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Cheyne Winterthieme

How I came to play the violin.

May 16, 2013 08:34

In March last year, I was laying in a hospital bed listening to the steady sound of the IV. I'd caught a cold, but it turned into pneumonia. With 50% breathing capacity and severe asthma, it hadn't taken long to land me in the hospital. But this was the third day of my stay and I was feeling better. Of course, I was sure longing to get a-hold of my violin to play but IV's don't lend very well to bowing. I was starting to feel impatient, but then I realized that this was the whole reason I play violin instead of something else.
I'd been playing piano for as long as I could remember; my mom plays piano very well and she gave lessons to all of us children. But piano wasn't really my "thing". My mom started me on the glockenspiel which I played for a few years and I really enjoyed participating in our church's youth orchestra. At the time, I wanted an instrument that didn't stand out so pronounced as the glockenspiel; if I happened to make a mistake, there was no way to cover it up...everyone heard it! I was interested in flute because my older sister played it, but after a few weeks of lessons, I came to realize I wouldn't be able to play a wind instrument. That dropped my idea of trying saxophone. My mom was worried about my playing a string instrument because at the time I had no idea of pitch. I couldn't even sing. But there seemed like nothing else left to try. When it came to strings, I had no doubt what I'd want to play - the violin was the superior choice in my mind!
When my first violin came in the mail, I was 11 yrs.
Many times I've wished I started when I was 6 or younger, and that I'd had a good teacher to start with, but I didn't. In the first few years, I had four different teachers and then we moved. I wasn't really interested in finding another teacher and my parents didn't push it. I still played on and off, but didn't make any real progress. When I turned 18, I started working through the Suzuki books by myself. I worked through books 2 & 3, and most of the way through 4. Then I started encountering things I didn't understand and was being entirely too hard on myself. We had another move and I decided I'd to find another teacher. I looked around for over a year and had no success. When I inquired at the local music store for a teacher, they (instead!) offered me a job of teaching beginning violin lessons at their studio as they didn't have anyone to do so. I turned it down as I didn't feel ready for it. I was starting to get discouraged when someone gave me the phone number of one of the directors of the local symphony orchestra. He plays viola, but gives violin lessons because there isn't anyone else teaching.
After a little bit, I started giving private beginning violin lessons because I kept getting requests to do so.
And that is how I came to play and teach the violin.
Anyone else choose the violin for health reasons?

4 replies


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Cheyne Winterthieme is from , Iowa. Biography

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