“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.” – Albert Einstein

Lest you think that the blogless funk that I have been in means that I have been moping about my house, tethered to the sofa, eating cartons of Ben and Jerry’s, I wanted to put your thoughts to rest.  First, the supply of Ben and Jerry’s is rather limited around here.  Second, I am more of an Haagen Daas fan.  Third, short of being at death’s door or under anesthesia, I don’t think I have ever spent more than 15 minutes without being in motion.

I have been taking serious stock of the state of my life, and jettisoning some mental baggage that had been sitting around for some time.  In doing so, a little space was freed up to consider those things that I always thought about doing that I just never managed to get around to.

Like playing the violin.

My music education isn’t completely lacking.  I am a fair enough singer.  Like every other kid in the NY school system in the 70’s, I suffered through learning to play the recorder in music class.  I can play guitar (badly).  I play electric bass (less badly).  And once upon a time I took three years of flute lessons – which I hated with a passion.  The decision to enroll me in flute was based solely on the justification that the flute was the cheapest instrument to rent, and we were poor.  My brother got clarinet (flute being a little too “girly”, even for budget-conscious parents), and I envied him.  I learned to play on his, and might have actually gotten good at it, if he hadn’t given up on it after three months.

In short I have played five instruments, none of them very well.  But I never got the chance to play the one instrument that I really loved.  The violin.

From the strains of Bach to the Irish fiddle to Hungarian folk music, I love it all.  So close to a human voice, the violin sings like no other instrument in a voice that goes straight to the soul.  I have wanted to play violin since I was eight years old.

Yesterday, almost thirty five years from the first time I ran my fingers across the varnish of a violin at show-and-tell in my third grade music class, I put a bow to the strings of my own.  And something came out that sounded more like actual music and less like a cat screeching than I had the decency to expect.

Not ready for Bach, by any means.

But I was thrilled.

September 5th, 2007 at 11:08 am
6 Responses to “New Tricks”
  1. 1
    Steph Says:

    Good luck! I would dearly love to learn to play celtic fiddle, with the occasional rococo composer thrown in. Let me know how you do, can’t wait to hear you in concert at an event!

  2. 2
    OS Says:

    That’s brilliant!

  3. 3
    Stephanie Says:

    Violin is lovely. Don’t know how to play it, though. If I could learn to play one instrument it would be the cello. The cello makes me melt.

  4. 4
    Stephanie Says:

    I look forward to hearing of your progress! Good luck, and have a blast learning.

  5. 5
    Gillian Says:

    How fantastic! I was lucky enough to be given the chance to learn violin when I was 7. Loved every minute of it and ended up teaching for a few years too.

    Good luck with your lessons. I’m sure a few Celtic tunes won’t be too far away! A lot of them fall nicely under the fingers, so are a little easier to learn.

  6. 6
    bubandpie Says:

    I spent eleven years studying piano (without achieving especially great results) – but I’ve always felt the same way about the violin.