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Never "shoulda, woulda" on yourself, it's wasted energy.

Monday, January 10, 2011 @9:16:30 AM

Well, here I am at 64 years wishin' I would have started learning the violin/fiddle as a kid.  Mom had me learning the accordian when I was in the 3rd grade, but couldn't read the music (had to learn to read by rote--poor reader), much less pick up the heavy instrument up and play the darn thing...was an underweight, skinny kid (made up for that in my senior years).  When I was in the fifth grade mom had me taking piano lessons...well, I didn't learn to read the music, but would listen to what the teacher was having me learn for the next weeks lesson, then practice what that sounded like.  Took lessons on and off for about three years...moved around as we were an Army family, but never learned to read the music.  I'd keep playing the few songs I had memorized for my lessons and that was it.  Up until I was pregnant with my 3rd child when my husband bought me a violin (age 35) as I'd mentioned "how fun it would be to learn to play the violin."  Wow, it was so cool when I opened up the box and there was a real live violin facing me...I'd never seen a violin up close, much less own one or even know anyone who played one....way cool.  I picked it up oh so carefully and noticed the bridge was down and thought it was broken....took it to the shop where my ex had purchased it and they just raised the bridge, turned it and I signed up for lessons.  I took those lessons for the 9 months I was pregnant, then with 3 children to care for had to stop.  I still hadn't learned to read the music and that was stunting my learning growth.  Had a great teacher though, who played backup for known people.  Years later.....I signed up for lessons at a local music store, had another great teacher who had played with some big deal bands, was dating my last husband, who insisted I get another teacher because he was jealous.  So, I stopped and finally found a 8th grader who proceeded to instruct me at her dad's house on his water bed because there wasn't anywhere to sit in the house...I actually started to learn to read the music.  Then I found an instructor in Chicago who was with the symphony (so he said) who spent 3 lessons at $25/30 minutes showing me how to stand and flip my long hair before I started to play...that guy was out.  Then I registered with The Old Time School of Folk Music...wonderful set-up...group lessons...went for about a year then moved to Tennessee.  I had to find another teacher, then I found Conny Ottway, a wonderful teacher whose has been on several recordings with known people, in Murray, Kentucky.  Played with her a couple of years until I moved to Arkansas and have been looking for a "daytime" instructor since July.   I've competed on stage in both Tennessee and Kentucky (never came close to winning--but played there), played in nursing homes and at Senior Centers (always with a group), Celtic festivals and various small events with other people and even played in an ensemble at Murray State University for about 6 months.  I'm a slow reader and apparently that has hindered my playing all along or I definately need to practice way more than 30 minutes-1 hour a day.  Can't seem to join in with the jam sessions as everybody plays so fast and I apparently can't get up the speed.  Went to a Fiddle Camp this past summer in Conway, Arkansas....got very frustrated as I couldn't play fast enough (everybody was kids...).  Well, that's my story of the fiddle/violin.  I am bound and determined to play well and I don't care if it takes me until I'm 90 to do it.  Lets see, that's about 26 more years left to get that practice in and play fast.  Haven't found a teacher yet...have a hard time driving at night lately and would love to have somebody strum on a guitar while I play....any suggestions.  I've called the High Schools, and Colleges and inquired with the church organists to find a teacher...had one number and haven't had any response yet.  That's all for now, got to go practice for a Celtic Festival coming up in May around Knoxville, Tennessee.  See ya

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