Tag Archives: violin

It’s Not a Burden

Our organist is ill.  So ill she is in the hospital.  Then she’ll be in rehab for three weeks.  Ouch.  Many prayers please.

It is a good thing I have been practicing daily. I was able to play the violin for church a couple of weeks ago.  This past Sunday, a member who plays the guitar did so.  The leaders don’t want to wear us out.

That’s funny.  I get great joy playing, it doesn’t wear me out.   I’m not sure if I expressed this in a way to over come their thoughts of how hard it must be.  It isn’t hard, it’s just I don’t play by ear and I only know the one key.  So I am limited on what I can play.  Doesn’t mean I  don’t want to.

Good thing I get to bring my violin to Tuesday morning harvest.  I play what ever I want and take requests if they are in my repertoire.


Life as a Scavenger Hunt

Had a violin lesson yesterday.  My teacher is fourteen.  You should see how excited she gets at my progress.  And she always sends me home with something to practice.

The Suzuki method introduces children to music at a very early age.  Our class was introduced to orchestra in the 5th grade.

I didn’t start playing the violin until December of last year.

It’s like we all got a scavenger hunt list.  Each one is to go down their list and see, do or be what is on it.  Feels like I got a different list than everyone else.

I mean really, how many other 50 year old’s are learning to play an instrument from a 14 year old?  Would love to meet you and compare notes.  Maybe even get together and jam.

And until then, I’ll be working on the next thing on the list.



Listen to the Mockingbird

Mockingbirds are known to repeat what they hear.

I had a friend share that one would wake her up in the morning crowing like a rooster.  Drove her nuts.

I tend to copy them. They sing and I whistle back.  I do that with cardinals as well.

But yesterday, I took my violin to the garden and played in the pavilion after church. I noticed a mockingbird, came and listened.  The bird did not sing at all, just cocked it’s head.  I played a variety of songs.  I will pay attention in the future to what the mockingbirds sing in the garden.

Makes me want to be mindful of what I play, is it worth repeating?


The Guitar, the Violin, or the Ukulele

I committed to playing music at the plant sale this past Saturday.  I’ve been practicing the violin, neglecting the uke and the guitar.  So when I went to load up the car, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to take.  Mark said he’d come play his accordion at lunch.  So that meant taking the uke or guitar.  I wanted to take the violin but I’ve been having trouble tuning the E string.  I can’t turn the knob.

As I stood there, I thought, if I don’t make a decision, I’ll be here all day. Load up all of them and decide there.  I am so glad I did.  I ended up playing all three instruments.  A fellow gardener brought his grandchildren,  5 and 7, and I let them try the uke and violin.  The guitar had not made it out of the car yet.

It was fun watching them be so serious as they explored making sounds with the instruments.

I got the guitar out when Mark showed up. Even though we hadn’t played the camp songs in a long while, our rusty fingers soon found the notes right enough for all to have a good time.

Sometimes the choice is all of the above!

Violin, Piano and Guitar

I’ve been playing the violin 1-2 times a day.  Last week, I took it to the garden and practiced while the ladies were making breakfast.

I figured I was about fit for human consumption.  One lady even sang a long!  What a great feeling.

In one way it’s been a hard instrument to learn.  There are no frets, I have to figure out where to put my fingers each time.  Have to hold the bow just right and if I don’t pay attention, the bow will slide to a part of the instrument that causes squeaking!

This has been like learning to ride a bike.  Awkward at first but if you keep at it, it will be like flying!

Another way, it is easier to play.  Right now I’m using one left hand finger at a time.   A piano would have you use 1-6 or more at a time.  That takes coordination!  Guitar chords can have your fingers in knots.

The sounds that have been coming from the violin have given me a great deal of comfort.  I am so glad I bought it instead of the deep freezer.

Heart Strings

I found an opportunity to play for a local nursing home.  I did it on Friday.  It was awesome.  I played for their dinner hour and the feedback was great.

Two song requests that I couldn’t perform,  Danny Boy and Somewhere Over the Rainbow.   I’m not sure how Danny Boy will sound on the ukulele but I have the sheet music for Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I just didn’t have it with me.  

I’ll get it together for next week.

I slept very well that night.

This morning, I moved things around and got a part of the big bedroom set up as a music room.  I played the keyboard a little bit and then the guitar.  And just a bit ago, I played a new song on the violin as well as the other ones I am practicing.  

So glad I set up the room.  Exif_JPEG_422

Music Language

When I was younger, my mother bought a piano and my sister and I had lessons.  She told us that we would be glad later that we had the training.  She said this when we complained about having to practice our lessons.  She is right.  I am glad I know how to read music and play the piano.

When the kids were little, I learned to play the guitar.  I play mostly by chords or if there is tab notation.  I know that I could learn the individual notes but I haven’t taken the time.  I wanted to get to playing.

Last year I got a Ukulele and I learned it like I did the Guitar.  I have learned some picking patterns and tried out a claw hammer style strum.

Now I have a violin.  It is quickly becoming my favorite instrument.  (Don’t tell the others)

I have discovered something very interesting.  Since I am learning to play by reading the notes, I am having to map where the note is on the piano before I can get the right finger to the right string.

It feels like piano is my first language and I’m learning violin as my second language.


A Moment with my Violin

I have been playing my violin.  It is giving me great solace.  And I’ve mostly been playing open strings.

I’m learning pizzicato and bowing.  It is not an easy instrument to play.  It is not something to rush.

I have discovered that if I take a breath and really pay attention to what I am doing, a beautiful sound comes out of the instrument.

And that makes me smile.

Not all the sounds are nice.  I do make some screeches and squalls.  However, I am learning and I am letting myself stop and self correct.

When I was younger, my parents were so worried about my being tone deaf that my mother would call from the kitchen when I made an error while practicing the piano.

Most of the time when she did this, I already knew it was a mistake.  It could have been my fingers were still not sure of what key to hit.  It could have been I was rushing and missed.  But before I could correct, I was being told I made a mistake.

And now, I am letting myself make some mistakes on the violin, so that I will have the pleasure of making the beautiful sounds.

As I learn where to put my fingers to play the other notes, I know there will be more  self correcting in the next few days and weeks. And it will be well worth the effort.

It already has brought great satisfaction, comfort and joy.

Thoughts on a Violin

In the fifth grade, we were introduced to orchestra instruments.  If we wanted to play, we needed to pick one out.

I wanted to play the violin.

My parents said no.

I am tone deaf.

My dad’s dad played violin tone deaf and it was awful.

I wouldn’t know.

He died before I was born.

There are stern looking pictures of him at my parents wedding.

Dad didn’t like to talk about him so I don’t really have a clue on who he was.

I do know about the violin.  I also know that he was involved in church.  So we have 2 things in common.  I do hope that he wasn’t so stern that he never laughed or saw the lighter side of life.  I like to think that we might have had a relationship built from the things we loved in common.

I think my parents told me to pick a different instrument.

If they did.  I told them no.

I only had eyes for the violin.

When my kids were little, my brother in law heard I’d like to learn the guitar.  He had one he wasn’t using.  He gave it to me and I’d practice in the hall after the kids were in bed.

A few years ago a fellow juggler told me he was playing the ukulele, we have 4 fingers and the uke has 4 strings.

I got one and learned to play.

Last week a friend gave me a flyer on a sale from the symphony orchestra.  It is a fund raiser.

My fifth grade self jumped up and down for joy.  I could get a good instrument, a better instrument than I would pay for.

I had a friend’s daughter give me a lesson so I’d have an idea of what to look for and if I really wanted to pursue the violin.

I have some books at the library waiting for me to pick up tonight.  In the mean time, I’ve been checking out internet for what to do with the violin.

I don’t regret that it took 40 years to finally get one.  1st, my fifth grade self did not have the discipline to practice. 2nd she wasn’t allowed to make mistakes, 3rd my parents won’t have to hear any screeching as I learn.

What I would have regretted is if I hadn’t listened and get one now.

and it gives me something to do at 2 am when Gpa gets up for his cookie.