Run of Regret: Violin

violinMy 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:

  1. I will go home and open my violin case.
  2. I will assess the damage (if any) and have it professionally cleaned/repaired/restored
  3. I will try to play something at least five times a week for the next three months.
  4. 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.



4 thoughts on “Run of Regret: Violin

  1. This is exactly how I feel about the guitar! I took lessons for five years – acoustic, then classical – and had plans at one point of playing forever. But, other “more important” things superseded practice time. I played some gigs here and there in college, but just backup chord stuff, and I’m sure that now, nearly a decade on from that, I couldn’t even pull that off. A good friend of mine keeps urging me to get the guitar out of the case and join him and his band once, just to jam or play around, but I’m so sure I don’t have the chops that I haven’t even opened the case.

    So, I’m going to adopt your resolution list and see how’s she’s doing as soon as I get home this evening.

    and ps – man oh man, i’ve always wanted to learn how to country fiddle.


  2. Any luck yet? I know so many people who greatly regret giving up on music. I hope you can pick yours up again! And maybe you can learn some fiddlin’ too. ;-p


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