Danielle’s DisclaimerPosted: March 5, 2011
I am lucky to have a husband that is truly interested in and supportive of my career. He comes to almost all of my concerts, and even many times to see my students play. He happily listens to me talk about violin-nerd stuff almost everyday. Ryan, in many ways, is immersed in a violin centric world.
Having said this, Ryan is a writer and a math teacher, with no musical background…at all. But he has set this goal for himself, as you know by now, to learn one of the most difficult pieces ever written for the violin in the span of one year. Even violinists that have played for 20 years avoid Paganini like the plague. You can imagine my horror, as a teacher of serious young students that I hold to meticulous standards, when my sweet hubby threw this idea my way.
At first I said no; it went against everything I stand for. I love my husband, but hacking away at a piece that is meant for musicians who have dedicated their entire lives to study seemed almost like sacrilege. After sleeping on the idea, I realized this could actually be brilliant! Knowing what an insightful and humorous writer Ryan is, this would at the very least prove to be entertaining – perhaps even inspirational. I agreed to be his teacher, as long as he practiced at least one hour everyday. He has kept his word. Please take note that I would never start a student on a piece like this normally, nor would I start a student with the kind of exercises you see Ryan doing right off the bat. If he’s going to play Paganini in a year, though, he has to jump right on in. And trust me – he will.