Printer-friendly version
Tammy Kirwan

Cherishing the Journey..........

May 22, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Almost exactly 1 year ago, I started taking skype lessons from Alex DePue. In that year, I've had about 30 lessons. You might ask why so few lessons, well, I was deployed (I'm in the United States Air Force) to Antarctica for 2 months, and Alex has been very busy with his touring schedule and working on his soon to be released CD. 

Looking back on the last year, I am in complete awe. I finished Suzuki book 1 by the end of October 2010, in only 15 lessons!!!! And I am on course to finish book 2, also in about 15 lessons! I know what you're's not about how fast you get thru the material, but how well you can play it. Well, rest easy, because I really can play. I've been think back on where I started and where I am now, and all I can say is wow. I have conquered straight bowing, spiccato, staccato, slurring, bow grip, loose right wrist, intonation, and the list goes on. Alex has told me numerous times how shocked he is at my progress, and I thought that he was just saying it to make me feel good, but now I'm really starting to believe him. Pieces that I thought looked scary and were impossible, are now a reality for me to play! I constantly thank Alex for all his hard work in teaching me and he in return tells me that I'm doing all the hard work, that he's just along for the ride! I guess that is true, but I'm having so much fun practicing and working each piece out measure by measure that it isn't work for me! 

This journey has also taught me a lot about myself. I've been healing from the lose of both my parents in 2006, and I thought I was over it, but this past year I've really begun to heal with the help of Alex and the violin. I have so much more patience, and I'm able to clear my mind of the daily troubles to center myself and focus totally on practicing the instrument. I've learned to enjoy the smallest of victories and not to focus on the only on the overall goal. Learning the violin is really a journey in learning about yourself.

From Jo Parker
Posted on May 22, 2011 at 5:39 PM

 What a lovely 'blog' and what a lovely story you share, thank you :)

I always like Alex and his playing, I am a big fan of Alex! It's great you are having lessons with him, and how dedicated you must be to be deployed in the Air Force and still commit to lessons and regular practice, I admire your commitment!   I am sorry for your loss as well but happy to hear you can find some comfort in the violin.

It does sound like you're doing well and you are drawing so much joy from it, you really are on the right track, thank you for sharing your story and do keep in touch, I loved reading about it!

From Sevde Guzel
Posted on May 22, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Thank you for sharing :). I really enjoyed reading this. I do agree playing the violin helps one learn more about oneself. The more I play the more I learn about myself- maybe things I might want to learn or I might not want to learn but the learning never stops. Keep practicing :)! You should post a video up sometime. I'd love to hear you!

From elise stanley
Posted on May 23, 2011 at 6:05 AM

Tammy: "Learning the violin is really a journey in learning about yourself."

That is so true - and I tihnk every one here understands exactly what you mean.  You have to conquer your own most hidden limitations to play this astonishing instrument.  Thanks for writing.  Perhaps one day you will upload a youtube and then you can also have a virtual audience!  By the way, is it easy to practise at your base?  And what do your compatriots think of it?


This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Anne Cole Violin Maker
Anne Cole Violin Maker

Metronaut Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine