Festival of Instrumental Music, Sydney Opera House.

On Monday night, our daughter performed in the Combined String Ensemble at the Festival of Instrumental Music 2016 at Sydney Opera House.While a professional music critic might discuss the repertoire or wax lyrically about the wonders of Public Education, this is a parent’s perspective…the views of Mum-on-seat.

As soon as every parent entered the Main Concert Hall at the Sydney Opera House, they had one thought on their minds…spotting their little darling. This was no easy task either given the sea of recorder players. I don’t know how many recorder players there were but it might have been a thousand. Maybe even two. To make matters worse for parents unable to find their own, there were enthusiastic waves and smiles from kids who’d spotted their loved ones…just to make you feel even worse….a sense of desperate loss…where are they?

In desperate scenes reminiscent of losing your child at the Sydney Easter Show in the huge, amorphous throng, the poor usher was being inundated by anxious parents: “I can’t find my child.” I was surprised the stage wasn’t swarming with cops, detectives and sniffer dogs hunting these kids down, so these kids would finally give their xparents a wave and put them out of their misery.

Well, when it came to finding our daughter, we couldn’t even find her instrument. We were surrounded by recorder players on all fronts, but could only spot much older students with strings and they weren’t wearing the T-shirt. Miss had really outsmarted me and the camera this time and taken 250 string players with her. Now, this really was looking like a case for the Police.


The Combined String Ensemble.

Well, it turned out that the Combined String Ensemble was a featured performance and they’d come out onto the stage during the second half. Unfortunately, we couldn’t see our daughter at all but we at least saw some violins and had a close-up view of the cellos and double-bass. I wasn’t expecting to see her, but it would’ve been fabulous.

After all, we went through this last year when she performed at School Spectacular. She was but a speck in the huge multi-school choir and we had to watch the TV coverage on slow-mo to even catch a glimpse.

By the way, if you’re a parent, grandparent or some other form of child taxi driver, have you ever stopped to consider what you’ve learned along the way and how through being this supposedly passive background person, you’ve also been  inevitably extended in some way?

Five years ago, I took up the violin to help our daughter get started. She stopped but I kept going and she only came back to it at the start of this year and has worked pretty hard to get herself Opera House ready.

However, that wasn’t all. As I’ve sat in the audience watching her and other students perform at the Sydney Town Hall, School Spectacular at the Sydney Entertainment Centre,  now the Sydney Opera House and even at the local school, I am being embraced by all that music. I am hearing instruments I’d never think of going to see and my awareness, understanding and love of music has grown exponentially. I have started going to more concerts and have been taking my kids, sowing all kinds of seeds. Seeds, which may not germinate or bear fruit today or tomorrow, but one day, note will follow note…either as a player or equally important, as audience.


Moreover, music touches our souls in ways so far beyond words and expression. We can leap for joy or perhaps find solace in a more sensitive, reflective piece. It can also unlock and release our inner junk and garbage, like releasing the minotaur out of the labyrinth

After all, music was never meant to be a chore…even if we do need to practice, practice, practice to find our way to the Opera House.

It is meant to set us free.

And to think this journey all started out, simply by driving Mum’s taxi.

xx Rowena

7 thoughts on “Festival of Instrumental Music, Sydney Opera House.

  1. Joanna Lynn

    So glad you were able to see her in slow motion. There are times I have thought I saw my kids and wasn’t really sure. I feel like an awful mom then because who doesn’t recognize their kid. To my favor, the worst one was when I sent my youngest to a behavioral camp and they had cut his hair. They all looked alike and I wasn’t used to seeing him without his surfer dude hair.

    That’s pretty cool that you all play violin.

  2. Rowena Post author

    Thanks very much. You don’t often hear about the gains of being a parent but my kids have certainly taken me a range of new directions. You can add technology to the list. I did try to play Minecraft but didn’t see the point of doing virtual jobs. My daughter was feeding her Minecraft dog and forgetting to feed her real dog. The irony of that wasn’t lost on me!
    Thanks very much for the encouragement, by the way. It means a lot to me. There’s always more you can be doing but at the same time, you can only do so much. Hope you’re having a great week. Almost due for another weekend xx Rowena

  3. thecoffeebeanbrain

    I forgot to say congrats on the little miss’ performance! I say that’s a great experience and milestone for her.

    My friend’s two sons got tired of teaching me minecraft. I did as best I could but ended up having vertigo Haha! But it’s a great thing to connect with kids on that level. You learn so much from them.
    I too am often guilty when I forget that my dogs need a walk when I get into the rabbit hole of blog land! I have to set an alarm which is really a good solution.
    Have a great weekend ahead and hope to see you on the coffeeposts!

  4. Pingback: Weekend Coffee Share 27th August, 2016. | beyondtheflow

  5. amommasview

    You must be so proud! Your daughter must be so proud! Fantastic and I couldn’t agree more. Music should not be a chore even if it needs a lot of practicing 🙂

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