Monday, February 20, 2006

I Remember

Her eyes were so gentle. She asked me what I remembered and I shyly said, "Not much."

I stood before her, feeling rather naked. I had my case open, my instrument lay in the case, on the plastic bag it came in. And I made the bow taut.

I had no idea what to expect.

But Sandi reassured me that my memory would remember for me. She asked me to hold my violin and I placed it under my chin and held it, just as my first teacher had taught me. Sandy said, "Good!"

And apparently I remembered enough of the basics that she and I moved on in our lesson.

Did I remember the names of the strings? "Yes! E, A, D, G!"

But I had a bad A string from trying to tune my instrument. She replaced my string for me while telling me stories.
Sandi Poindexter played examples from Euroclassical to Indian to Arabic to Latin...pulling her bow across her strings and vibrating her left hand for flourishes that I could not grasp. Subtle finger vibrations make these beautiful lilts happen.

Sandi is confident I will get there, no problem.

My greatest moment of anxiety happened when she asked me to read the notes and play at the same time.

Quarter notes to a basic metronome beat. Slowly.

the names
of the
the drawing
the bow
across the corresponding

That exercise was painful, humbling.

She encouraged me, though. Praising me for what the 9 year old in me remembered. And then we ended up our lesson with an improv in G.

My nails inhibited me throughout the lesson, so as in river rafting, I will need to trim them so the tips of my fingers connect with the strings on the lovely neck of my beautiful violin.

She and I played the G string together. It is the deepest voice of the 4 open strings on the violin. After a few draws of the bow she improved just a bit...only on the G string. Her fingers created beautiful sounds from the minutest adjustments.

And then my turn. I practiced placing my fingers along the neck, playing with the pressure of my fingers on the fingerboard and with putting pressure on the bow. Nearer the bridge meant the notes would sound louder. Futher from the bridge meant the notes would sound softer.

I filed this minutia away.

I was making music for the first time in 24 years. My anxiety about being able to do it was gone. It was about uncovering what my body already knows.

My instrument is a Suzuki student violin I purchased on my 30th birthday to encourage me back to music. I paid it off in about 2 years. And now I will play her and practice with her. And Sandi assures me that my practice will lead me to whatever I wish to have in my repetoire.

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