Saturday, June 18, 2011

DO, a deer..

For Christmas David and my parents gave me this

How awesome is that?!

It's a viola, in case you didn't know.

For a very long time I've been wanting to take up the viola. As a child, I played in the famous Denison Jr High Orchestra. And ever since then, I've felt a hole in the existence of my life that the viola once filled.

No, actually not. A couple years ago, after noticing that my knitting and jewelry making had put me in production mode, I decided that I wanted something just for fun. Something creative to do that had no product. I remembered my viola playing and got fixated.

Since Christmas I'd been looking for a viola teacher. I tried the local music schools. "Viola? No." was always the response. Then I remember a friend who I had helped with some english several years ago. This friend plays the cello in the San Remo orchestra. This friend called another friend from the orchestra (San Remo, not Denison Jr High). And last week, I had my first lesson.

Here's what I've learned so far...

1. in Italy the notes don't have letter names, they are called DO RE MI, etc. Well, not "etc", like we all learned from Maria on the top of the mountain. In Italy TI is not a drink with jam and bread because it is SI which would make it something we do with our eyes when they are open. And SO is not a needle pulling thread because it is SOL, which I guess would make it a patch of hair growing on the chin.

2. Holding a stiff wooden object between your chin and collar bone for any period of time is really really not comfortable.

3. Learning to play the viola after 40 is way harder than learning a language after 40. Well, actually, I don't know that to be true. I learned Italian before I was 40 and all I've learned through my german studies so far is "Was wollen Sie trinken?" Whilst that is an incredibly useful phrase and I find myself saying it a lot, I would not really count it as having learned a language after 40.

So, for now, I will be adding "playing the viola" to that list of things that I did better when I was 10 than I do today. Here are the other things on that list, in case you were wondering:
--the splits
--saying the alphabet while belching
--talking back to authority figures

Next lesson on Friday. I can't wait.

1 comment:

  1. I tried to play the piano when I was young, actually my mother made me do it, and was joyous when she paroled me. I tried it again when I was old. The main difference was that they teach you harmonic theory at the same time so that instead of a bunch of black dots between the lines, they also tell you what the chord is, so you don't have to pay close attention to all the dots. Incredibly good idea. This may not help you play the viola.