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A Thanksgiving Story

December 2, 2012 at 5:52 AM

I am thankful that I get to study violin.

When my first child was born, I had a choice: to continue working for pay and hire nannies; or to stay home and care for my babies myself. I chose the latter, knowing that when the youngest left home, I would return to school and then to a new career. A number of options attracted my consideration: lawyer, accountant, computer programmer, math teacher, nurse, engineer – all of potential interest to an analytical problem solver. But, by September 2011, when I was finally alone at home, none was yelling at me: “I am it. I will hold your interest.” I still needed to choose, to make a decision as to what to do next.

All those years, a violin had sat in its case, ignored, in a corner of our living room. It had once belonged to my mother-in-law, and before that, to her cousin and to her uncle. On an impulse, needing activity to bide my time, I decided to take ten violin lessons. That would fill the gap until Christmas, by which time I would decide on an education and career path. I did not expect anything to come of the lessons. Experience had taught me that I am not a musical person; and apparently violin was extraordinarily difficult to learn. Yet I was curious what it would feel like to try. By lesson five I was hooked.

Occasionally a lush tone would emerge from my squeaks and squawks. With time and practice, the hues envelop me. The challenge is absorbing; the beauty, elusive; the horizon, infinite. I feel compelled. I practice every day. Every day. Every day. My husband gifts me the time and the money that it takes to learn. “It makes you happy,” he says, “and if you are happy, than I am happy, and my life is easier.” My husband is a very practical man.

Does the world need another half-baked violinist? No, it doesn’t. But then, does it need another lawyer or computer programmer? What the world does need is more beauty, more truth, more kindness and honesty. More integrity. More compelling.

I am grateful that I get to study violin.


From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on December 2, 2012 at 8:44 PM
Hi, very nice and thoughtful blog!

May I add what I think about a very interesting question you asked:

"But then, does it need another lawyer or computer programmer?"

Well...yes. The world wants us to go in things that are needed immidiately and obviously. (music doesn't seem obvious to many people)

Music is needed and history has many proofs of that... but the actual society wants highly specialized people in the technological and healthcare fields (just to name these 2). All the life and money advantages will be in there. It's still possible to go in other fields but the road is sometimes harder and less "safe" as from what I've seen.

I'm very happy if you are in a situation where you can do lots of violin and be happy! That is really good and a blessing...

If your situation would be different and that you had to earn all the money for your family and yourself, then I would say that the best choice would not be music (very unfourtunately). But thank god, it isn't and you don't have to think about these difficult and heartbreaking choices!

Good luck with everything!
I agree we need more beauty and everything one can learn in music...

From marjory lange
Posted on December 3, 2012 at 7:02 PM
The world never needs any more 'half-baked' anythings. Half-baked-ism is one of the most serious problems we face as a culture.

It always will need real musicians. Sounds like are/can be one of those.

From Tom Holzman
Posted on December 4, 2012 at 1:59 PM
What the world needs is more people who genuinely love what they do in life. You are clearly making a contribution to that end. So are the lawyers, accountants, programmers, doctors, etc., who do what they love. Welcome to the wonderful world of violin-playing. I hope it will continue to reward your efforts.

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