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.


  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. :)

  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!!!

  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!

  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."

  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...)


I love hearing from you! Thanks for taking the time to leave me a message.

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

© Nelson Notes • Theme by Maira G.