Do you let a child quit a musical instrument?

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Ellie, in pink t-shirt and jeans, during a flute lesson, 2013

My latest piece at kveller.com is about my struggle with Ellie over playing the flute. She really wants to quit, but I won’t let her.  The comments have ranged from “Let the poor girl quit, you lunatic” to “You go, Tiger Mom!” Have you dealt with something similar with your children? And how did you resolve it?

*****

“I’m giving you a gift you’ll thank me for later!” I shouted.

“I never asked you for that gift!” Ellie screamed back. “I hate that gift!”

My 10-year-old daughter and I were arguing about her flute lessons again. Things had gotten so bad, her teacher had written me an email with the subject line “Ellie happiness :).”

“I am still confused about Ellie,” she wrote. “I’ve been trying different strategies and feel that I’m missing the boat.” She suggested that we meet with her colleague Michele, someone who had insight into learning styles and might be able to “diagnose” Ellie.

“So, we’re having therapy for flute now?” my husband, Ken, asked me. “Please let her quit, would you?”

Read the rest here!

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