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Julian Stokes

Violin - best not talked about?

June 11, 2010 at 11:34 AM

So, here's the situation. You have an hour's lesson once a week. You practise at least an hour every day. You are enthused and passionate about your instrument, repertoire, scales and music in general. But who do you talk to about it?

I have friends who love to cook - so do I. I can talk for hours about the best way to make bread, real bread with pre-ferments, sour dough, fresh yeast, dried yeast, instant yeast, stoneground flour, bleached, unbleached, organic, whatever.

I know people who get great joy from gardening. I can do that. How we laugh as we regale each other with tales of shovels and spades, compost, cuttings, crops and cabbage root fly.

Then there are those with children - don't have any myself but I can share and participate in stories of little Freddie's first words, steps, pictures, day at school.

Dogs - love them. Got two German Shepherds myself. How amusing and heart-rending the tales of life long devotion, fun and frolics provided by our canine companions in their all too short lives.

But the violin. Try lobbing that into the verbal ping-pong of a conversation and it kills it stone dead. I was very pleased last week to have started  "to get" spicatto. Even my own mother was somewhat nonplussed at my enthusiastic announcement, moving swiftly on to her own pet subject of her bees!

If this site didn't exist, you'd have to invent it.


From Tom Holzman
Posted on June 11, 2010 at 2:25 PM

You should join a community (amateur) orchestra.


From Laurie Niles
Posted on June 11, 2010 at 5:45 PM

You can't say enough about the violin! At least, WE can't say enough about it, so welcome aboard. :)


From Jo Parker
Posted on June 11, 2010 at 5:50 PM

 Joining a community orchestra does nothing for this problem, I have joined 2 of them, we are too busy rehearsing/playing we don't get to talk about our instruments :(


From Michael Divino
Posted on June 11, 2010 at 6:12 PM

 Welcome!  I don't think my parents would quite understand what a thrill it is to play a Beethoven sonata!


From John Cadd
Posted on June 11, 2010 at 6:20 PM

In a way you can unload all the baggage of a lifetime on this site.The odd contraption called violin playing can be an awkward thing to drag along behind you.Cosy chats at orchestra rehearsals just don`t happen.Not in England anyway.   I started to chat to a stunning new Swedish girl playing in front of me one practice.Following week the competition crowded me out. No, that`s not really what you mean is it?


From John Cadd
Posted on June 11, 2010 at 6:20 PM

In a way you can unload all the baggage of a lifetime on this site.The odd contraption called violin playing can be an awkward thing to drag along behind you.Cosy chats at orchestra rehearsals just don`t happen.Not in England anyway.   I started to chat to a stunning new Swedish girl playing in front of me one practice.Following week the competition crowded me out. No, that`s not really what you mean is it?


From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on June 11, 2010 at 8:10 PM

 I think it must depend on the community orchestra.  I have found the one I play in to be a good venue to talk about music, playing violin, etc., and to meet people to play chamber music with.  There are a lot of groups, you may have to shop around.  But, there's always this site!


From Alison Daurio
Posted on June 11, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Thank goodness for this site. I have a single, lone friend who also plays violin. Who also lives in another state. Mention violin to anyone else it's the blank stare. Certainly a conversational quandary when virtually nothing else is nearly as interesting :)


From Joyce Lin
Posted on June 11, 2010 at 8:37 PM

So true! That's why I hang out here and the Adult Starters facebook - I don't have anyone to talk about the violin since my last real-life violin playing friend quit in Suzuki Book 4. My mom listens to me patiently about my highs and lows, but she would not really understand because she doesn't play. My teacher thought I was bored or I like to pick fights (because of the finger-tape thread), but musicians who are surrounded by many musician friends just do not understand. I don't blame her though, I would not want to think about job-related subjects after a day of work either.


From Dimitri Adamou
Posted on June 12, 2010 at 12:14 AM

I know how you feel, I have often wished to have a violin friend! Haha, but I have a friend who plays the piano and we talk to each other about our respective instruments and that is pretty enjoyabel. I think talking about the same genre of music played helps a fair bit.

Otherwise, I do sometimes wish I had another friend who still plays the violin, they'd understand it more ... my friends just draw a blank if I try talk violin with them .... well, I just leave my violin talking for a place like this really haha :)


From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on June 12, 2010 at 1:14 AM

Hi, I exactly feel like this too!  I have always been very kindly jealous ; )  of the musical families! You know these like in Europe where they could play the Bach double with mom, dad or siblings  or a trio because one played cello and another piano... 

I have found this to be very difficult to never be able to share my violin passion and sorrows (on the bad days...) with my family or friends. It certainly don,t help for motivation issues. Yes violin is a killer when you talk about this to non musicians lol... (they prefer to keep their romantic/mystical visions of the wodden thing and don't you add more details...)  I also have better success talking about dogs, horses, gardening and cooking lol

Thus, I am very grateful to this website and to my teacher with whom I can talk a bit about violin when the lesson is finish, share music and make her taxi to go attend musical events downtown since we both live in suburbs. 

But I also learned with violin to take "my time" and appreciate the time I spend alone playing and listeneing to music.  I might be seen as a "weird" but I don't care.  Who will make you happy if you don't?  Sometimes, one must accept to be considered as an alien in order to be happy...   : )

Good luck,

Anne-Marie

 


From George Mason
Posted on June 12, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Wow!  All of you speak words that ring so true.  I have made my living my entire life with my violin.  It has been my closest friend and my biggest challenge.  And after all these years the number of friends that I have that truly get what it is to play the instrument are very few.  This website is definately a wonderful place to speak with those of a like mind.


From Reynard Hilman
Posted on June 12, 2010 at 2:55 PM

Yeah, I feel this too, all the friends I hang out with doesn't care much about violin, the best conversation was usually when they said they also want to learn violin and then I tried to encourage them :) 

 


From Julian Stokes
Posted on June 12, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Gosh! Thanks for all the replies. It is good to see that while we are alone we're not alone in being alone... if you see what I mean.

The one local orchestra that I know about requires ABRSM Grade 6 to get in - I'm currently looking at studying for and taking Grade 5 . I'm still very much shaking off the rust of my years in the wilderness. Slow progress but, with you, perhaps not such a solitary journey.


From Kim Vawter
Posted on June 14, 2010 at 3:40 AM

 Exactly!

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