Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Violin Lesson

I was in the fourth grade at Elizabeth School when a music teacher came in our classroom with his violin...with the purpose of getting kids interested in learning a musical instrument.
He gave his talk about the "joy" and benefits of learning to play an instrument....mainly to deaf ears.
Then, he put the violin to his chin....and began to play a few bars of "The William Tell Overture"....also known as "The Lone Ranger's theme song!"

It was an epiphany moment for me!  I was hooked.  I didn't put the violin down very long for the next 12 years.

I took private lesions from a wonderful man, Michael Wise as well as a very nice lady, Mrs Evelyn Spratt.  Both terrific teachers!

But the lesion I remember most happened one hot summer day when I was practicing a particular  difficult passage of music  I was preparing for an upcoming  concert with the very professional Charlotte Symphony. I was honored to be selected to perform with them for one concert.

But that one particular passage....had me completely baffled. I tried playing it several different ways...but none seemed right.  And there was no one I knew of that I could call to find out.
Then I heard a voice from my open window…...
"Pardon me," he said.
It was the yard man....the man my Mom had hired to cut our lawn.
"I couldn't help but listen to you practicing....and I must say you sure do a fine job with that fiddle.
but, you're misreading that particular passage you're working on. "
Then, he went on to describe how it should be played.

At my next lesson with my teacher, Mr. Wise, I played the passage as the yard man had told me....and Mr. Wise was amazed... and impressed.  He said I was the only student of his who had ever interpreted it correctly.

I just smiled.