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Albert Justice

A Beginner's Posture Oddysey (Part 1: Blue Danube)

February 14, 2007 at 10:00 AM

The Journey Begins: Part 1

Anyone who has read more than two of my ramblings, knows I've wrestled with and been after posture corrections, as if I were wrestling southern journeying polar bears in the Danube after Maura's screech box.

I started violin with a bad injury, and having fallen in intense love with it since the first time I rosined my bow, began a long and nebulous journey related to the mechanics of playing Fei' Fee, I mean my violin.

While I've read it takes two years to acustom one's self to the instrument, I have to feel my effort has been unique and noteworthy in modest ways, but signficant ways. And I recently began benefitting from having persisted in these efforts.

And the human drama of falling for something so intently is noteworthy, rich, and full of dramatic images, personalities, experiences, false starts, to mention some of the semantics. But that's another entry.

How does one communicate the experience of playing through signficant pain and serial injuries with an interest and connectedness that makes me want to quote Ptolemy, but I won't. But what is this experience like for a beginner, compared to other string players who share an environment known to create more repetitive injuires than any other instrument? That is what this is about.

I'm sure my first teacher though I was addled for trying, but I insisted, and as you can tell, persisted. She really wasn't ready to teach a truly self made, truly self directed person, who had experienced these qualities in very very real ways rather than from the words of pages of inspirational motivational ideas. But, I had her teach me the best I could understand, given very specific goals and directions--something else I'm not sure she really understood completely.

My mode of learning is at least unique to me, and I think from the end backwards, rather than from the beginning-going to the top in everything I do; and, learn by deconstructing rather than constructing. I'm not sure if this is typical of adults, but I began doing that in piano, other instruments, technology, cooking, gardens, when I was very very young--semantically and expansively, I call it the 'child's play factor'. Georgy Porgy goes a long way huh. Software Engineering was helpful in having a better understanding of from the beginning, but still I looked at the completed projects first.

So I was learning differently, which was another internal posture thing going on. So in my recent inspiration to name the little logo dude(ette)--I think it's a dude--anyway, with me that image has not been anywhere near hyperbole, and actually too close to my real experience for comfort at several points. I began deconstructing violin very quickly--scanning, filing, memorizing, and generalizing, while at the same time my entire body felt like not a pretzel, but an over done pretzel, baked of week-old dough.

Making a long story short, and to create an image strong enough to create the meaning and move on; it has been like not the hundreds of little adjustments one normally makes, but feels more like thousands.

Anyway, I fired my first teacher... Just kidding-I moved home to help, and her presence alone was enough to inspire me not only to persist, but with intensity. Then I started kicking and screaming and yelling and pounding on doors and naming little ugly violin logo dudes, and God love his silly Arse, Buri, Sue and others jumped in before I added to glaicial melting with my antics.

So anyway another teacher eventually gets ahold of me and making me dance like rag dolls and like it. Jezzus, I'm still easy... Maura, I might join you in the Danube. And I had to close my curtains so nobody could see me practices this stuff. Anyway, after a 150 threads about reach, vibrato, grip, perspective, instruments, culture, semantic abstractions; and, having both literally and figuratively crossed many many mountains, started getting some groove going. I would add, that Mimi, Fei' Fee, Kim Jee, and Hilary helped alot along the way. Buri I'm not leaving you out, I had some Wheel of Fortune rhyme time going on.

So, I put on my swimming trunks on the way to the river, swinging my left arm like a rag doll. Stay tuned--thank God, there's already squirrel in the freezer..

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