Virtuo-no!

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My love-affair with music is a long going roller coaster. It has its ups and downs and loop-de-loops, but at the end of the day, it leaves me with such a rush of love and adrenaline that I would do it all over again. My experience with music goes way back to when I was a tot, barely learning what anything was in the world. Like most children are wont to do, I sang and danced. This wonderful thing called music (I called it “mookiis”) was introduced to me at a young age. At age two I was introduced to Metallica and allegedly bobbed my head to the hard rock beats.

In my family, the creative traits seem to be hereditary, either being good in art or music and for some of my relatives, they are blessed with both. The guitar is the main instrument that my family is gifted in playing…I seemed to have skipped that gift. Or, I seem to have shunned the instrument because of my initial experience with it.

In grade school I took part in the guitar club where the music teacher would teach the young students how to play said instrument. Writing this in hindsight, I would like to add that this teacher probably wasn’t “a mean witch lady” that just disliked me. No, I won’t blame my experience on her, although her ignorance was something key in what happened. The issue was that I was the only left handed one in the group which meant I had to learn everything she was teaching the other kids backwards. It was so frustrating when I struggled to keep up, and her lack of knowing how to teach me didn’t help. I was basically teaching myself how to play the guitar during the sessions which were difficult to do when I’m playing a ‘G chord’ while everyone else is on the ‘F minor’ chord. It had gotten to the point where the teacher didn’t want me to participate in the recitals because I wasn’t at the same level as her right-handed students. Being eight years old and isolated in that way was heartbreaking; needless to say I didn’t continue with the guitar after that.

In my middle school years, I was taking private piano lessons. The teacher was a family friend and gave my mom a discounted price so we decided to give it a go. I am so sorry Mom, for putting you through those three years. The piano was fun until I had to practice at home which, honestly, I wasn’t interested in doing. To this day I can play chopsticks, Greensleeves and the Rugrats theme song. Something else that had stuck was transcribing music but I’ll mention that later.

 

At the same time I was taking piano lessons, I was in my school’s orchestra. Let the angel chorus sing hallelujah now because it was here where I found my niche! The “orchie-dorkie” years are looked back as my fondest and most fun memories to date. During this time I played the violin for four years, four wonderful years. Since the left hand is mainly used in playing the violin, I picked it up quite quickly, becoming the first chair in my first year of playing it. The friends I made in orchestra have proven to be life-long friends, even to this day. I loved everything about the violin; how it sounded, how it looked, how it felt to play it, even practicing with it was fun. The previous attempts at musical talent had finally kicked in with my newfound love. As I grew into it in my high school years, I had learned that I could listen to something, say a song on the radio. I would listen to it over and over again and then match the tones in the song to the tones in the violin. I hadn’t known this was actually a thing called ‘transcribing’ until a few years after I had stopped.

Years later, now in the present, I still enjoy returning to my beloved violin from time to time and flexing the old fingers to dance along its neck while it sings with a velvety vibrato.


 

In response to today’s prompt from the Daily Post: Strike a Chord

Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.

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About ClarissaG

I write what I'm passionate about. I believe in the therapeutic process of writing because it keeps me sane and motivated. This blog is made up of poems, narratives and other musings.
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6 Responses to Virtuo-no!

  1. I blew my mind when the first thing I saw after clicking the link to this great piece was your violin. That is the instrument my mum allowed me to learn from a teacher (of piano) rather than her.
    I played “by ear”–I have only learned from your piece here that it’s known as transcribing.
    Thanks for the memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. clcouch123 says:

    The title invites the reading from the start. The narrative’s engaging. Your odyssey through music is a treat. Such winning craft in the words: such earnest sharing through them. My parents were musical. My younger brother works in entertainment. He can play a dozen instruments or so. My sister plays the piano and has served as music director at her church. I love to sing and to conduct. Late-discovered joys, after years of struggling with the trumpet, which I played well but did not enjoy. I suppose many who are reading your work here are reacting with their own music stories. Thanks for sharing your story and encouraging us to recall our own.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ClarissaG says:

      Thank you! I was quite proud with the title, being the furthest thing from a virtuoso with all the jumping around instruments. I feared I had “over achieved” with the prompt since it only called for one particular experience but I couldn’t help myself. Everyone has a story to share! So lovely to hear of music being so wide spread, it’s like a language of love all its own.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Virtuo-no! | sarahamelia_blog

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