Monday, July 23, 2018

Hobbies: Violin

playing an instrument as an adult

violin lessons as an adult
Striped Tee// White Jeans

Last winter, I started taking tennis lessons. I was a total beginner and loved the added exercise and learning something new. It was a bit of a step outside my comfort zone! I'm a believer in being a lifelong learner. I love learning and always want to know more.

When I was in third grade, at 8 years old, I started playing the violin. At my elementary school, we would have lessons several times a week! My parents were big supporters of this because my grandfather was a musician and played the violin. 

I ended up playing the violin all the way through high school graduation. I also took up piano lessons along the way. I was never 1st chair or anything fancy, but I could pick up my violin and play most things with ease. In high school, we played very difficult pieces and our orchestra was known for being extremely talented. We played everything from intense classical pieces to showpieces for our high school's yearly musical. 

When I reached college, the only time I have picked up a violin since is during the holidays when we do our annual sing along and in the past 5ish years, I haven't picked it up at all. 

So, this year, I decided to start back up with violin. I'm a huge fan of classical music in general! Being able to play an instrument and read music is something I value and think is important. Now, at 28 years old, I play for fun, but I also play in hopes that this type of thing is exercising my brain and will help to keep me on my toes (this is such a great article on playing an instrument as an adult)! 
playing a musical instrument as an adult
My violin is extremely special to me, too. It was my grandfather's (on my mom's side) and when I was old enough/big enough to start using Pappy's violin, my parents had it refurbished and that is the violin I play today. It's extremely old- an antique and has such a smooth sound. 

I take a 45-minute lesson once a week and I would say I practice about 2+ hours each week. It's very casual and there is no pressure.

Right before my first lesson, I pulled my violin out of the case and pulled up some music. I was absolutely shocked by how much I was able to play. The ability to read music never left me and I was easily able to pick up a piece and start playing. I wasn't good by anyone's measure, but I was relieved to know that I wouldn't have to start from the very beginning. 

If you know anything about string instruments, you start off with 'tapes' that mark the finger positions of your left hand so you are able to get the notes correctly and I was so happy that I didn't even need to put tapes back on my violin! 

With my lessons, I focus on getting everything perfect and correctly before I move on. It is important to me that I grasp both reading music and truly understanding everything as well as being able to actually play it. 

We started on level 1 books and in only a few weeks, I was so happy with my progress. I am now working on a classic: Pachelbel's Canon in D. I played this in early high school and remember loving it and excelling with it, so I am working hard to perfect this one. This is a great piece, too, because you can start out with an easier version and then move on to much more complex versions to build on your skill. 

Over a year ago, I wrote about how I took a calligraphy class and loved doing calligraphy as a way to kind of unplug and reduce stress (a bit like an adult coloring book). When I play the violin, this is a very similar feeling. It forces me to unplug, focus, learn, and it's extremely calming. 

Do you play an instrument and if so, do you keep up with it?


Ann W said...

I played a clarinet in HS but have not tried since. I struggled back then to move my fingers correctly and I truly think I was LAST seat so I don't even want to try again now! LOL!!

Casey said...

I took piano lessons as a kid, but didn't stick with it. I also played the clarinet and bass clarinet in 6-8th grades. I've wanted to take up piano again since college. I still have my books and have been looking into getting a digital piano or portable keyboard.

Ann@Virginiarosa said...

Request: video!

Alex B said...

I am actually about to begin my master’s degree in music performance! I love seeing adults learning music because I really believe that it’s a language that reach all walks of life! You should consider joining a community orchestra if you have spare time in your week- keep up the good work!


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