I am now 62. I started playing violin when I was 12. It was an orchestra class. I didn’t have a private teacher. My parents didn’t have the money for it. As a matter of fact, my first choice for an instrument to play was the trumpet. I was told that I would play the violin because we had one in the family; thus, didn’t have to buy or rent an instrument. I played the violin 5th grade through 9th grade and absolutely loved it. We mainly worked out of some of the basic Melbay theory books and worked on pieces of music for concerts.
Then I moved to a town that didn’t have a high school orchestra. So, the violin was put on hold until certain events reunited me with my precious violin. In 11th grade a girl talked me into helping with the percussion section in the high school band. She also invited me to come play in the Purchase Area Youth Symphony Orchestra at Murray State University. I did this one year. I still wasn’t taking private lesson or any lessons for that matter. In PAYSO, I was introduced to a piece of music that I have absolutely loved to this day, Finlandia. For anyone that every played Finlandia you will know what I am talking about when I say the triplets were tough.
I got out of high school and joined the Marines. While in the Marines, I bought a violin. I even had one private lesson with a guy from Russia. His last name was Tutorski or something like that. He also taught piano.
I didn’t play the violin again until our 3rd child turned 11, about 25 years after I last touched my violin. Even though I was away from the violin for many years, I never forget how much I loved playing it. My daughter got interested in the violin because she would get my old violin out that I used to play in school and develop a desire to learn about it. So naturally, I decided to get not just one violin but a violin for both of us. The old violin had deteriorated to pieces by then, She was a very wild child so I really couldn’t get her to settle down enough to practice even though we did practice some and we still play together occasionally.
I had intended for her to have private lessons, but I couldn’t keep her in one place long enough to do that. In the meantime, I was very into playing my violin again and wanted to play in an orchestra. I contacted Jack Herriman who was the main conductor of the Chandler Symphony Orchestra. He didn’t think I was ready to play in his orchestra, but I studied the violin with him for about 5 years. We worked on scales, etudes, and Leclair sonatas for violin, which I loved learning to play. I am sad because I can’t find them now. Eventually, I played in his orchestra for 2 concerts then after all that effort I got sick. I was probably playing 4 to 5 hours a day. I was so sick that I had to stop lessons and the orchestra.
I tore my rotator cuff throwing a softball and it became impossible to use my bow, not too long after that I developed a condition called “frozen shoulder” on my left arm. I couldn’t straighten my arm for about 4 years.
I have never forgotten my violin though I am playing it every day. I am also teaching my 3 year old granddaughter who has her own 1/32nd violin. She can hold it under her chin and she uses the bow with not a good bow hold; however, she is able to draw the bow where it is supposed to be used on her violin. I had her fitted the other day at a small violin shop. She was in the lobby playing a 1/10th violin that they let her try, and everyone in the store was amazed. The luthiers even came out to watch her. I started her plucking the strings when she was 1 day old. I am in the process of gradually trying to teach her how to properly hold the bow. I am kind of tricking her, by teaching her to make a “bunny” with her bow hand, which has her forming her had into the same position it will be in to hold the bow except her index finger and pinky are up making the bunny ears. I figure she will ease right into to holding the bow when the time comes. Michael, it gave me great encouragement when you said you started playing at 5 years old. She 1 1/2 away from being 5. I want her to have every opportunity I didn’t have. We also have another granddaughter that just started the violin.
I like your outline for practice, and I am going focus on that for my practice. I am going to try to find a group to play with in our are. Who know, maybe I will play in Mesa Symphony.
- This reply was modified 1 year, 4 months ago by HDuaneaz.