I took violin lessons seriously from age four until six – seriously meaning I practiced two hours a day. My mother, somehow, had the patience to practice two hours a day with all of her children, apparently deriving tremendous pleasure from the activity.
After that I took lessons off and on until I was 17, when I quit playing apart from Christmas morning, when we all play every year. Those childhood lessons are sufficiently engrained in my memory that I can play nearly any piece by ear, even when I fail to remove my violin from its case for months on end. It’s a skill I am grateful for, particularly when this summer it meant I could play along with my siblings and cousins at both grandfather’s funerals, as well as for my mom last Christmas.
Johnny has a violin inherited from my own childhood, and Lily has one I got off of ebay for $50 (including two bows and a case). So far, I haven’t developed the dedication to practice with them every day – or even every week – but my kids love to play. Johnny plays with gusto, but little attention to detail.
Lily instinctively knows how to hold the violin – something I’ve never seen. She loves to play:
And I love her excitement over her performance! At the end of her tuneless, albeit rhythmic, playing, she lifts her violin with great enthusiasm:
And says, “I did it!”
Emma was sad to outgrow the violin Johnny now plays, but Sarah just gave us one for her – all the more incentive to teach them to play actual notes! Thank you, Sarah!!!