Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The violin is a very old instrument that is still pleasing thousands everywhere. My first violin was a rented one for $5.00 per school year in the 5th grade. I had the same violin teacher from 5th through nineth grade, Mr. Harold Henderson. He was kind, patient and had a sense of humor. I had wanted to take piano lessons but my Dad insisted on the violin. I learned to read simple notes of the scale, placing my fingers where the teacher had put paper circle reinforcers for Do-Re-Mi under the strings. My first learned song was a practice piece called "Ting-a-Ling. It sounded Chinese and was a piece I have never forgotten. I rented violins all through my school career. In high school I was First Violinist in the All-High Orchestra. A very prestigous position. My Mom had a blue Zircon Ring that sparkled in the light and she let me borrow it so it could be seen on my right hand when I played in concert. She was very proud of me. While in High School, my brother George visited from his travels and he brought along a beautiful violin that was a copy of an Antonio Stratavarius violin. The tone was rich, the wood regal and he gave it to me. He also played. That was in the 50's and I still have it today. It has a very beat up case but when you open it, it is lined with Red Velvet. I treasure it as my brother died in an accident at the tender age of 42. Later on, my husband bought a student's violin for me while we were attending a fiddler players convention in the Catskills. It is the one in the picture attached and hangs on the wall near the piano. I learned to play by ear very early on and once I heard a song, I could play it. I bought 45 rpm records in the 50's for example: Shubert's Ave Maria and Swedish Melody. I also played Never on a Sunday on Guitar and violin, not at the same time- HA! I learned to play the piano, banjo, mandolin, harmonica all by ear. I play the piano almost every day, the sound is very soothing to me. I will write about the Amazing Grace Carved Plaque in the next post.