Last time I wrote I told you about my new adventure learning the viola and violin this year, so I thought I’d let you know how that’s going.
I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned it, but although I began learning the guitar at 9 years old – and I definitely consider it my first proper instrument, apart from my voice – I actually first had piano lessons for a year when I was 7. So I began learning to read music at that time. But later on I didn’t want to continue with lessons, so I just never really read music after that, and since then I’ve always played by ear. The reason I’m telling you this, is because I figured that since I might wanna actually, you know, communicate with other violinists and other players of bowed instruments (it might be helpful, I don’t know) I should probably brush up on my theory. So I did! I’ve played around and written some small quartet arrangements for practice, which has been cool being able to actually see some of my music ideas. And they haven’t sounded too bad either!
So how am I doing? Well, remember I said that, after 7 months spent on the viola, I picked up the violin 4 months ago? I originally wanted to consistently play them both (I still do a little bit), but because of how much energy it takes out of you, I didn’t really play the viola for about 6 weeks. 45 to 60 minutes of practice is a nice amount for me, sometimes more, so adding an extra half-hour on the viola was a no. But I got curious, and I wanted to know if I’d be all rusty or disorientated as a result of playing the smaller violin, and with a much lighter bow in comparison. So I tried it, but there was no problem at all. If anything, I felt even better on the viola. Violin connoisseurs, you’re probably rolling your eyes and itching to comment something along the lines of, “Duh”. Well, I am a beginner and half the time I don’t really know what I’m doing, so how was I supposed to know? I thought that was very cool though.
Anyway, the main (villain in the) story is vibrato. I can do decent vibrato on the viola, and it didn’t take too long to get some kind of a handle on it, but it has been TERRIBLE on the violin. Just terrible. How many arm and hand muscles does this petite instrument want to destroy? I’m slowly getting there though. So that’s my current focus, as well as general left-hand agility and intonation, and smoothening out the co-ordination of left and right hand. It’s a pretty brutal instrument, but oddly the more effort and difficulty required as I slowly learn other things, the more I’m endeared to the challenge. I don’t mind having started learning this particular instrument as an adult either – I’ve just got to be patient with myself.
Something else that required some patience and caution was a side-project that I was working on for a month or so. We’ll call it “Project-P4X2”. Things didn’t pan out, but I am glad that I tried it and hopefully I can come back to it when I’m better equipped to do it justice. Oddly, when I got to the halfway point, I was actually half hoping that it wouldn’t work out… Not for lack of interest, but because I knew that one or two stages were a tall order before I’d even begun, so I was never expecting any miracles, and I already had some other projects, so I was starting to feel a little anxious and overwhelmed by it all. Of course, I gave it my all, to see what would happen, but in the end it worked out better by not working out. Less stress.
I know I’m being all cryptic, but if I can finish Project-P4X2 one day, I hope to share it with you. I just wanted to share my experience, because often the outcome that you are expecting when you set out to do something, is quite different to the one you end up with, but it doesn’t have to be a disaster or a waste of time. You can be proud that you attempted it, proud of your perseverance, and blessed anyway because of all the experience you gained and lessons you learned. It all leads you to where you’re ultimately trying to get to.
I also spent a few days doing something that I haven’t done in a long while…
Drawing! I’ve recently gotten back into that, which has fed that part of my creativity I didn’t even know was lacking. And it has really, really relaxed me, which I am so grateful for. And then it really, really frustrated me when other pieces started taking too long… so I think I’ve had my fill for a while! Below is my piece, drawn with biro on paper: “First Violin”. I had no idea how it would turn out, seeing as I haven’t drawn anything serious for about 3 years, but I’m very happy with it. Would any of you buy a print of it if I made some? Because I’m thinking of making some 😉
So that is some of what has been occurring over the last few months, as well as some other unglamorous stuff, like crying tears, trying to dispel negative energy and keep myself healthy multi-dimensionally. Nothing out of the ordinary, just life. But we’re stronger than we think; we just have to keep fighting. And we must find reasons to laugh, smile and be grateful.
Wishing health, love and happiness to you all, and to your loved ones. And I’m offering up my strength and solidarity to anyone who’s particularly going through it – try not to get into your head too much.
Let’s welcome and attract lightness, good energy, good opportunities and good people into our lives in 2020. Let’s be all of these things to other people in 2020. And let’s welcome good music… *wink, wink*.
This message was brought to you by Eleanor VS.