violin-with-crooked-bridge.JPG My daughter’s having her first violin lesson today. I rubbed rosin on the resiliently slippery horse’s hairs of my old violin bow for ages last night, rubbing and rubbing until finally the old hairs were sated enough that music could be heard when hairs touched strings. This morning she proudly carried my old violin case to school (“Mummy, do people usually point the skinny bit forwards or backwards?”) and so when I came home, before opening my books and computer I unpacked my own violin. I blew away the dust, tightened the bow and tuned the strings, but the bridge is irrevocably bent by the pressure of taut strings not played in years. Tomorrow I’ll go to a violin-maker to buy a new bridge and to restring my daughter’s bow.

9 thoughts on “violin

  1. Hilde

    Wow!
    I played my cello yesterday! First time for years! (but I couldn’t find my rosin..)
    We are getting closer to the plans about a Huminf band 😉

  2. Jill

    Oh, I was listening to Sheherazade the other day (remember we played it in HUSO? Geir Ove had the solos) and I was just aching to be playing instead of just listening! Do you have any music for violin/cello duets?

  3. Liz

    Nice photo!

    Lane (age 9) is about to take up cello, which is exciting because my stepfather plays in the Rochester Philharmonic (and is also an accomplished bowmaker).

  4. Jill

    Ooh, cello’s so beautiful… My sister’s a musician, so hopefully my daughter will find that inspiring…

  5. peggy

    I loved your story. It makes me smile at my own stuff: a Chicagoan who first picked up a banjo (of all things) at the Old Town School of Folk Music there. I soon bought a kit to build my own, and just the other day noticed it again, leaning against a corner, behind a rocking chair. I have lived in Tennessee for eight years now, and some might assume the urge to play it would have been unavoidable, but no. Until today, that is.

  6. fivecats

    A friend of a friend once said about learning to play the violin:

    “Do you know how bad those things sound until you know what you’re doing with them?”

    I proved this point. My wife bought me a violin off of eBay, convinced that my deep Celtic roots would prove her Genetic Memory theory correct and I’d be a natural. I wasn’t. I took to practicing in a small bedroom off of the kitchen in our old, (former) farmhouse. The cats liked the bed in thereand so it was me and the cats. Guitar they didn’t mind; tenor banjo they didn’t mind. Violin they minded.

    It got so bad that when they’d see me coming into the room with the violin case, they’d all run out. Seriously.

    That was about the time I decided it was time to hang up the violin for a while.

    Much better luck to your daughter!

  7. Jill

    Well, her first violin lesson was “good”. That’s all. “Good”.

    She’ll be at her dad’s for the next week, and was too busy to talk on the phone so I doubt I’ll get much more out of her until I get to take her to a lesson myself – but it crashes with my teaching, so that won’t happen for a while.

    The odds of her actually enjoying the early phases of playing enough that she doesn’t quit before it gets fun are pretty low. I’m so glad that I stuck at playing for as long as I did, because playing with people is so amazing, and in addition to the musical pleasure it gave me a much richer social environment in those awful early teens when I hated high school. And it’s wonderful being ABLE to play now, even though I don’t often actually do it. Having been a rather disastrous violin teacher myself in my early twenties (thank goodness not for very long) I know how to make sure kids quit playing violin, but I’m not sure how to make sure my daughter plays for long enough to derive pleasure from it.

  8. peggy

    Ha, Jill. Knowing what you know (now) is probably the key. It sounds like your daughter will have free rein to love it (or not), and it will be ok.

  9. Francois Lachance

    By coincidence a few days earlier to your posting of the picture of the f curves on the violin, Elouise Oyzon’s repro of a Man Ray photograph entered the blogsphere.

    http://www.rit.edu/~eroics/MT/WeezBlog/archives/000211.html

    And to find in the comments here about children and learning a similar thread to one found there: meaning constructed by experience.

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