Christine, Wondering

Random Musings of a Human Becoming

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Undiscovered Talent?

As a teenager, when I was constantly around musicians of all sorts, I longed to get my hands on a string instrument. I didn't know if I would be able to play, but I just wanted to hold a violin or a cello, grab a bow and see what it was like to make a sound on one of them. Of course, being me, I never expressed this desire even to my strings-playing friends, let alone to my parents!

Recently, Mum bought a $10,000 Kemble piano for my 12yo sister, who is exceptionally talented and needed a decent instrument to practise on. The guy at the music store was desperate to make the sale, so he started throwing in extras. First he included a $600 guitar free with the piano (12yo sis also learns guitar). Then he offered to throw in a cheap violin as well. Mum was curious about whether 12yo could learn the violin as she has perfect pitch, which is required for the orchestral strings. So they got a violin too, and then drums for 10yo brother (who learns drums, obviously) at cost price. Mum took the deal (and is completely not sorry that my stepfather actually lost his job the following day due to downsizing - in fact she's glad, because otherwise 12yo sis wouldn't have the gorgeous piano!). So, 12yo sis has a violin just kind of sitting around.

Yesterday, some rellies came over to Mum's for lunch (it was Mum's birthday), and an uncle who used to play violin offered to tune 12yo sis' for her. It was gratefully accepted and he tuned it up for us. After everyone had gone, my stepdad played around with the violin a bit, and then I asked if I could have a go.

I've held a violin exactly once before, in the music shop when the guy was trying to sell Mum the piano. I got a decent note out of it then and was rather pleased with myself. This time I played around rather more, and was trying to see whether I could make the different notes off the one string. And I did. I did whole tones right up a scale. I'm not sure which scale I was playing, but I got seven perfect, clear, tuneful notes out of the lowest string of the violin. I have close-to-perfect pitch and so does Mum - not like 12yo sis' talent, but not bad either - and Mum agreed that the notes were right.

So now more than ever I'd really like to get my hands on a string instrument that I can play with and teach myself, or even get lessons. I can make nice notes on a violin, just like that - maybe I could learn to play well some day!

Another dream for the "when I'm debt-free" box, I guess :-)


Perhaps one of your new Montessori students can teach you later this year... Isn't that kind of learning strongly encouraged :-)

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