Sunday was the end of an era. A short era – a quaver really. It was small son’s last violin lesson.

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At £20 for each lesson, plus the outlay of a quarter size violin, a book and some rosin, it wasn’t cheap, but I was determined not to apply undue pressure or utter the words “but you could be in the Levellers”.  And the screeching that learners produce was not a problem. In fact, when I was waiting for him one day, I was listening to the beautiful piano music coming from room 3 and the melodious guitar riff from room 5, and nearly doubled up laughing when small son burst out of room 4 in the middle shouting : “listen to this mummy” before unleashing a discordant wailing noise on the A string.

But the battles to make him practise for just 10 minutes a day were not worth it. But on the other hand, I didn’t want to teach him it was ok to give up.

This will be your last lesson I said.

No problem, he replied, on the way out. As we got to the door, we stopped briefly to survey the shop sadly before I realised that he’d picked up a guitar on the way out and had a hopeful look on his face.

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