What inspired you to learn to play the violin, viola or other instrument?
It's one of the first questions I ask people whom I'm interviewing, because the answer can tell so much. For some people, it's their parents, especially if they have musical parents. They see their parents playing and they want to do the same. Or, it can be a parent who never really had the chance to play, who encouraged and supported their child's lessons. Maybe they enrolled their child before the child was even old enough to think about it, and it turned out to be a lifelong pursuit.
For others, a famous musician might be the inspiration, someone they saw in concert or heard in recordings, who became a kind of role model. And don't discount those appearances that superstar musicians such as Itzhak Perlman, Yo Yo Ma, Hilary Hahn and Joshua Bell have made on Sesame Street or other children's programs -- I've had people tell me that seeing a short segment on a child's show flipped the switch on for them, inspiring them to find this instrument and learn to play it!
Sometimes it's a recording itself -- the music -- regardless of who is playing it, that is the inspiration. And it might simply be a recording of a classical piece, or fiddle music, or musicals, that gets the ball rolling.
Some get their introduction to an instrument from a school program; this was the case with me. The music teacher at my elementary school came around to various classes, recruiting for the orchestra. She brought along a fourth-grader named Sara, who played for us, and I immediately knew that I wanted to play that instrument! A teacher can be very inspiring!
What is your story? Please cast your vote and then let us know in the comments!
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