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Pauline Lerner

To your health

July 22, 2009 at 2:13 PM

To (one of my adult beginners),

I'm sorry that I didn't have the chance to talk to you longer when you called me the other day, but I have been thinking of you.

I'm so sorry that you've been having so many troubles with your health lately. I have had some of the same problems, but mine are not as severe as yours. I hope that you get better soon.

I have some advice for you regarding your violin: Hang on if you possibly can. You've told me that playing the violin is fun, and you look like you're having fun when you play it. Having some fun should be part of your recovery plan. In fact, it should be part of everyone's daily life plan. There is another reason I'm giving you this advice: You have talent. Musical talent is a great gift, and you should nurture it happily. You may need to cut way back on your practice while you are not feeling well. I recommend that you set yourself a goal of practicing twice a week. We can change your lesson schedule to one lesson every two weeks. I'm willing to be flexible so that we can reschedule your lessons, if necessary, according to your health. Studying violin on this schedule will mean that your progress will be slow, but you will not lose what you've worked so hard to accomplish already.

I recommend that you discuss my advice with your mother and your doctor. I know that your mother is very supportive of you and that she also loves music. If you decide that you need to give up violin lessons now for medical reasons, I will respect your decision. I just hope that you will go back to studying the violin whenever you can. I have a lot of adult students who are rebeginners. They played violin through high school or college and then stopped. Later -- sometimes years later -- they came back to studying the violin, and it was like returning to an old love.

I know that your first consideration must be your health, and I hope that you will get better soon. I also hope that you can nourish your spirit by playing your violin.


From David Allen
Posted on July 23, 2009 at 2:39 AM


These are wise and loving thoughts. I hope you actually communicated these to your student.


From Steven Albert
Posted on July 23, 2009 at 10:11 AM

"nourish your spirit while playing the violin"

I'm glad you said that.  It is exactly how I feel when I play.  Its not just a physical thing ... or an aural thing ... its a spiritaul thing as well.  A beautiful thought.  Thank you for sharing it.

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on July 24, 2009 at 2:39 PM

Thanks for your comments.  I'm glad you liked my letter.  I feel more comfotable using it now.

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