Did you ever have one of those days, where you have a week off from work or school, and you decide that you're going to do nothing but practice the whole week? And then on Friday, the day before your lesson and the last day of vacation, you think, "Dang. What have I been doing the whole week?! My music doesn't sound anything better than it did on Monday! My violin teacher is going to scream at me... He'll kill me!" In fact, it frightens you so much that you proceed to practice the violin and talk to Sydney online at the same time, by typing with your feet.
This morning I had my lesson. My lessons are pretty interesting because I never know what to expect. My violin teacher gets more and more unpredictable with every year that passes. One week, he might specifically tell me that I must use an upbow for a section, and the next week he might tell me that nothing but a down bow will do. He might change my fingerings on week and then say seven days later, "These fingers are horrible. Use these; They're better," and then change them right back to the previous fingerings. Other days, he wants a crescendo instead of a decresendo, a acceelrando instead of a ritardando.
When I arrive at my lesson, I never know what my teacher wants to hear. Sometimes, he makes me play to the end of the concerto, even though I know that it sounds dreadful and he knows I know because I'm wincing with every note, only to shake his head at the end. Other times, I play to the end and he says, "Not bad," and then tells me to start from the beginning again, while he make some minor interpretation suggestions. And then there are the days where my violin teacher would stop me after the first measure and show my phrase by pharse, what I need to work on. Or he might stop me after every pharse to tell me that it was "Good", which is probably the highest comment he has ever given me. A 'good' is very hard to coax out of my old professor. Very hard indeed.
I'm glad I did it today.
It happened. The strange man made me open my mouth and I did. He put a nasty concoction in and proceeded to insert a rather scary looking machine into my throat. He used little bristly brushes to stab my teeth. Still I remained silent, using my tongue to feels the new lumps in my mouth. Trying to act casual, he says, ""What are your favorite colors?" I tell him obediently. And then, it's over. I get up and skip home where the fruit punch snapples roam and Linda and the violins play.
All's well. Until the pain arrives.
But I'm still going to do it.
Maybe I'll even learn how to spell the Ziggy-neggy-niggy-weggy-wiggi-viggy-siggy-thingy on the way. Just a thought. =P
Until today, when the band teacher handed me all the stuff. Not the large clear original copies I was expected. Instead, I get poorly-photocopied-microscopic-notes-11*12 inch papered-sent-by-email-and-then-printed-out copies of The Star-Spangled Banner.William Tell Overture,The Barber of Seville, March From Carmen, and a work by Haydn whose name I cannot even see. Oh yes, did I mention that I can hardly read the notes? And the first rehearsal is in like two weeks? And most of the people got their music on January 6th?
I went to the dentist yesterday. He leaned in and peered into my mouth. He poked around with a sharp metal object. My mouth began to close. Drool began to drip. A violinist's image loomed into my face. WHAT?! Suddenly, a thought hit me. My dentist looks exactly like Itzhak Perlman!
My mouth opened wider than it ever did during a dentist appointment.
Great. Itzhak's my dentist and Milstein my SS teacher.
Something in my brain went click today.
It went click as I was listening to Midori play the Mendelssohn Concerto.
I have the first Long Island String Festival Orchestra rehearsal tommorrow. Seating is done in the first rehearsal. And the last time I looked at the music was, when?
Perhaps, I shouldn't be online now? Just a hunch.
Everyone go read this book. I don't care how you get hold of it... Buy it, borrow it, steal it: I don't CARE! Just read the darn book.
I just read Chapter 13: Threnody, the finale to Heifetz's life.
"I didn't know I had just heard Jascha Heifetz playing the violin for the last time in his life."
It was so beautiful, it made me cry. I never understood how much Heifetz lost for fame. He devoted his life to the public and became a rather hard person to be with. Friends, he no longer had, and family, he ignored.
Ayke Agus was his companion for the last years of his life. She stayed with him through all the testing and hardships he put her through. Agus was a true friend. And Heiftetz, during his last days, expressed the gratitude he felt for her all those years. "I love you."
No book has ever made me cry. This is an exception. My evil melted away for a chapter and I was touched with love, compassion, and understanding.
If you do get a hold of this book, read the whole thing, beggining to end. Don't skip around. It sort of all clicks together in Chapter 13.
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