Happy Violin Things

These last two days have been great. Our ensemble conductor really spent time breaking down how to approach two of our pieces last night and I learned a lot from that. Plus one of my teacher’s other adult students came to ensemble for the first time. He’s really stoked about finally playing for someone besides his cat, and I’m thrilled for him. I remember that lonely feeling. He fits in great. Maybe now I won’t be the only adult playing in the studio recitals. That would be awesome.

Then I had a fantastic lesson tonight. My teacher was unusually complimentary about my progress and seemed excited for the upcoming performance with the Vivaldi. He feels certain it will be polished in time. I confessed my desire to perform all three movements of the Vivaldi A minor together and he’s on board with helping me get there. I think that will help me feel like a real violinist. Yeah, I’m never going to be Rachel Barton-Pine; but I can still harbor some higher aspirations than playing for my cat, right? Adult students need to feel relevant too, even if we aren’t as adorable as our tiny tot counterparts.

When I got home from my lesson, I discovered that the Yitamusic IPE Baroque bow I won on eBay had shown up early. It took less than a week to get here from China! There hasn’t been much time to try it out. However, since it’s a full-size bow and they are shorter than 4/4, it’s about the same length as my 3/4 bow, but heavier. It’s also stiffer, which I did not expect. The bow has an altogether different action that will take some getting used to. Right now, it feels more like a viola bow than a violin bow. We’ll see how I get on with it. It’s fun to have new toys!

I spoke to my teacher tonight about how challenging it is helping my son (who is also his student) with viola practice. It is easier for me to read alto clef when I am playing viola than trying to transpose to another key on the violin, but my son’s viola is far too big for me. Although I thought he would hate the idea, he seemed pretty OK with my suggestion that I get a 14 inch viola to practice with him. Our teacher likes my son, so that probably helped him realize I wasn’t just wanting one to be silly. Sometimes he reminds me (and rightfully so) that I need to focus more on refining my sound rather than trying change up my equipment. He seemed surprised that I was participating so fully in youngest boy’s cello lessons as well. I suppose he didn’t think I would play the cello too. It did tickle him when he realized I have to read in three clefs now. Since I used to be a pianist, only the alto clef is really new to me so it’s not as hard as it might be for somebody else in my position.

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