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pawsplus

UPDATE: Returning to playing after 38 years

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I'm returning to playing as well after college, life got in the way.  The last time I performed was with my college symphony in 1993.  I've picked the violin up here and there since then but am back to daily practice over the last month.  Your progress has made me think about joining the college community symphony here in town.  It's really great to feel some of the memory returning, but its slow.  Following your progress.

 

Edited by DrRoadrash

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DrRoadrash--do it! It has really stepped up my progress, if only due to abject terror. Having a definable goal has made me play outside my comfort zone, which has kept me moving forward I stead of stagnating. :-)

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14 hours ago, pawsplus said:

DrRoadrash--do it! It has really stepped up my progress, if only due to abject terror. Having a definable goal has made me play outside my comfort zone, which has kept me moving forward I stead of stagnating. :-)

Pawsplus

I've just started to practice when my family is home after a month of tinkering, with the door shut of course.  Small victory though... my 13 year old daughter pianist, singer, and musical theater junkie said "wow dad that's really good" as I bumbled my way through the first page of the Bruch.

My next hurdle will be starting lessons again and actually playing in front of someone.

Eventually I will get back to the symphony and even a regular rehearsal will feel amazing I'm sure.

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The first time I played in front of a human being in 38 years was in my first lesson with my new teacher! It was entirely traumatizing, but I survived. The dogs and cats seem a little mystified, but they think anything I do is awesome. :-)

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I made the mistake of whacking our Tom on the head with my bow when he was a kitten...

He loves it.

Now when he hears me practicing he comes running - then sits and stares at me until I whack him...

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Chiming in late, but I too am among the returning players, hence my screen name. -  I started at 12 and hit a brick wall in my 30’s.  Was pretty good.  Got as far as Bach Cello Suite Prelude to #5 and Prelude to #6 (with some cheating).

So here I am, back at 62.  Starting out with some scales, technique, shifts, and etudes, earlier Bach Suites, Humoresque, and the Swan (which right now sounds like the Swine).  Gotta re learn how to read treble clef.

There are piano accompaniments you can buy and download.  If you haven’t already done so, record yourself.  These are helpful.

Wish me luck as I do you.  

ps:  I love the sentiment and the naming of Tony.

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Good luck! Let us know how you progress! :)

I have weekly violin lessons that I love.

On top of that, I picked up the bassoon about 5 years ago too (musta needed a bass fix)...now I play 2nd in our community orchestra.

It's never too late!!!

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On 7/18/2018 at 7:32 PM, Rue said:

I made the mistake of whacking our Tom on the head with my bow when he was a kitten...

He loves it.

Now when he hears me practicing he comes running - then sits and stares at me until I whack him...

[Pencils in "col legno da gatto" on a score.]   Innovative as always.  And remember, folks, you saw it here first!  :ph34r::lol:

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How I missed this thread when paws+ initiated it, I can't imagine.  Maybe because it wasn't until August that I took my first real lesson in several years.  We had playing instruction at VM school every two weeks, but I was not disciplined enough to practice or even to take the lessons many weeks.  

I took up the instrument when I was a senior in college and took lessons off and on over the next 30-odd years -- mostly off, distracted by work and marriage(s).  My (final, just because you know when it is) wife and I more recently played duets together in our own home, away from the imaginary condemnation of outside ears, she first on oboe which was her instrument from her teens until 15 years ago when she took up cello.

Now at a place in life where I appreciate the value of balance and can actually live that life, I have begun lessons AGAIN, the beginning part for the last time.  My teacher used to own one of the string shops in town and now teaches and maintains an online teaching site called http://violinlab.com/.  She has me working on the basic piece, concerto in B minor by Oskar Rieding.  Basic but not entirely starting over from scratch.  It is proving to be a good way to get back on the bicycle because it incorporates a lot of elements that are the focus of the various exercise books I have used in the past -- arpeggios, accidentals, baby step shifts, tempo changes, and the like.  And the melodies are very satisfying.  Finally, there is a wonderful Perlman recording on youtube -- so I can check (roughly) my intonation and set tempo goals short of the actual.  Naturally, I don't aspire to the sound of his playing, but the inspiration is invaluable.

We're also working on some bow hand exercises to smooth out my transitions.  She called my bow hand position lovely at my first lesson.  Couldn't have been more empowering than that!  Vibrato is also a focus as, hard as it is to believe, I never have learned it.

My commitment to practicing has never been as great.  I take the sheet music to bed and read through it a few times before dousing the light.  I love my earworm.  Among my goals is memorizing the piece so I can focus not on notes but dynamics and such.

Longer term, my wife has been persistent in nudging me to join the community orchestra for which she plays.  Mortified I am at the prospect, says this never-to-be Yoda of the violin (and he's OK with that).  First, I have to develop the courage to play in front of others which is still a struggle even with my teacher.  (Can't I just call my nervously quavering bow stroke my vibrato and be done with it?)

My story is not really different from the others related here, but I couldn't resist the opportunity to share my own joy.

 

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20 hours ago, Violadamore said:

[Pencils in "col legno da gatto" on a score.]   Innovative as always.  And remember, folks, you saw it here first!  :ph34r::lol:

And when I'm done whacking  - he goes after shadow bow...^_^

20181020_181250.jpg

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29 minutes ago, Rue said:

And when I'm done whacking  - he goes after shadow bow...^_^

 

That is a great photo of a magnificent looking cat.  Does he chase laser pointers, too?  Mine love chasing the dot.  :lol:

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I'm jealous of the OP and other folks that are coming back to the violin after a break.  I started from absolute zero (no musical experience at all) at age 43 and just passed the three year point. 

The hardest lesson was the first; I'm thankful that my teacher is a bit older than me.  It took about a month to get past the shaky bow phenomena.  I admit I still feel a bit awkward walking into her home studio and there's a parent there that's younger than I am.  

I recently tried a community orchestra, but the music was simply over my head.  It also revealed a shortcoming that I'll need to solve...my violin education has been 100% practical, zero theory.  Which means I'm lost on terminology and other things that folks that benefited from school music and band training take for granted. 

So my next step will be an adult string ensemble class at a local music school.  I've gotten completely over the nerves of playing in front of others, a plus.

One of the nice side benefits of starting this journey is how much it buoys my spirits while I'm at work and looking forward to practicing and lessons.  Also, I find whatever piece I'm working on will spontaneously play in my head while I'm in the office. :)

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That is awesome! It's that wonderful feeling of both discovery and noticing improvement that keeps me going too! :)

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