God blessed our family with a music teacher who loves Katya dearly, sees her huge potential, the gift she has and is willing to work with her in an out of the box method to reach through the language barrier and teach Katya. She so believes in Katya and the need for her to have music lessons that she offered the lessons to us almost for free, which we appreciated very much, and still appreciate! Because of how things worked out, Katya goes to her house with the weekly respite care provider when they go to take their lessons, so I'm not present for the music lessons. While that isn't ideal, it is how it has worked out and is what is overall meeting our family's needs. Our respite care provider gives us a good run-down of the lesson, and so does the music teacher, so we are able to keep up with what is going on.
Here are some excerpts:
Hi Hope Anne, Just wanted to follow up regarding Katya's lesson. I was very encouraged with her progress. She was very eager from the time she got here, and mimicked readily things I was showing her, once I got her to pay attention. She did follow most every command I gave her, such as: Katya, come sit at the piano, or put the marker back, or place the sticker on the key, or play all the "Cs" - which were marked on the piano. She was very cooperative for the most part. When she did grumble I firmly, but gently expected it and she complied. We cheered when she got a concept or performed a task well and I gave her part of a cookie to celebrate here and there. She was more snugly this time than ever and even took my finger to play certain things. She responds well to drawing and I am using it as a teaching tool. The other thing I realized was that she learns best by doing. I have her do as much as she can - like having her place the stickers on the black keys or marking the "C'"s on the correct key. Where she is just learning something I show her myself, then take her finger, then tell her to do it, correcting it as we go. She is learning so intensely. Her interest is peaked- especially when I introduce other instruments like, today, the guitar and a bamboo flute, which was new to her. It was so cute, I brought them out together, so she took it and right away began to hold it across the neck of the guitar ( B--, pointed out that she probably thought it was a bow of some sort to be used with a violin, since that was her experience with Charity : ).
I played it for her, she picked it up and tried to get a sound out without success and was done with that onto the next thing. We had a great time strumming and singing, which she picked up readily and has a knack for - good, sound rhythm.
I wanted to mention, also that her coordination, has remarkably improved on the piano, from seeing her last week for the 1st time in months. Individual fingers adept, coordinated, deliberately playing and using both hands as one would who is more advanced. I am sure she is frustrated that she can't get the sounds out now.
Her teacher went on to give us a list of activities to do with her at home to help Katya progress faster.
She also sent a photo of her keyboard as set up for Katya.
And a couple of cute photos of Katya out in the okra patch helping harvest some okra for the respite care provider to take home.
So many things with trying to get the help and services and support Katya needs are really, really hard and stressful. I am grateful that in the midst of all that, we have a piano teacher we can trust who really loves Katya and sees her as a child with potential just waiting to be found and helped to blossom. And I'm grateful for her respite care provider and family who love and embrace Katya and provide a safe and happy place for her each week for a little over 3 hours so I can run errands and the kids can focus more in depth on school and projects at home. It is a huge blessing. And in a world where so many are willing to ignore our daughter's potential, a blessing beyond words.