howarth: UK said...


Sweet Anna, and cute! ;)


DeniseCovey_L'Aussie said...

Hi Anna! I'm sorry it took me so long to get to read your story but I have had other commitments. By reading all the stories together now it helps me choose the FW without going back to two or more reads.

I love your sparkly story. And I love you photographs. Your landscape looks so different to Australia at this time of year. I love the lights in the trees - I just LOVE Christmas lights as you'd know from my Christmas story you read on my blog.

As far as 'romance' goes I'm always trying to encourage everyone to think outside the accepted definition. There are all sorts of romance. Here you have (and perhaps could have made more of) the romance of pre-Christmas, the romance of music, the romance of mother love. It is all in your story and certainly fits the Sparkle theme!

Thank you for taking the time to plan and photograph this story. Isn't it typical how a child will step in and 'ruin' our plans, but luckily your son participated. What a sweet boy. I hope your daughter is happier now!

Happy Christmas Anna!


Andy said...

Hello Anna.
I, unfortunately, don't have any musical talents, but I do love to listen to the violin. I think its sounds are romantic & soothing.
It's great that you included your children in your entry this week.
Very touching story-line & nice photos too.
Thanks for sharing & for your heartfelt comments on my entry.

For ref:
On This Painful, Tear-Filled Night

N. R. Williams said...

Hi Anna
Despite romance, this is a wonderful view from a child's eyes. Koodoos for you to give them music lessons and a violin too. One of the most difficult instruments to master. I love music, especially orchestra. Your children are beautiful and how nice for Mrs. Nichols to pose for the pictures.
Merry Christmas

Mariuca said...

Beautifully written and creatively so Anna, I wish you luck and send my hugs to Elisabet! :):):)

Lin said...

I liked the story. :)

Oh, how the kids are growing up!! WOW! They change every time you post photos of them!!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Anna. :) Sending love and hugs!

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