A few months ago, I felt a strange and sudden urge to pull out my violin and show it to Phoebe and Theo.The case had been closed for many weeks. And when I say “many,” I mean a number greater than 52. I vaguely recall having had the violin case open at some point in early 2009. Or maybe I’m remembering a lunchbox. Something was open then.
But that evening a few months ago, I indeed opened up my violin case. I pulled out the violin, and the strings were totally loose. It may shock you to know that I barely know how to tune my violin. My teacher always did it, at the beginning of each lesson. I managed to tune it once, when it got so badly out of tune that I couldn’t practice, and I did a decent job. But this time the strings were so loose they might as well have been just lying on top of the violin. I decided to give it a whirl, anyhow. John pulled out his iPhone with a tuner app, and I started to turn the pegs and the little fine-tuny-screwy-things (that is the technical term), and I was feeling quite pleased with myself…until the E string snapped.
So much for that demo.
But I got to thinking, and the next day or so, I called my violin teacher. For the first time since Theo was born. I asked her about strings, and while I was at it, about starting lessons. For me, and for Phoebe, too. My teacher said she’d work on finding space in her schedule. Eventually, she found a time when she could put our two half hour lessons back-to-back.
Tonight, Phoebe and I started violin lessons together.
I can’t say it was all a joyful, magical experience. Phoebe was tired. She’d had a full day at daycare with no nap, then we’d rushed off to a 45-minute karate class, before rushing home for a rushed dinner, and rushing back out the door. Plus I think she found the process of starting the violin to be pretty anticlimactic. We got her set up with a violin of the right size (quarter-sized). Then it was about learning to hold the violin with her chin, and how to properly hold the bow. That was about it. By the time we got to my part of the lesson, which ended up being only the last 15 minutes of our hour, she was pretty much done for. She collapsed on the floor next to me, periodically rallying herself enough to tug on my arm while I attempted to play. In spite of this, I enjoyed myself. I remembered more than I was expecting. (Not that we tried any of the more advanced things I’d worked on when last I’d had lessons, over 2 years ago. We worked on stuff that was probably from my first or second year of lessons.)
Next week, we go back.
I feel like this post needs some sort of snappy ending, but I’m too tired to think of an ending, and I need to make Phoebe’s lunch and get to bed. So I’ll post a completely unrelated photo to distract you.