5.23.2013

Evening Violin Therapy

"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." -Berthold Auerbach

I had a particularly hard day with the kids yesterday.  I wasn't in a good mood to begin with and on top of the endless whining, everything seemed to go wrong.  It just wasn't my day.  After dinner was cleaned up, I realized I had some time to kill before getting the boys ready for bed.  

All at once I knew what would make me feel better.  I asked Jed, "Do you want to hear Mom play her violin?"  He answered enthusiastically.

I opened the case, tightened the bow, and brought my violin to my shoulder.  In that moment I realized how much I've truly missed it!  My violin feels so natural tucked under my chin, like an extension of my body itself.

I began by playing the Seitz Concertos.  I learned them in the second grade.  Easy.  Simple.  I was just warming up my fingers.  Satisfied and feeling a little better, I moved on to my favorite songs: pieces I have memorized from high school and college.  I played Bartok and Kreisler.  I even made sure to play a rendition of the Orange Blossom Special for Jed, pointing out the sound of a train.  

I suddenly felt alive!  The tension I'd been feeling all day had been released into the air as notes and rhythms.  "Why don't I do this more often?" I silently asked myself.     

I then began sawing away on the first and last movements of the Bruch, but... I had to stop when my tenths sounded more like ugly cat screeches.  Ugh.

Playing my violin is like riding a bike: I'll never forget how to play but sometimes I'm out of practice.  It would take a few hours of diligent practice to get those tenths back in shape.

So I picked a new piece: Kreisler again.  After a practice run through of the first two lines I started over.  I played the entire first page.  Perfectly in tune.  The range of emotion!  Dude, I nailed it and it gave me goosebumps.

I looked around at my audience.  Did they just hear that?  Jed and Levi didn't even glance up.  Nope.  No appreciation at all for the many hours--no, years--it took to master something like that.  Figures.  Not many people do.  But I can't blame them.  After all, my boys are still so young!  

I then wondered if my boys might learn to play an instrument themselves.  I remembered Levi bouncing to the beat of the fiddle music.  "Maybe he has some natural musical talent," I thought to myself.  "Maybe he can play the cello.  I would love that... but would he love it?"  I wondered.

Finally, I settled into La Folia, one of my all-time favorite pieces.  My mom says she could always tell how I was feeling by what I played as a teenager.  I remember playing La Folia a lot: slower, dramatic, technical, emotional.  It always sounds great.  

I began the third to last variation on the theme.  
Then I sniffed.  
I smelled something foul.  
I stopped.  "Jed, did you poop?" I asked.

Poop is the ruiner of everything.  And that was the end of my blissful evening love affair with my violin.

I hope to see you again soon, Vinnie.  One of these days my children will grow up a bit and we can spend more time together.  I think we both need some music therapy a little more often.

5 comments:

  1. I often would feel the same way about the piano. I am not at all as accomplished as you are in your violin, but anytime I sit down to the piano it washes away any tension I may be feeling. I don't get that opportunity very often anymore, since we don't own a piano. Someday. Jed's poopy gave me a chuckle. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hahahahaha oh poop! The ruiner of everything! I'm glad you were able to get your violin out!! That's awesome! I used to play the flute but I've since sold it and can't really remeber how to read music as well as I used to hahaha maybe I'll take up piano someday??

    Also, LOVE the gorgeous photo of you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I do the same thing. Except I sing and dance. Music always helps me get in a better mood. It's like writing in your journal getting all your feelings out. I don't know if it's the same for everyone, but I do know it's in our blood!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I used to get stir crazy everyday at the same time this last winter and it would put me in a bad mood with Patrick. I came to the same conclusion as you: pulling out my violin for a little while would do wonders for my mood. All of the sudden toys didn't seem so monotonous again because I'd had my "break."

    ReplyDelete
  5. Wow, playing the violin is such a talent. You just reminded me that I should take out my tap shoes. I'm almost certain that doing a little tappin' around the house (well, in the kitchen) would probably change my damper mood too. You should definitely bring it out more often--both for you and your boys. (Maybe they'll want to follow in your footsteps, or in this case, your violin moves...)

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you! Your little notes make my day.