In the first year of J's learning the violin, I found myself nagging at him to practise. What is the point of learning an instrument when one does not practise, I thought. Anyway, I passed the baton of coaxing to my more patient spouse while I concentrated on J's academic work. I think Lyn has done a much better job than me at encouraging J to play the violin and J even wants to give a shot at auditioning for a place in a strings orchestra now.
For me, I have examined my motives for wanting J to learn to play an instrument. I myself love music and I would compose songs or play an instrument (piano or guitar) when I felt lonely in the past. I also used to play in the worship team and I thought it was a lovely way to serve God. I wanted J to experience the wonderful gift of music and to be able to serve God in this manner. Thus, it was probably not crucial for him to take ABRSM exams like I did, if those were my motives for his learning, unless he himself was interested.
Lyn and I recently exposed J to pieces played by the Piano Guys and he was quite inspired. At his violin recital earlier this month, he and I played a duet of the Jurassic Park theme. We both enjoyed the Piano Guys' version of the said piece and we tried to mimic their arrangement. Finally, J's violin teacher gave us a score for the piece and we ended using the score instead. The recording of our duet can be found here: https://youtu.be/FrJYcNidSD0.
Although the quality of our playing was not fantastic, I thank God for the opportunity to have a shared love for music with J and hopefully subsequently with An who enjoys singing already. J has had many people (his music teachers and parents who sit in his music class) telling him that he has a good ear for music and he can identify notes played on the piano easily. I pray that he will use his talent for the glory of God and be disciplined about practising the instruments that he has the privilege to learn.
"Let everything that has breath praise the Lord." Psalm 150:6