Watch the Indianapolis Competition Livestream

Colin Mitchell

Vice vs. Verse

December 4, 2014 20:07

I am a violinist. I am a violinist with an addiction to nicotine, and quite possibly the simple act of blowing vapor from my mouth. It is a hard balance to strike between the two. On the one hand, violin is immeasurably enjoyable... When I put my mind to it. On the other hand it is also immeasurably enjoyable, and easy, to sit back on the couch and puff for an inordinate amount of time. Time I could have been making progress on the violin.

I am only a beginner violinist, at just over a year into my studies, while I have been smoking for over twenty years. I find it quite difficult to substitute one for the other. I, instead, have to make time to practice, while I find it easy to vape for no apparent reason. There are idioms in my head of a nature which say.. No great violinist these days uses anything addictive. They're all great role models.

I love the violin! I love music! I am unfortunately perplexed by a need to do something which is very easy to me, although mildly costly, and dedicating my whole day to practicing a piece I have been working on for around two months now.

it is difficult for me to 'sing' with my instrument. I hear the nuances in the play along cd version I am supposed to sound like. It is the believing I can do those nuances. I question whether I am deep enough emotionally to 'feel' the necessary emotions which, the current piece I am working on evokes. Some of the passages seem quite painful. While sitting on my couch puffing seems pleasurable. How can I talk myself into being enough of a person to put aside my hedonistic sensibilities for pleasure, and commit to the piece at hand.

I mean honestly, they do seem related. This shallowness of person who can't quite express a deeply meaningful phrase, and puffing. As far as I can tell, it only gets in the way. On the other hand, when I do feel more in the game, puffing is a nice break from routine, keeping me from becoming obsessive about practicing. The only thing is, I'm not sure that's what I want.


I have to be careful about how often I try to quit vaping as well, as failing to only leads to a downward spiral of emotions which are difficult to practice through. I want to be a great violinist. I want to play in an orchestra. I want to be a soloist! This requires much practice. The side of me that has smoked for twenty years, however, doesn't seem to care.

So I have a few questions for you from this... One.. Do any of you know any successful classical violinists who vape/smoke? ... Two ... Is it normal to have trouble emoting some of the more emotional passages of music we come across in the music world? ... And three... Is it really healthy to practice five to eight hours a day if your lifestyle allows for it?

just trying to get a life in order, and would appreciate any supportive insight you all may have to offer!

6 replies

Previous entries: March 2014

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

International Violin Competition of Indianapolis
International Violin Competition of Indianapolis

Virtual Sejong Music Competition
Virtual Sejong Music Competition

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Violinist.com Shopping Guide
Violinist.com Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Bein & Company

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

String Masters

Bobelock Cases

Things 4 Strings LLC

Violin-Strings.com

Viola-Strings.com

Baerenreiter

Fiddlerman.com

FiddlerShop

Sleepy Puppy Press

Jargar Strings

J.R. Judd Violins, LLC

Southwest Strings

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

Subscribe