That’s right, ladies and gentlemen; yours truly has taken it upon herself to learn the intricacies of the violin. It’s a tricky process, to be sure, but there are lots of helpful tutorials on the internet–some teachers even post full lessons online. The point is that there are tons of resources available if you just know where to look.
Why have I taken this endeavor upon myself? Well, it’s difficult to explain everything that went into my decision, but I suppose you could say the driving reason was that I had the opportunity to take lessons when I was younger, and I didn’t take it. Back then I thought music was divided into two categories, boring stuff written by old dead guys and pop fluff written by people who were just plain strange, and I wanted nothing to do with either of those genres. Fortunately I’ve discovered that there is a third category, awesome stuff that not nearly enough people appreciate (this includes Doctor Who soundtracks). Now that I am aware of this third category, I can appreciate musical instruments (and the violin in particular) a little more. I know I will face some learning challenges as an adult learner, but honestly, I don’t really care. I just want to play.
The good news, though, is that for the month I have been playing, it has not been as difficult as many people would have you believe. The theory behind the violin itself is fairly simple; the trick is in playing it enough times so it sounds right. I would say that the hardest thing I’ve encountered so far has been in tuning. Violin strings have a peculiar stubbornness all their own, and you have to be careful not to tighten too much, or you’ll break the string. I haven’t broken any strings yet, but I did manage to snap my bridge in two. However, the new bridge makes my violin sound so much better than the old bridge did, so I would say it worked out in the end.
If I could just with some cliche encouragement for anyone who might be reading this–don’t listen to the people who say you’re too old to learn something new. You have to believe you can learn it in order to actually be productive, or you just be like me and be too stubborn to care that adult learners are sometimes slower and do it anyway–whatever works for you.