I work only part-time in the summer, work for a public HS, so I have spent all this past month obsessed with the violin. I had 3 weeks of lessons when my teacher went to DC to play with Violins of Lafayette, a period music orchestra. While she was gone I started Ode to Joy.
Last night was the first time we played the complete piece, as a duet, and we nailed it the first time through. She was grinning at me. I was grinning at her, for once I knew I did not suck. (Lots of room for improvement but I had it now.) I kept grinning until she handed me Pachelbel’s Canon in D. I looked at the thing and thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head.
“Here, you need a challenge. This will keep you busy.”
I emailed her last night for clarification on notations, there is a lot of stuff in the arrangement I have no clue what it means. I asked again if she thought I could play this. She wrote back and said “Yes, you will be able to play this—it will take awhile, but I wouldn’t put anything past you!”
If I can play the violin anyone can!
I was so incredibly nervous, shy, bashful and embarrassed. The waiting room was filled with children that consumed too much sugar. (Lessons are in a community music center. The lounge is filled with harried or bored adults and younger siblings that zoom and scoot through the room.) The teacher was warm, very welcoming, and I have the feeling I was her first adult student because she seemed almost as nervous as I was. (OHNOES a spy from the music police!)
The teacher liked the bow and the tone of the violin but didn’t like the pegs at all. She began by tuning my violin, explaining all the parts. Then we moved onto posture, bow hold, and a rudimentary explanation of the notes/reading music.
The we launched into open string bowing, occassionally it was rather painful. She said I was probably a natural since I held the violin correctly, bowed properly, and could automatically adjust for the different strings. Having short arms I don’t have much bow to work with (I’m 5’3.)
We closed by discussing practice. She seemed surprised I wanted to practice up to 2 hours a day, broken into 15 minute blocks til my strength and stamina build up for 30 minue sessions. Me, I want through the kiddie books into material I will enjoy playing. If this means I play “My Teacher” and “Crumbling Cookies” twenty times a day to do so, then so be it.
All in all, I wish I had started years ago. I feel like a kid at Christmas. Hard work is expected, but who knew it would be so pleasurable, even at the first lesson? If you are thinking about learning the violin go do it. Get the instrument to force you to commit to yourself and just do it.
For many years I have wanted to learn Violin, but always heard I was too old, that you must start under ten years of age etc.. I’ve had enough. Who cares? I don’t want to be a concert violinist, I just want to play music I love, to participate, to enjoy for the sake of the music itself.
I work in a public high school, and on the last day of classes we have seniors and other perform their projects. The strings ensemble dedicated a piece to me. That did it for me. I’ve watched all those kids mature and grow over the last four years. They inspired me. So I went out the next day and bought a student package. Yesterday I finally found a teacher that would take an adult of my age, I start lessons next week.
I’m as excited as a kid in a toy store. (Also, its a wonderful way to puff your cats up to three times their size! My cats are all over 10 years of age. Who knew they could run so fast?)