New State, New Year, New Blog

A group of us on a violin Facebook group where I am a member have decided to start a new music blog for adult learners, called Soundpost. This blog will emphasize personal journeys and stories and will be a support for adults learning to play stringed instruments, especially those who started or re-started as adults.

I made my first post to the group today:

But, here I am facing possibly my biggest motivation challenge since I re-started in 2006. Last July I moved from the Boston area where I lived for 18 years, to the San Francisco Bay area in California. This move was motivated by my husband’s job at Google. I was able to transfer my teaching job at an educational non-profit to the California office, but I left my violin/viola teacher, my orchestra, and my chamber music buddies behind, and I miss them dearly.  I feel like I have to re-start all over again. Yet again. But by now I should be a pro at that. Right?

–> Read more on Soundpost.

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8 thoughts on “New State, New Year, New Blog”

  1. Best of luck on the new life in the Bay area. (From one famous bay to another, though . . . hmmmm . . . tough luck there! 😉 I enjoy the mix of things you’ve got going on–I’ve been a physician, a scientist, a science educator, and (oh, so briefly) a violinist. Not a geocacher, though. I like to get out where there aren’t any dots on the map yet. A brief word on the violinist that still resides somewhere inside: I took up the instrument in my late thirties. I’d always loved its sound, and though I had no musical background (the long-running shower solo concert series of course excepted), once I found myself able to produce the desired tones from those blessed, strings, I fell in love. It was to be a short affair, however, as within a year arthritis began to disrupt things. An old injury to my left hand came back to haunt me in a very unpleasant way, and within another year, I was done. The last time I played in public was with my son at his first violin recital–he was very young and extremely nervous with stage fright, so I borrowed an instrument and we did a duet of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, with of course my bow pressure being as little as I could get away with. It will remain one of the highlights of my life. Sorry for the length of this, but I could not but help open up a bit to another whom I think might well understand.

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    1. I’ve played with both of my kids to support them in recitals. And I’ve been there, done that with stage fright! I didn’t really start getting over my own performance anxiety until my late 20’s. I worked on my fear of public speaking for my PhD thesis defense, and made some progress, and that carried over at least a little bit into violin performance.

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      1. To share the irony I’ve thus far withheld–the injury to my hand occurred when–you might think I’m making this up–a piano fell on my hand. I was a senior in high school, and at a church youth meeting (which I was attending more out of interest in a girl than the gospel, I’m afraid) I volunteered to help when our elderly church organist asked that a piano be moved. It was an upright, and I placed myself on the far left end, as one faces the keyboard, pushing it along to where it needed to go. Another boy, whose name I of course recall, along with his face, his hair, his every foible, decided it would be a wonderful thing to lend his muscle, such as it was, and he came over and lifted up underneath the keyboard. Solid geometry being the unforgiving subject that it is, and good ol’ Newtonian mechanics still good for the really big things in life, the piano toppled over, taking me with it. Unfortunately, the piano landed atop my left hand. As you can imagine, it wasn’t a pretty sight. Quite some time and a few surgical procedures later, things were working more or less as God had intended, but it was only because I had never really challenged it that I didn’t know it wouldn’t stand up to what I asked of it once I became enthralled with the violin. In trying to explain my attraction to playing–which, I’ll grant, I never got to where I wanted it to be–I once said that one learns how to speak of love by playing the violin, and that the opportunity, when granted, is a gift from God. I guess that it’s also true, “the Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away”. (Not that I really think any God–yours, mine, or that Flying Spaghetti Monster–would be so capricious as to do so. Or if they did, that they’d be deserving of anything other than a minor role amongst the more insecure members of the Greek pantheon.) Anyway, now you’ve got the bones of the story, at least. Toodles for now.

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      2. Ouch! When I was 11 I shut my left thumb in a car door, severing the tip. I played violin for several months with a bandage/cast/thingy on that thumb. It is still shorter than the other one, but it seems to function for playing the violin. If I had to injure one of my fingers, that is probably the one that is easiest to work around.

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    1. Thanks! There is a group of us on Facebook who started or re-started playing the violin as adults. I’m in the second group. I played as a child, then quit while I was getting my PhD and having kids, then I started again about 9 years ago, and it’s become a big part of my life.

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      1. I always wanted to play the piano. Felt like it would provide a big emotional release for me. Started taking lessons in my 50’s, but I was too much of a perfectionist by then. ‘Bout drove the piano teacher nuts! LOL

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