Saturday, April 25, 2015

While My Violin Gently Weeps

Place your pinkie finger like this. Put more pressure on the bow. Your bow is sliding. Push more on that note. Too much extension on that one. Slow down. Speed up through there. And, the more surreal moment of realizing that one note has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It's there. Really. It is. If you listen for it.

I thank my instructor every week for her patience with the student whose left and right sides of her brain are separated, if not divorced. Fortunately, there are no children involved.

I dream of one day being able to play confidently, if not perfectly, for my family and friends. I would love to pass on this love of music and any ability to any young person in my life. Real music requires instruments and commitment, whether a voice, strings, keys, or skins, it doesn't matter. The commitment to build upon basic skills matters.

My search for a beginner's violin was long and arduous (cliche' much?). I went at it as one of those guys taking their sons to their first, ahem, experience with a woman. I've read of such things and seen it in movies. For some reason, Outrageous Fortune with Shelly Long and Bette Midler comes to mind. The first-timer.

Like an inexperienced guy, I cruised the Internet for something nice but not too cheap. I didn't want to have any 'problems' down the road that I'd need a professional to heal. I couldn't afford the Escorts and headed to the old reliable neighborhood of Ebay.

The choices there were from plain and functional to flashy and modern with bright colors and all different shapes and sizes. Some were well-worn and others fresh out of the factory. I decided on a cheap little new one that looked like it was trying too hard to get attention. It offered extras like two bows, a metronome, and rosin all nicely packaged in a cheap cloth case. I felt sorry for it. It was only $50. I decided it was all I needed at this point with absolutely no skills or knowledge.

When it arrived, I was so excited opening my new violin but had no idea what to do with it. Therefore, I unwrapped it and just 'tinkled' with it until I could get more information about it. I put it aside for a while. Even the increasingly dusty case began to look neglected as I passed it daily. Don't worry. I'll find someone to help us.

Voila! A coach was approached and took me on as a student. We finally had our help. The dream could commence. I mean, Youtube and dvd's can only do so much! It's been worth the investment of time and money for me to learn what I have in music theory as well as playing the instrument, itself.

Although there are no 'concerts' in my future, I have finally made my little violin sing a little. She doesn't just sit sadly gathering dust on a shelf. I don't even put her back into the case, most of the time. I like to see her and be able to walk by and pick her up for practice session. It may be a short one but it counts! Those scales I play will enable me to hear the tune I need to hear, to keep my fingers where they belong, to run the entire length of the bow across her strings and hear a wonderful sound emit from pieces of wood and string.

Anyone who read anything else into this...shame on you!


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