Another good commentPosted: July 19, 2011
I got a nice comment today that poses a question that I’ve asked myself directly quite a bit and indirectly on the blog a few times. Here’s the comment from Lilibeth:
Interesting. I might not recall correctly so please correct me if I’m wrong.
When you were starting this journey someone criticized your methodology saying you were skipping steps that were important to building a good violinist’s foundation and you replied that you didn’t intend to become a violinist, you just wanted to play a certain piece when the year has passed. It was all just an experiment.
I think it’s been around six months now, and I wonder if your position has changed a little or not. What I mean is that the violin is an easy instrument to fall in love with (in my experience), even though learning to play it especially after already being an adult and without having prior musical training will most likely be a difficult and sometimes even frustrating experience.
How do you feel about that “sound box” at this point? Do you really think you won’t end up being a violinist? Are you already one? At what moment do you become one? Do you think you’ll be able to give it up when the experiment is over? I know these are a lot of questions. I’m just a curious follower.
This begs the question: am I a musician? To be honest, I definitely don’t feel like a musician, and am not exactly used to calling myself one. Before this little project I would answer the question “are you a musician” in the negative at countless parties, dinners, get-togethers, whatever. Whenever I was out with Danielle, that question would of course inevitably come up. Now, I simply avoid the question and use the opportunity to discuss my blog to anyone interested in listening, but I don’t really know the answer. Being with Danielle and working at The Colburn School have truly made me a non-musician in a musician’s world and now it’s possible I’m becoming…wait for it…ONE OF THEM!!! It’s like Danielle’s converting me to her religion. Weird.
Either way, I’m probably not there yet. I’m just a guy with a blog. When will I become an actual bona fide musician (if ever)? I don’t know. Danielle jokingly said that when I can play thirds perfectly I can call myself a violinist. I may be in for a long wait.
But to directly answer Lilibeth’s question above, I wouldn’t say that I never intended to be a violinist, only that it wasn’t the direct goal. I have always thought it was going to be interesting how much of an actual violinist I would be at the end of this shebang. Let’s just say that I play the piece very well. And this probably isn’t going to happen, but let’s say I play it at a level that a “normal” violinist would play it. If you saw that video out of the blue on youtube you might think “oh, that guy’s a violinist.” In a way you’d be right, but there will be some serious holes. First, I don’t have to play with anyone else, so throw me in a chamber group or orchestra? Yeah right. Second, I won’t be able to sight read, or even read music very well at all since I’m really just memorizing everything. As for music theory? Forget about it. However good my playing of the Paganini is at the end of this year, there will still be some holes to fill, and it will be interesting to see what they are.
As to whether or not I’ll continue with the violin after this year is up, I can only say that I’d be a pretty big idiot not to.