Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Spotlight on E-L-I

 Ask our four year-old what his name is and he will proudly tell you, E-L-I, Eli!

This past weekend our little Eli got to bask in the limelight as a Violin Sprout.  The city of Omaha just began this fantastic program where they offer free violin lessons (and instruments) to 3 and 4 year-olds.  While the lessons are available to all, they are primarily located at schools in under-served areas of the community.  Eli began taking lessons in January at nearby Liberty Elementary, just across from the Omaha Children's Museum.  After several months of instruction, he and 350 other Violin Sprouts performed with the Omaha Symphony at the Holland Center.

Just to give an idea of the scale of the venue.
A closer up glimpse of the Sprouts and the Omaha symphony.

If you look under the "D" on the giant screen, you'll spy Eli and his Daddy.
I wasn't sure how Eli would react to the crowds, but as you can see, he was all smiles.
The performance was fantastic.  I never thought I would so tremendously enjoy Mississippi stop stops played on the E and A strings en masse.  Talk about adorable!

I am so impressed with the vision and scope of this program.  Despite its new beginnings, our instructor is outstanding and the curriculum well-developed and age-appropriate.  Even better, Violin Sprouts will continue all the way up until fourth grade when the school orchestral programs take over.  Given the program's long term level of commitment to its students, I believe Violin Sprouts will have a tremendously positive impact and become a model for other communities to follow.  In the meantime, keep sending sixteenth size violins our way: Omaha wants them!
Here are a few more photos from Eli's Sprouting Up ceremony.
Despite the fact that he is a violist, Eli's teacher Mr. Jesse did a great job entertaining the kids by playing on a tiny violin.
The kids receive a new bead for their Violin Tag each time they "Sprout Up."
Eli performs "Rockabilly Blues."
Last but not least, a performance by the Caregivers.  I love how the program promotes ample parental involvement.
Eli is doing well beyond the world of violin as well.  While we never got a preschool arranged for this school year, I think we've secured a spot as a language role model in an Early Childhood Special Education classroom for next year.  Not only will this give him a great opportunity to sensitively interact with a diverse population of children, but it's close and free.  :)

In the meantime, he loves his Music Makers playgroup every other Thursday, story time at the library, and hanging out with the other kids at the YMCA.  Now that the weather is getting better, hanging out with Mom isn't so bad either.  Here are a few photos from our trip to the zoo yesterday:

Love you Eli!

And now for everyone's entertainment, here are some gems that have escaped from Eli's mouth, whether back in St. George or more recently.

Eli's Quote Board:

Loud proclamation during Sharing Time at church:  This has been going on FOREVER!

Rebuttal when asked by his Primary teacher to remove his hand from his pants:  But I have new Batman undies!

Totally random statement from the back of the mini-van :  Missionaries sleep in the same room but not in the same bed.

After reading The Magic School Bus:  We have lots of white blood cells, and just one can sink buses!

While discussing his future career:  I wanna be a dog when I grow up.  Mom: Most people grow up to be people.  Eli: grow up to be what you like, and I'm gonna be a dog when I grow up.  You'll see.

While pondering the garage door opener:  Where does the magic in the garage come from?

And my all time favorite:  Mommy, I'm always right--like Brooklyn."


Anonymous said...

Eli is a talented and motivated sprout, thanks in large measure to very positive family support. Many internal rays of sunshine beamed throughout the Omaha Symphony / Omaha Sprouts concert. It was an inspiring event for many age levels, and at multiple levels of meaning and promise. Thinking about the potential of 350 youngsters, all engaged in something so profound, infuses me with more confidence in our city's bright future.

I also like the E-L-I title for this posting. When questioned carefully about his name, Eli is emphatic that his name is "E-L-I, Eli" What a wonderful young man, with an equally wonderful father as a role model. Keep Smiling - and practicing! ... Including practicing a deep bow and silently saying "hello toes".

Crys said...

Those tiny violins in those tiny little hands! I honestly don't think I've seen anything cuter than that!

Erin said...

What a neat program! Who is paying for it all, I wonder? I'm interested in the details of how it all works.

Susie said...

This post had me smiling all the way through. It was so fun to be able to see him practice at home with you, Kara. It helped me envision the event better. What an awesome program!

Justin said...

Eli's quotes are hilarious! That kiddo cracks me up.