Strings or Strangs

BrianI’ve never lived with someone who plays an instrument—until now. I shouldn’t really say that. My mother was an accomplished pianist, and my sister grew up on a piano, plus our children played instruments a year or two in their youth.

 

What I mean is I’ve never studied someone studying an instrument. Tandy has talked for several years about taking up the violin. Now she’s done it. She researched and bought a violin, found a teacher, and is showing herself the same tenacious, no-detail-left-unthought-of person she’s known for being.Tandy's practice spot

 

Her lesson is 30 minutes once a week, but that is the least of all her learning. What fascinates me is the chemistry of how she goes about absorbing the violin experience. It’s a new lesson on how a learner becomes one with a pursuit.

 

The computer is a marvel of our age; she will hunt up the best YouTubes she can find on a particular song in progress or issue with mechanics. For example, she began to get curious about what the violin can do and what the bow can do. The violin can only do so much, and then there has to be the action of the bow.

 

Tandy's violinThe magic of the bow is in angle, pressure, and smoothness of stroke. How can it elicit from the instrument the instrument’s acoustical potential? Then too, the fingering on the neck takes getting used to on an instrument with no frets.

 

Behind all this is the brain—music central—and then soul, the intangible fabric of the human. There it is: brain, soul, bow, and violin. Watching another human being undertake so much discovery is stimulating. What makes it fun too is seeing her perseverance—literally willing her way to find out what she needs to know.with other learners

 

I haven’t told you anything about the quality of sound she is getting. She’s hit her first plateau, somewhat frustrating while waiting for the next jump in sweetness of notes and consistency in playing a song.

 

watching a pro at Merlefest in NCI enjoy the whole thing, wherever it leads. One good thing is she doesn’t need to buy a fiddle. There’s an old cliché that a violin has strings, and a fiddle has strangs. Isn’t that convenient?

 

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One comment on “Strings or Strangs

  1. Mary Alice Baldwin says:

    The string and strang thing is too funny! And it is so true. Two of my sons took lessons for several years. The older one had a perfect ear, and because of that thought it was a waste of time to learn to read music. He could haer a tune once and play it almost perfectly. He ‘fiddled’ and was hired at a very young age (7 or 8 ?) to play at a
    local gathering of some farmers association. He decided shortly after that performance that he did not like the ‘strang thang’ Tee Hee!

    Mary Alice

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