Monday, October 6, 2014

#151 He Attends Recitals

Weekend I’d Forget

When I was in sixth grade, my parents bought me a violin.

No wait.  It wasn't quite as simple as that.

When I was in sixth grade, I got a violin after months of pestering and promising my parents that I really, really, really wanted one.*

*I promise--I will quickly bring this to the year 2014 and my weekend.

My brothers carried on their lives perfectly content with only the piano lessons my mother had been giving us.  The boys wanted nothing to do with sitting down in front of an instrument and practicing over and over again.  In fact, my brother Joel told me recently that he would fast forward parts in movies with music just to ensure that my mother didn't hear it and tell him to practice.

I, on the other hand, complicated things by adding a second instrument.  Of course I never saw it that way, aside from the first two years of learning to hold it and make more than screaming cat sounds,


In many ways though, the violin shaped my high school years.  In the very beginning, one night a week my father took me to lessons at the mall.  I was the last lesson of the night and we often left the mall as all the stores were bringing their gates down and locking their doors.  One night turned into two nights which were spent between lessons, orchestra, and string ensemble.  The rest of the week I would practice for two to three hours a night.

Then I went to college and saw people who had been playing violin probably since they said their first words.  It wasn't their fault, but I eventually intimidated myself down from wanting to major in music performance, to majoring in music education, to finally minoring in music.

After I graduated, the violin remained in the case and was only pulled out if I was asked to play in church.

There was a series of events leading up to the present, but the straw that broke the camel's back was my recent unemployment.  It seemed like the perfect time to begin taking lessons again.  After attempting on my own to get back into my old practice habits, I knew I needed professional intervention and so for the last three months I have been taking lessons with a friend of the concert master* from my college orchestra.

*The concert master is the guy who stands up to begin the tuning of the orchestra.  He's the top violinist and the conductor's right hand man.

While I loved my college violin teacher I have learned so much more in the past three months than I did in three years of college.  The truth is, like I said in my last post, the information was all probably right there in front of me during that time, I just wasn't ready, mature, or smart enough to grab it and use it.

This weekend I went to see my new teacher perform in Princeton with a pianist and a singer.  He soloed five pieces with piano accompaniment and the last piece the three instruments played together.*

*Yes, it is unique for voice and violin to 'play' together.


Each song he played I thought was going to be 'the one' that I told him at the end was my favorite.  Then he started another which mesmerized me and had me wanting to rush home to practice.  There was a part in one song where he plucked the strings* with his left hand while bowing that had me shaking Hubby's elbow and looking up at him with a shocked, excited, goofball face.

*Pizzicato is when the violinist plucks the strings.  It is most often done with the right hand.

I left, as I often do from situations like this, inspired to do better, to reach higher, and believing that I can achieve more.

What what the best part of your weekend?

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