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Eileen Geriak


May 28, 2006 at 11:13 AM

Well, still playing on some over played dominant strings....the A and D look to be unwinding a'm still using the same shoulder rest, which I have had to "duct" tape because the padding gave way a bit and left a mark on my violin (*GAAH*). I guess this is what it's like to have to play on a budget. I've been looking around and trying to find a "deal" on some Obligato strings, not much luck there...and I haven't had the time or money to put in the gas tank to go around looking for another shoulder rest...(grumble) I live in a rural area, so it's at least a half hour drive to get ANYWHERE.

Yesturday, I got together with a couple of young ladies from my fiddle group. It was wonderful to actually play WITH someone else !! We ended up playing some Christmas tunes because I happened to have a book that had the harmony parts. All three of us are pretty much on the same level (intermediate) and we worked well together. Jenn pulled out her mandolin and we had fun with that as well. I SOOOO want to spend some time playing with others and rarely get the chance to do so for any length of time. Though I do LOVE to practice and can do so for hours at a stretch any chance I get...that becomes monotonous and dull and I sometimes find myself just plodding through the music without much gusto or finess. I have a 16 year old son who is fantastic on the piano, but he's given it up and will NOT play for me...(rotten kid..after all the money we spend on his lessons I'm tempted to offer to pay him....if only just to hear him play again...(*sigh*)

Ah well....I envy you folks who get to play with others on a regular basis. I can't even practice as much as I'd like to/ NEED to because the hubby resents any time I spend on it and can't stand listening to it..(I guess hearing me run through scales and excersizes over and over can be a bit much)....I have to go up to my room and close the door when he's home. (REALLY...I'm not THAT bad !!)

I refuse to give this up though !! I've been encouraging Jenn (one of the young ladies I played with yesturday)...she started playing at a young age but gave it up after highschool and is only just starting to get back into it. She's not that enthusiastic about it but I keep at her to stick with it. She has no idea what a gift it is to be able to play and play well. Having started early in life she'll go much farther than I ever could if she stays with it.

Perhaps that's going to be my role "encourager".....and I'm ok with that I long as I get to PLAY !

From John Baker
Posted on May 28, 2006 at 8:34 PM
Keep on keepin' on with practicing and playing the Violin! If you are old enough to have a 16 year old, the Rotten Kid doesn't need YOU to be wiping his nose and other messy parts! But, I'll bet in about 5 years he will beg to play piano with you. (Check out Mark Twain's remark about his father: "When I was 16 my father was the most ignorant man alive. When reached 21 I in awe at how much he had learned in only 5 years!).
As for your husband...let me back-hand him for you. He should HUSBAND you as he would any part or person in his "kingdom." That means he should encourage you to develop yourself in those areas in which you take delight, like playing music. It's too easy today to turn the radio or slap a CD on to hear some music. But also, don't give up encouragaing Jenn and your other friends to grow as violinists, musicians and people. Everything you have is a gift, (even your non-husbanding husband), so use them wisely and diligently.
Another way of summing it up is, "Non illigitimi Carborundum." I offer this to not as some whacked-out Feminist always knocking down men, but as a man who sees another man not fulfilling his role as husband, at least in this one area. Husbandry does not apply only animals! (So, right after you put that load clothes in the washer, run to your practice room!) :-)

John Baker, Tubamirum

From Clare Chu
Posted on May 29, 2006 at 3:15 AM
Eileen, this is the first time I've read your blog and I can totally relate to a lot of your experiences.

1) I have a 15 year old son who no longer plays the piano
2) I have a husband who makes fun of my playing and asks me to play in the garage so he can sleep
3) I have an old Germanic/Tyrolean unlabeled violin too, very beautiful old-world sound
4) I used to play violin up to high school, got to the Mendelssohn Concerto #1 (okay, this is more like your friend Jenn)
5) God definitely called me back to the violin because I was at church 3 years ago when a woman brought in her violin and since I said I used to play the violin they all asked me to play something. Then the pastor brought over a group from another church with a violin player. That was 3 years ago. Now I play hymns for the congregational singing.

Just keep your chin up and under your violin. And definitely be a Barnabas, encourage your friend and know that you're on a mission. To use your violin for the Glory of God, and to make new friends so that you can witness to them and win them for Christ. God has allowed me to meet so many people once I had a violin tucked under my chin, and each one is a precious soul that Jesus died for. God Bless you Eileen.


From Karin Lin
Posted on May 29, 2006 at 3:23 AM
Clare, I hope you meant "keep your chin up and OVER a violin." Eileen's going to be mighty discouraged if she tries playing with her chin under the violin. ;)

After reading about both your families I feel very blessed to have a husband who supports my violin studies so well. My biggest problem is my needy three-year-old, who hates everything that doesn't involve her being the center of attention, including my practicing. I hope that's a phase that'll pass soon.

I think as adults we realize that every moment we spend with this instrument we love so much is a gift. I wish you all the best of luck in getting more of those moments, but in the meantime, enjoy the ones you have!

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on May 29, 2006 at 6:21 AM
Thank you for saying what you did, John. My ex-husband was jealous of my violin, and that was a serious problem.
From Eileen Geriak
Posted on May 29, 2006 at 11:05 AM
Thank you all so much for the encouragement ! It was greatly needed. I was having a "hormonal" moment yesturday...feeling very melancholy and blue about wanting to play so badly...and not being able to. Guess I'm not the only one in this I'll stop whinning about it...for a little while anyway ! :-D
From Clare Chu
Posted on May 29, 2006 at 10:35 PM
Yikes, I meant OVER the violin. Eileen, I hope today was better. I got the day off from work, and thought about you, practicing a bit, doing some housework, then practicing another little bit, doing some more housework. It does seem to break up the day and make more effective practice. I even sightread the Beethoven Violin Concerto half-way through the first movement! I also left two violins on the couch with case open and played one against the other. It helps to keep me interested how they respond differently. Also, I read that it opens up the violin that is not being played because it vibrates sympathetically. My husband is out of town, I dropped him off this morning at the airport. And my kids are all into video games... So looks like I'll get another couple of hours in, after cooking and dinner.
From Eileen Geriak
Posted on May 29, 2006 at 11:31 PM
Ah Clare ! So glad I was able to help you ! I did have a better day today. My husband had to go to a wake at the other end of the state so I had a few hours of unhindered practice. I can really open up and play when I don't have to worry about "bothering" anyone. My kids don't say anything, they just ignore it pretty much, though I did get a compliment from my daughter today !!! "Mom, you're sounding much better doesn't screetch anymore when you play" LOL...I'll take that anyday..even though I havn't "screetched" in over a year and a half ! My husband isn't so bad really...he's as patient as he can be. He'll just breeze by with a scowl on his face that says.. "Geesh, can you lay off for awhile"
I'll be going to the fiddle group tomorrow evening....I always look forward to that. It's not really the kind of playing I want to do..just a bunch of folks trying to outdo each other in are such egomaniacs..but a really nice group of folks. I much prefer the kind of playing I did on Sat with Jenn and Krysten...but I'll take anything I can get at this point !!!

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