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Lex Carter

Adult Beginner in his 40s writes about learning violin in the middle of nowhere, which is Gilroy, California.

May 15, 2010 at 9:23 AM

 It's 2AM. I'm keyed up I guess. My first lesson is tomorrow, 4PM. I have to get up early though, since on Saturdays we go around to the garage sales and buy stuff. Useful stuff for the coming times; gardening tools, tools of all types, first aid stuff, clothes. If it's useful, it's cool. I got an aluminum fuel bottle for a camping stove for 25c last time. Yeah, in these times, I'm the kid who'd love to get sox and underwear for Xmas. 

I have a violin rented from Heaney Violins, who rented me one for the glorious 2 months I was learning violin just before my business, and life crashed. I have Suzuki I. And a tuner. I also have an Incredibow but I'm saving that goodie for later, maybe much later. 

I'd been learning violin after a long wandering path through parents pushing me to play uke, my getting, and finding out I hated, guitar - a bigger and therefore better uke, right? Flute and clarinet and even a Theremin, which I built from a kit and really only added one improvement to. It drifted a lot and well .... the Theremin is a hard instrument to play. Virtuosos tend to be violin aces and they still will get a sour note or two in their best performances. Since my business was electronics I found the Theremin interesting, and I could actually be musical on it. Then I realized that by its nature, requiring electrical power for it and its amp, and the sheer clumsiness of it, it'd be a hard push to play this thing at the coffee shops and well, around. And geez ... my ear tells me where I am so I don't get lost but .... this thing really is hard work to play. Hmm ... what's the one instrument that I've been told all my life is hard, too hard, to play? That's scariest? Well, the violin of course! It doesn't even have any frets! Well, it can't be harder than wafting my fingers through electromagnetic fields that keep annoyingly changing (drift) maybe I ought to give .... it  ... a ... try? 

So, I found the amazing (amazingly nice) Mr. Heaney and got a rental fiddle, and a teacher, and started in. And I was going along fine, Aaron even had me reading the "bugs" (notes) and was good at catching me at playing by ear. Playing by ear is fine, it's great, but I gotta learn to read the bugs too. 

Then: meltdown. I went from small business owner to well, kinda ... homeless. The lessons stopped, the rental fiddle went back, and survival became priority one. 

Now I am safe, secure, sound. Too much to write about in this first post, but it's about 3 years on and I'm ready to do this again. I'm in Gilroy, California, back in my home state, state of my birth. And I'll never leave. There's one violin teacher here. This is about 30 miles outside the Real Bay Area apparently, and thus I might as well be in deepest "flyover" country. No matter, one violin teacher is all I need. And Suzuki I. 

From Elinor Estepa
Posted on May 15, 2010 at 4:43 PM!/group.php?gid=119127121451810

Here is the link to facebook where one of vcom member started an adult learner page. Pls join us, its really great to talk to someone who are in the same shoes.

BEST and BEST of luck to you, you overcome those trouble times before, and finding a teacher, going to a lessons and a fiddle with you is a great way to start this wonderful journey.

Have fun!


From sharelle taylor
Posted on May 16, 2010 at 11:48 AM

Loving the blog.  The teacher sounds like he's a goer.  Good on you.

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