The #1 question I've been asked by customers when doing markets is a funny one, at least to me:
"Are you really a violinist?"
I don't think "The Quilting Violinist" would be a very effective marketing tool if I wasn't actually a violinist! So the answer is, of course "yes. I am."
I enjoyed sharing my first quilt a few posts back. So I thought you might like to see my first violin. It goes back a little farther in time than my first quilting class:
Most everyone by now has heard of the Suzuki Method of music education for very young children. But back in the late 1960's, it was brand new in this country. My parents heard that it was being taught at a music school near our home, and thought it might be fun, and maybe I would look cute with a violin (I have to admit they were right about that!).
We were pioneers of the program in this country. We had a wonderful teacher who had, by necessity, studied in Japan with Mr. Suzuki himself. (What an experience that must have been!). The books we used were the first editions available in English, published in Tokyo in 1955. They had been translated directly, and literally, from Japanese, and as a result were largely incomprehensible.
"When theyb become skillful, make them play the exersices as slured below."
Then there's this helpful hint for the "Gavotte" by Lully: "play a little fastery".
But it was really all about the ear training (still is). Note reading didn't come until a few years later. So for mastery of the songs, all the books had this in the back, for practicing at home:
See what it says on the left, below the word "Zen"? Yes, you read it correctly: 33 1/3. I think this belongs in the Smithsonian. When was the last time you saw one of those?
There's a great quote from Mr. Suzuki himself, true in any language:
"Talent is not nature. It is the result of the accumulation of hard work."
I couldn't agree more.
Thanks for taking this walk down Memory Lane with me!