Monday, May 07, 2007

did it!

Last March, when Lidia broke her arm, I acted on a longing I'd had for at least twenty years. I took the three violin lessons she had to miss. I told myself I needed to get it out of my mind, once and for all, that I could learn to play violin. I ended up loving every minute of it. After years of sitting in on my girls' lessons, it was finally my turn! I even loved practicing. Even when I couldn't seem to get something right, even when I struggled painfully to acquire a skill my children had learned effortlessly, I was in heaven. I took a few more lessons last spring. I didn't have much opportunity to play over the summer, as my free time went to finishing a class and I didn't take my violin for our five-week trip to Maine. In the fall I decided I would have to wait until January to start lessons again because I had lots going on. But I was miserable without it, so I started again in October.

As a graduation gift, my parents and J gave me a beautiful violin to replace the awful rental I was using. When I have some good light I'll have to take some pictures of it.

Yesterday I had my first violin recital. I played Handel's "Bourrée" from Suzuki Book 2. I wasn't aware of how nervous I was to do this until the feeling of utter relief hit me post-recital. I knew the song inside out and upside down, and felt very prepared. It sounds really nice when I play it for myself. However, I knew that nerves could either make me forget it or rattle my hands so that I wouldn't be able to play in front of so many people.

My goal was to get through the entire song. And I did. I think it sounded terrible compared to how I usually play it. My left hand was fine, but my bow hand kept trembling and I couldn't make it stop. Thankfully, there are few half notes in Bourrée, so it wasn't very noticeable. I did stop once, remove the bow from the strings, and start again because I felt like the trembling would stop if I did that. And it did, mostly. But I need to resist the urge to do that next time. And next time, I will definitely pick a piece with no half notes!

Everyone said they didn't notice my bow trembling. I thought they were just being nice until my teacher, who also performed, asked, "Did you notice my bow trembling? It was." No, of course I did not notice. She played beautifully! She made the song come alive. So, that gave me hope.

12 comments:

Montserrat said...

Good for you! I still don't play the violin in public because I get so nervous. I did play at our violin recitals but my left hand is the one that would tremble. Everyone thought I had great vibrato though. Hah! Little did they know. :D

Anonymous said...

Way to go! I'm sure no one noticed your shaking, as they were glad it was you and not them up in front! ;)
Becky:)

sippinghotchocolate said...

wow awesome! what do the kids think of you playing? i bet they must be proud of you. what an inspiration you are to your children. i can't wait to see pics of your new violin too.

Mallory said...

That's awesome! I have always wanted to learn the violin, it being an instrument you can carry around with you. Not so easy with piano. I know what you mean though when you say it's like you just can't get enough of it. I will sit and play piano for hours! I'm only required to practice an hour and a half 6 days a week, but it usually turns into 2 or more. The other day I lost track of time and played from 11:30 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon! It's always a fun part of my day. Someday, when I have the money, I will buy a violin and begin to teach myself. Then, when I have more money to blow on acquiring musical talents, I will sign up for lessons somewhere.

ave said...

I had no idea that you were taking lessons. I am so glad for you. I wish I could have been there to hear it, I bet I would have cried with delight and pride!

ML said...

Bravo Calandria! I'm so happy for you--that's awesome!

Auntie Lee said...

I think it is a GREAT example for your children!! Good for you!

Mallory said...

Yeah, I didn't know you were taking lessons either. Hmmmm... very wise. Then, the next time we see you, you'll just whip out this violin and play some crazy compositions by who knows whom!

ML said...

Handel is nice, but the next time we see you (I'm thinking summer 2008), please have some REAL classics ready to go--something like "Wish I Was A Mole in the Ground," or "Dooley." If you need the music, send a request to Hunky Unky's email:)

Auntie Lee said...

Deffinately! The so-called 'high' classics are great but folk is cool too. I find it helpful when learning folk to download the music to hear first. The cool thing about most folk is that it is based on three basic cords so it is essentially easy but you have to feel it. If you don't have a feel for it than it will be more difficult than classic.
"Dooley" is cool. Learn that and we can play together.

Anonymous said...

Way to rock the violin Lindz! -dtv

Calandria said...

thank you, everyone, for your nice comments. X-)

so mal, are you taking a piano class at school?

i definitely love folk, too. I can play "red wing," "red-haired boy" and "girl i left behind me." When you say Dooley do you mean Tom Dooley? I'll have to email hunky unky and get some of that music. because of course we must play together next time.