October 5, 2009 19:26
Whilst writing the day’s events and thoughts in my journal one night, a certain scripture was persistently repeating itself in my head. ‘For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit………….’ (Mosiah 3:19). (don’t worry, it really does have something to do with the violin…..eventually)
I often think of the way I play, what I can’t seem to master, what I struggle with the most and my achievements, successes and improvements, and whilst thinking of the above scripture, it seemed to explain exactly, my frustration at times with not only life (which I shall not go into) but my violin studies.
So there I was, in my bed staring at the wall and shaking my head saying “It’s the bloody mans fault! It always is!”
The natural man is an enemy to my violin or at least my violin mind. I can see the music in my mind, the phrasing, dynamics, notes, their relationship to each other and the meaning. I can see the technique in my mind, the bowing, the subtle changes in pressure on your bow, the left hand gliding across the fingerboard feeling each note in its perfection. And yet when I pick up the violin, I just can’t seem to make my hands follow what my mind can see.
I’m driving along listening to these beautiful pieces and I can see what it takes, what needs to happen in order to get each of the intricate and varying sounds from the instrument, and I’m thinking ‘why can I not get even close to that when I play?’. OK, so yes, practice and practice and practice, but still, even after you practice and practice and practice, some of the simplest techniques are still beyond the tyro state of your hands and it’s frustrating because the violinist in your head that has perfected that simple technique wants to move upwards and onwards, but it can’t do it without the rest of you, without the natural man.
So you feel stuck in this ‘natural man’ body, hindered by its slow and painful progress even after the assiduous practices day in and day out.
I know my hands will one day reach the level of the me-violinist in my head that currently stands with hands on hips, tapping foot, clicking tongue and shaking head. Just thinking of her now reminds me of my piano teacher from when I was 5 – rather frightening.
On a happier noteJ, I am looking forward to attending the Andre Rieu concert on the 24th. I’ve only been to a couple of live performances but there is something so enchanting and mesmerizing about watching instruments come to life on stage as opposed to the TV or the radio. Then Handel’s Messiah in December which is a Christmas present to myself. My dad wants me to print the music out so we can take it and sing along. I thought he was joking, apparently he wasn’t! My teacher recommends the study of different famous and not-so famous violinists. Watch the way they play, hold, stand, express and when you find something you like, take it and use it. Eventually you will grow your own style for certain things. Let’s hope my increased attendance at these various performances/concerts will be not only entertaining but enlightening and fruitful for my own studies.
PS – for the non-mormons who are digging around in the bible looking for Mosiah, the scripture reference is taken from The Book of Mormon.
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