"Did you get any music groups to come and play?" I asked the Farmer's Market director. She sighed and said, "No, they won't some unless they get paid." I leaned over my table and told her I play violin. If she doesn't mind mostly classical music, I'd play. I was there every Friday anyway. "But I don't want to take away from your table!" She protested...I could tell, though, that she was really pleased. I smiled, "It's not a problem." And it wasn't. In fact, it was great.
Ever feel nervous in front of a crowd of people? I did too, when I started violin. But casual performance in public helped me overcome that problem. I came to love playing my violin for two hours every week. It greatly helped me to relax when I realized that most of the time I got a big applause on a song I felt I had ruined. From there, my playing only got better because I quit worrying about making mistakes...which, by the way, always seems to produce more mistakes!
It always makes me smile when I walk into the market and hear people - strangers who became friends - ask, "Did you bring your violin?" I would be told how they could hear my music all over the town square.
I love it when little children stop and watch with gaping mouths, wonder in their eyes. If they really are "spellbound", I motion for them to come over and I show them my instrument. I tell them the different parts, let them touch the strings. Many a parent has asked if I give lessons and then take down the information, but I have yet to have someone call me. I've felt surprised and then a bit alarmed when I discovered that many people think that children need to wait until they are "old enough". Most of these, I have found, don't ever reach this "old enough" or else, when they do, their fascination with the violin has passed. How old is "old enough" anyway?
This year has been too busy for me to have a vendor at the market, but I am still recognized and approached by people I don't remember..."Hey, didn't you play the violin at the market?" or introduced as "This is the girl that plays the violin." I love sharing what musical talent I have with people in little towns, or the elderly in assisted living & nursing homes. People who love good music just as much as the rest of us, but may not be able to afford that $$$ ticket to see a virtuoso or may not even be able to get out to go to a concert at all. People crowd to hear me play; not because I can play extraordinarily well - I am only intermediate - but because I will share what I do have just for the love of it and they don't get an opportunity very often to hear a violin. Now, I certainly am not saying that professionals & virtuosos should not charge...it is their living & profession; rather I am trying to encourage those who can't play like a virtuoso to just play & share for the love of the violin anyway. It's amazing just how many people love hearing the violin sing, and of course, I do too!
Previous entries: May 2013