Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Violin Lessons

Violin1

Growing up, my elementary school district (the one I now teach in) had a wonderful music program. It started with an introduction to music in Kindergarten to second grade. In third grade, students learned to play the recorder all year in order to prepare for the orchestra option in fourth through sixth grade. In the upper grades, students who wanted to play in the orchestra could enter a lottery to play a district instrument or their families could rent or buy one. Students hoping for the district instruments listed their top three choices with the hopes of winning one of those three in the lottery.

Upon entering upper grade, I wanted to play in the orchestra. I had friends who played the flute and the clarinet so those were my top two choices. The instrument I didn’t really want to play My third choice was the violin.

When the instruments were assigned, I was given the violin. Even though I was disappointed that I didn’t get the flute, I was excited to have an instrument to play.

That excitement was short lived.

I’m not sure how much knowledge you have of string instruments as I don’t have much, but what I do know is that they don’t stay in tune for very long. Well, as good/rare as our music program was, practice with the music teacher at that time was only every other week. Not only did she teach us how to play the violin during those biweekly lessons, but she tuned our instrument as well. However, we never learned to tune the violin ourselves. We were able to make it through practice with our tuned violin, but not much longer. By the time I brought the violin home to practice it was out of tune. A beginner practicing on an out of tune violin is way worse than a beginner practicing on an in tune violin.

My practice times became fewer and far between because it just sounded so bad.*

I made it through the school year playing the violin and performing at the end of year “concert”. After that concert I hung up my violin bow for good. Clearly, it just wasn’t my thing. I so wish I had pursued it or tried something else musical. I love music and so admire people who can play an instrument.

* My mom sees the story a bit different. I say I didn’t practice because it was out of tune and sounded bad, and she says it sounded bad because I didn’t practice. Hmmm, was it the chicken or the egg?

mamakat

19 comments:

  1. Good for you for trying! I never would have even tried it! Now I wish I would have!

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  2. I'm sure you're right. It was the violin that made you sound bad. =)

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  3. I'm with you AND your mom on this, I bet if you had learned how to tune your violin, you'd have practiced and been great at it!

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  4. Well, I played the flute in junior high. You weren't missing out on anything. Violins may need tuning, but at least you don't have to clean spit out of them.

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  5. Kudos to your efforts tho' I can't imagine how hard it is to learn to play a violin. I did pretty good with recorder when I was in school but that's all LOL :D

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  6. I'm so tone deaf I'm sure your attempts would've sounded great to me :)

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  7. Stories like this are exactly why I haven't insisted that Dude #1 start music lessons. I'd hate to buy some expensive musical equipment and he decide it sucks. My parents forced me to keep playing my instrument. Eventually I decided I liked it, but for the first like 5 years I hate them and their stupid clarinet.

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  8. Ah, we'll never know, will we? ;) Too funny! Thanks for sharing!

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  9. I can't play a thing...but my kids can.

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  10. : ) I am going with your version! It just sounded so terrible! There was no way you could play that!

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  11. At least you tried. I was sentenced to a year with the trumpet. All the cool kids had clarinets and flutes and such. Needless to say I didn't stick with it.

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  12. Haha. I played the French horn. I did it through Jr High School. Then I prefered choir. It wasn't until mysebior year that I was motivated to try again bc my boyfriend was in band and they were going to Six Flags that year. It was fun, but doubt I will ever play again though.

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  13. Vising from Mama Kat's!

    I tried the violin, the piano, gymnastics, ballet...umm shall I go on? But, I quit every single one of them....and I regret that!

    So, good for you for trying!

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  14. I also had to go with my second choice, which happened to be the clarinet. Boy, did I hate it. I was bad. And even when I practiced? Still bad!

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  15. I played the accordian. What a nerd! I, too, wish I could play something. Well, realy I wish I could sing and dance.

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  16. I played the clarinet. Hated it!! I too wish that I had stuck with an instrument that I loved. Maybe the cello.

    Maybe it's not too late!!

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  17. I say you learn an instrument now.

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  18. HAHAHAHA! JLo played the accordian!

    I think any instrument that you have to tweak or blow just right is just hard.

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  19. just last night i was watching this documentary about this english woman who moved to soweto in south africa to teach violin to kids who lived in the slums.

    i don't really know what happened at the end of the doco, i got bored and changed over to another late night documentary called "The Face Eating Tumor".

    i always wanted to learn the piano.

    i think that jlo's accordian playing is cool.. what's a wedding without a good polka!!

    anyway jason, we all know what instrument you play the best.

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