What's your story?
December 9, 2012 at 7:57 AMI had begun learning the violin around 9 months ago, 24th of February, to be exact.
I remember when I first asked my mum for violin lessons. I was around 6 years of age, when I was still hyper and bouncing off the walls. I asked her, "mummy, I want violin lessons!"
Her reply came, "Sure, if you can step into the music school and request for a brochure, I will be too glad to send you for lessons."
Autistic as I am, I didn't have the nerve to go into the music school.
I started learning the piano, being jealous of my brother. At the age of 11, my teacher lost her patience with me(and to be honest, I lost patience with the piano too) and I stopped lessons.
Thing is, that even after I stopped lessons, the world of music never left me. I had tried to pick up lessons again, but the new teacher didn't have the training required to teach autistic children who, like me, can be unwittingly stubborn.
Then came December, 2011. I had played a few pieces on the piano for my favourite teacher who was unfortunately leaving the school to care for her 2 young children.
I was devastated. I ALWAYS form very strong emotional connections to my teachers. I decided I want to play an instrument that is portable unlike the piano.
Come February this year, during the Chinese New Year(where kids like me receive red packets of cash), I realised I had enough to buy the most inexpensive violin in the shop(the "plywood" ones, of course).
I asked my mum again. "mummy, I want to learn the violin".
"Why?" she asked.
I replied, "Well, first, I want a portable instrument. Second, the violin has more "class" than other instruments."
"OK", she said.
Sure enough, the next day, she got me the cheapest violin she could find, not believing that I'll last long enough to upgrade to a "professional" violin. In other words, she thinks I'll give up after a month.
I tried to self learn, then decided I needed a teacher to teach me the basics.
"I'll just have lessons to learn the basics, mummy"
After a few weeks of lessons, I had already started watching all sorts of documentaries and videos on YouTube.
I discovered that "the basics" were endless and that even if I were a prodigy, there would be still endless things for me to learn about music and the violin.
Now, 9 months later, I am proud to say that I have gotten my first "professional" violin, and that all my ambitions are pointed towards the world of music.
I am 17 this year, and being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, though it doesn't define me, it isn't the easiest thing to cope with, having to convince people that it doesn't define me.
Expressing myself is something I've always found difficulty doing, and now that I have music, it has become so much easier.
When I grow up, I want to have benefit concerts and donate huge sums of money to help people like me.
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Violinist.com Editor Laurie Niles went to Austin, Texas to cover the Menuhin Competition 2014, watching some of the world's top young violinists. Read her ongoing coverage.
Lydia Tay is from Singapore, Singapore. Biography
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