Two years ago I bought a beginner's violin. It was a little cheap, but it was good for what I needed it for in the beginning. I took private lessons for a year. 6 months after I started playing, I was bought I upgraded to a brand new, beautiful violin that I bought in Paris, France. I just happened to be vacationing in Europe that summer and while I was in Paris, I purchased a violin. It sounded so much more full in tone and beautiful and my playing sounded better. I was encouraged. Before the end of my first year, I had my first Christmas recital. I played in front of 200 people. It was a fantastic experience and my level of playing at the time of the recital was where it was supposed to be. But a few months after the recital, I noticed I had just not gotten any better. I was practicing 3-4 times a week. Some people told me I had to practice everyday. Some said not to practice everyday. So I just did 3-4 times a week. After my first year of private lessons, my instructor said he could no longer teach me anything that I already do not know. I went on to have a few lessons with a more advanced violinist, but it was a nightmare. He treated every lesson like military boot camp and got annoyed too easily because I was not advancing as fast as he wanted me to. At one point he basically said, 'well you are old and its harder for you I guess.' I was at the time, 36 and this was coming from a 23 year old who had been playing violin since he could walk. After that unprofessional, hurtful comment, I never returned to the school. I never even went back for my final lesson either.
So I went home and decided to go on with what my first instructor told me to keep doing. But week after week after week, I kept playing the same. Month after month, I never was able to advance. Finally, by the end of the 2nd year, I came to terms with the reality that no matter how much I love violin, I just cannot play it.
I played French horn for years. And I am able to play trumpet as well. But those instruments no longer spoke to me. I wanted something different and challenging and beautiful. I chose violin. I knew I was never going to be a great violinist, but I was expecting that I'd be expectionally good enough to my standards. I tried and tried and after 2 years, I finally have accepted the reality that it is not happening.
People told me I'd be frustrated and discouraged, but to keep pushing forward. But when you come up against frustration and discouragment every time you play, it no longer becomes fun. The love of playing had become a dreaded chore until finally, there was no love of practicing.
It took me awhile to accept it. And now I have. At least I got one beautiful recital out of it and I learned a lot about my limits. And it saddens me that my beautiful violin I brought home all the way from Paris will never be able to be played to its potential.
So no its time for me to move one. I have not given up music. I am in the process of selecting a new instrument. One better suited to my abilities and I can say it will not be a string instrument. I tried, that is all I could've asked of myself.
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