Written by Elizabeth Musil
Published: July 1, 2014 at 10:04 PM [UTC]
The experience that I had today, was to say the least, absolutely amazing, and has been the best experience I have had so far in my ‘career’ as a violinist. I am an adult beginner, and those of you who are also adult beginners all know that performing opportunities are fewer and farther between for us than for those who start young. I first started performing on the violin 3 years ago with the University of Dayton orchestra, which was scary, challenging, and a huge step for a shy, self-conscious adult beginner. Playing in the orchestra has continued to be a challenge, not only because of the music being played, but also because of the time commitment and constraints on playing/practice time as an adult with many other responsibilities. Despite the challenges, I wouldn’t give up the opportunity to play in the orchestra for anything!
But it was only today that I really saw how far I have come as a violinist and a musician. Before I joined the UD orchestra, I had never really played in front of others, and was deathly scared of making a mistake and of those occasional horrible sounds emanating from my instrument. I was scared even playing in rehearsals. But today, despite the fact that I was playing with over a 100 people who I had never met before, the fact that we had only 1 rehearsal to learn the music, and the fact that I had to site-read some of the music during the concert as it was mistakenly not given to everyone in advance, I wasn’t even nervous. I had a blast, a wonderful time, and was even able to site-read the encore piece reasonably well (except when it suddenly changed to 5 flats!! If anyone asks, it wasn’t me who missed that key change....shhhhh).
Today reminded me of why I began playing violin in the first place. To be able to sit and play with a group of other musicians, to have people enjoy listening to it and hearing it, to have a large group from different backgrounds come together to make music, and to just have fun playing – all of this makes it priceless. I am very glad to be learning this wonderful amazing insanely frustrating instrument, and I think finally I am ready to start calling myself a violinist rather than an adult beginner. I hope to have another opportunity soon to play in an ensemble such as the joint one today!
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