Monday, June 11, 2012

Violin Week 1

Wow it has been a long time... I would be surprised if anyone is still reading this at all!  But I am going to start it back again because I have started a new venture:  I am learning to play the violin.  As someone who teaches adults in my own studio, I know what a challenge it is, and I think it will be interesting to write from this side of the lesson, as a student.

Of course there are a few differences:

1)  I already know how to read music.  Many of my students come to me with no experience in music at all so that is an advantage I already have.  However, I know it is going to be a tough thing to reprogram my brain to respond to the notes on the violin and not on the piano.  I have to form a few new neurons to get that working.

2)  My Dad, as someone who almost went to college for violin performance, has already given me a few pointers.  So that also, is a big plus!

Now that being said, we will dig into the hard part.  Holding the blasted thing correctly!  I had my first lesson today as part of an Applied Music course at Richland College.  My teacher, April Kondrat, is endlessly patient, I can tell.  And she told me quite a few times what a great job I was doing and how she was so excited that I already know some about it.  However, I still felt like I was trying to hold a brick in between my chin and my shoulder and controlling the bow is ridiculously hard to maintain!  I would start out just great and then halfway through the exercise, I would be caught with my hands in the most bizarre positions.  I apparently need to practice in front of a mirror since I had no idea I could even bend my fingers like that.  Also, I am surprised I did not get gangrene in my left thumb with how I was trying to throttle the violin's fingerboard.

I should probably name my poor beat up violin... It is going to go through a lot of abuse before I can make him sound good.  I hate to be mean when I don't even have a name to say "I'm sorry" to when all is over.

Open for suggestions.

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