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My little nephew Josh asked me if I would teach him. He was about 8 years old. I’m no teacher, but I did buy him a little fiddle, taught him to hold it and let him practice with me. He actually started to learn very quickly. When he went into the 5th grade, he put his violin down because he wanted to join the band. Oh that boy wanted to play the drums. That was fine with me. He had given it a good run and I wanted him to pursue his own interests. His band instructor had a policy to learn other instruments first. Josh learned to play the trombone. Then the tuba. Finally he was allowed to try his hand in the percussion section.
We went to his Christmas concert during his 8th grade year. We were surprised to see him playing the snare drum when they played The Little Drummer Boy. Nobody had ever seen him practice and we had no idea he could play that well. We watched him switch instruments a few times, depending on what they were playing. His band instructor insisted that percussion students play ALL of the percussion instruments .All in all, it was a great little concert. (I know nothing about band instruments, but Josh said sleigh-bells were the hardest thing for him to learn)
It ended with Carol of the Bells. Josh wasn’t playing at all. We wondered where he was. The song ended with these very feint little flutes playing softly. It was actually quite beautiful. Then we heard it. A clear perfect violin in the background leading into a new song. We couldn’t see anybody playing. The crowd was stirring a little bit, straining their necks trying to find the player. Josh stepped out from the back of the stage with a violin tucked under his chin playing What Child is This. This song was my first solo, in the 5th grade. He knew this and had asked his band instructor to help him learn it. He played for me on that stage and it was a huge surprise. I cried. I had no idea he still “fiddled around.”
He’s 19 now and all graduated. His love is still the drums, but he’s been known to pick up a fiddle here and then and play some simple tunes with me out by the campfire.