My violin and I? We have an interesting relationship. I wouldn’t call it love-hate. But I wouldn’t call it love-love either. We have our mutual agreements: how long to play, what pieces, the fun parts, the boring parts, and how to sit right on my shoulder. Not that we always agree on those anyway. But then, all considering, there’s a heap of us that have to be in one accord.
Strings. (All four of them, in tune and with good tone). Shoulder rest. Chin rest. Bow. Bow hand (and those fingers should know where to sit by now – you’d think). My chin has to sit right on the chin rest. My thumb. Oh my thumb, yes, it’s very friendly and has waving problems. And then being in agreement with all of that, my eyes reading the music, my head at the right angle, my back straight, my posture right, and my left hand doing the right fingering (in tune please) and my right hand bowing with good tone, straight and at the correct part of the bow.
All in all, there are a few things for my violin and I to agree on before we start.
I admit, there are bad days. There are extremely bad days where I sound something akin to a cat being scrapped along a washing board. And then there are days where the notes just drift upwards and sing all of their own. I won’t say which days are in the majority. But I get both kinds.
But there’s still something about playing the violin, even after all these years. I’ve been squawking since I was thirteen (a little late of a start for a Suzuki kid). And still, every time I want to give it up: I can’t.
I hav eto keep playing.
Why? Maybe it’s because I listen to those classical CDs and here those amazing violinists. Maybe that’s my dream, to sound like that. Maybe I just like how the violin sounds. Maybe one day, I hope my violin and I will be best friends.
Until then, we’ll continue on our mutual agreements.
And one day, one day soon I hope, you will never see us apart.
It’ll be my violin and me. All the way.
FIVE MINUTES. STOP.