Don't do it this way...

A fictional mother and daughter battle it out over the cello
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The Independent Online
Mother: "Turn the TV off, Jenny, you've got to do your practice now. You haven't done any all week."

Jenny: "Oh Mum, do I have to? I'm tired - and anyway, you didn't get me any rosin for my bow."

Mother: "The noise you make on that cello, a bit of rosin's not going to make much difference, is it? Off you go, and I want 20 minutes' practice, or no supper."

Jenny: "Mum, will you come and listen? I can't do it on my own."

Mother: "Don't be so feeble, Jenny. I've got to get the supper ready."

(Fifteen minutes later, Jenny has laboriously dragged her cello out, made a bad job of tuning it and gone through two short pieces she has played many times before.)

Jenny: (shouts) "Mum, please can I stop now?"

Mother: (shouts, from kitchen) "No, you can't, that's not 20 minutes. And why haven't you done your scales? You'll never get through your grade three exam, not like Julie down the road, and she got a merit in hers..."

(Jenny plays one and a half scales, very out of tune).

Jenny: "I've done my scales."

Mother: (stomping into playroom in exasperation): "You can't even play the right notes. I don't know why I waste all this money on your music lessons. Honestly, if I'd had the chance at your age... Oh well, you'd better put it away now, I can't stand much more."


Jenny: "Mum?"

Mother: "What now?"

Jenny: "I don't really want to learn the cello any more. Can I do the saxophone instead?"