My daily runs are normally used to relieve stress. Sometimes I recite poetry (in my head) or reflect on a particular quote. Other times I ruminate on something I heard or read. And sometimes all those things go out the window and I end up focusing on something I regret. Today was one of those days.
I took violin lessons for ten years. For an entire decade, my mother drove me half an hour every week for an half-hour lesson, paying in both time and money for a musical education that I didn’t always appreciate. I wish now that I had practiced more, and done more.
College called and I didn’t make time for practice. My status as a history major meant that I was second fiddle to the music majors and had to receive special permission to use the practice rooms. Therefore, I did what any self-respecting college freshman on his own for the first time would do: nothing. I never pursued the forms needed in order to keep up my talent. I wish now that I had.
It has now been nine years since I last devoted any serious time to the violin. I have tried to play on several occasions: special music for church, accompanying our school choir on some chorale pieces, and a short-lived attempt what folks here in N.C. call a “gospel sing” (they wanted country fiddle, I played classical violin, and that was that).
But now I wish I had done more. My wife finally has her piano in our house, and she’s picking up right where she left off. My cousin – who could be a legitimate contender for a Julliard scholarship – has been spending quite a bit of time putting together arrangements for 4 hands and violin. They want to play Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera and Lord of the Rings. But I can’t play like I used to, and I know it.
Ignoring the problem won’t solve anything. I haven’t even opened my violin case in two years; part of me doesn’t even want to know what condition that poor instrument is in. But there comes a time when a decision must be made, and for me that time is know. Another school year is passed, summer break is starting, and I’ll have a few hours each day that I could – if I so choose – devote to getting back in musical shape.
And so I resolve the following:
- I will go home and open my violin case.
- I will assess the damage (if any) and have it professionally cleaned/repaired/restored
- I will try to play something at least five times a week for the next three months.
- I will appreciate the music more the second time around.
Author’s Note: I opened the case and the violin is fine. The bow, however, will need to be either restrung or replaced. Until that is done, resolution no. 3 will have to wait.