Saturday, December 18, 2010
I started playing violin around the age of four (and grew up the daughter of a professional violinist). I played throughout school with varying degrees of interest, the height of which was in high school while preparing Kreisler's Praeludium and Allegro for the state solo competition. When I chose to major in voice performance in college, it didn't occur to me that keeping up my violin chops would have been a smart thing to do. I did take a few professional gigs playing in a wedding string quartet group after college, but since I was playing with others who were much better at their instruments than I was, I assumed that I really should just stick to voice. I should say, though, in retrospect, that I didn't really practice much or give myself a chance. I just assumed violin was something I wasn't that good at. Years later, I have picked up my violin again, and have written a set of five songs for singing violinist (or violin playing singer) that I will be performing in front of people. What is unique about this situation is that I wrote the piece, so I purposefully wrote music that I can actually play. I do have to practice every day, though, because my muscles are still not really used to playing on a regular basis for any length of time. I know I have a lot of room for improvement in the quality of my playing, but I don't feel as discouraged as I have in the past when trying to play violin. The main reason for this is because I am noticing that I feel considerably happier after I have been playing the violin. It makes sense to me now that returning to something I did for the entirety of my childhood would make me feel more grounded and at peace. And, I am really glad to have finally come back to it.