With so much wonderful music written for classical violinists, violists and string players, many of us spend most of our lives training in and performing classical music.
But there are so many kinds of music that one can play, as a violinist! There is bluegrass and fiddle; jazz; rock 'n' roll; hip-hop and popular music; klezmer; Celtic; Indian classical -- the list goes on and on.
Some people begin in a non-classical genre, such as fiddle music, and then remain in that field. For those that start in Western classical music and wish to play another genre, this can be a humbling adventure. In our interview this week with Tessa Lark, she made an astute observation about exploring new genres of music:
"You have to throw yourself into uncomfortable situations to get to know a different style of music, especially if you have become fluent in another style," she said. "And it gets harder and harder, the older you get, to put your ego to the side and jump in and -- to be bad at something! in order to improve."
Last year I went to Creative Strings Workshop with Christian Howes (in fact, this year's workshop is just wrapping up in Columbus, Ohio). I found myself in plenty of unfamiliar situations, trying to read jazz charts, improvise to pop music.
I'd need a lot more practice to get comfortable or good at playing in any of those genres, but it gave me the idea that there is just so much music waiting to be explored.
Do you play non-classical violin? Do you wish that you did? If so, what genre of music do you play, and how did you get started with it? How did you get good at it? If you could explore another genre, what would it be? Or perhaps you are a classical musician who is happy to stick with classical? Please participate in the vote and then share your thoughts about playing non-classical music on the violin.
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