I've actually managed to practice twice this month so far, which is a post-birth record, I think. Granted, each was only about 20 minutes, but it involved introducing Alex to the wonders of strings -- holding the violin up for him so that he could pluck the strings, which he did; he seemed quite interested when I fingered a bit to make nice chords out of his random pluckings. He also has very much enjoyed holding onto the scroll while I play (I think some of you might be imagining a dangling baby, hanging by the scroll and wiggling, but no, I assure you it's much safer than that and much less heavy!) to feel the vibrations. He's also quite the critic; if I use my less-good bow which also desperately needs rehairing, he bursts out into wailing complaint. If I play a song that he's bored with, he also complains, then quiets down and listens when I try something else and get a sweeter tone.
I will, however, be performing at the Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs, NY in February, so I'd better get cracking. Luckily, we've decided that we'll stick with sets that we've been playing for the last couple of years, so they're all in my fingers; I just need to oil up those fingers and brush the dust off the music and it'll come right back. Even just those two practices, two days in a row, the second day felt much easier than the first. I feel like I've gotten to the point where if I don't practice for a while I may not be playing the virtuosic stuff, but I can pretty much just pick up and play anything else. That's about where my Mom was on the piano -- you could put a sonata down in front of her and she'd play it through with you. Maybe she wouldn't get every note perfectly, but you'd make music together. If I can't spend the time to be a virtuoso, I think I'm happy with that.
I need to restring my folk harp (the nylon strings are ten years old now, and brittle) so that I can introduce Alex to it. :)
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