Friday, August 31, 2007

she finds her voice

It's a bit of a paradox that while Eliza is such an adventurous child that she also tends to be shy, especially around adults. Ask her a question and she'll bury her head in my side to avoid your gaze.

Eliza has seen Miss Carol, the music class teacher, nearly ever week for more than 2 years, and although Eliza speaks very warmly of Miss Carol at home, as soon as we get to the studio she clams up. She thoroughly enjoys music class with all the rhythm instruments, marching, and dancing, and it's all she can talk about from the moment she wakes up on Fridays. But once there, she won't say a word except to whisper something in my ear, and she certainly wouldn't sing . . .

. . . until today. At first, I heard her singing the lyrics to the CD music very softly, almost whispering. But then when the stretchy band (think a giant 8-foot-diameter rainbow-colored scrunchy) came out for the song sequence of "Twinkle Little Star," "Baa Baa Black Sheep," and the ABC song, she sang quite clearly. With each song, her voice grew louder and more confident until it was one of the loudest in the room. I was astonished. Miss Carol looked quite surprised herself and afterward said proudly to the class, "this young lady knew every word to every song" and beamed at Eliza. Eliza promptly buried her head in my side.

It will be interesting to see if today was a fluke or if Eliza has changed her tune about singing outside home.

On a side note, the one time in music class that Eliza becomes quite outgoing is while dancing. In our home, music plays for hours a day. Sometimes I flip through the radio stations, and other times we listen to CDs from our small collection or the public library's enormous one. Eliza dances to anything and everything. Chris and I were discussing this recently since he was the one who has always said he thinks she'd love a dance class more than any other. I told him there was a little studio just 1½ miles down the road that has "creative movement" for 3- and 4-year-olds and wondered what he would think of that for later this year or early next year. I was a bit surprised when he suggested it for Eliza's 3rd birthday present (I thought he'd say "next year," especially in light of the camera incident).

Eliza now has an inexpensive black leotard and pink tights, which are going to be her Halloween costume (at least they'll be useful for fun dress-up clothes even if Eliza decides she doesn't like a dance class). I called a dance studio in Brooklyn about its vegan ballet slippers, knowing that they're often back-ordered, and sure enough they were. The studio near our house insists on pink slippers, but the Brooklyn studio only has white in stock, so I was told to call back in a few weeks to see if the pink polished canvas fabric has arrived - if it hasn't, I can order white slippers and dye them myself, but considering the last time I dyed anything, my hair looked like it had been nuked, I'm a bit hesitant. I may have to resort to begging a crafty friend to do it for me in exchange for baked goods.


Jenny said...

How wonderful that Eliza had the confidence to sing in class! I wonder what finally clicked that made her do it? I'll be interested to hear if it was a fluke too...I hope not. I'll bet she has an adorable singing voice!

chanale said...

Jenny - I wonder that, too! We'll see how next Friday's class goes.

Her voice is an odd mixture of squeaky-throaty (but beautiful to her mother, of course!). She sings mostly in tune, which is more than her father can say. :)

Kate in NJ said...

How wonderful that she found her voice! A creative movement class sounds lovely.