Saturday, June 5, 2010

Today marks One Year of Violin!

I started this blog June 22, 2009 to record my journey as donna con il violino blu.
It's been a wonderful experience so far, even with its many ups and downs.. for no journey is without this.

I can't believe how lucky i am to have some wonderful people by my side who enrich this experience for me.
They are all with me in some form, providing me with the positive encouragement i need and they each do this in many ways.

I have not made mentioned thus far here within this blog, that i was very much inspired by a Virtuoso Violinist who shall remain nameless and on meeting with this person last year, and after having played for me, for what was literally a few minutes they re-ignited my desire to seriously consider pursuing this.

I had always wanted to try the violin many years ago, however back then (realistically) i did not have the time to dedicate myself to trying it out, nor the funds at my disposal.. (i'm not too sure if the latter is still the case, as up till now this venture has cost a small fortune and is ongoing).

So on my return home i literally walked into my local music shop and bought myself a violin.

A week later i attended a function, and there we were entertained by 2 musicians, one a piano accordionist and the other a violinist. I approached the lady violinist (Olga) and asked her whether she gave lessons. Much to my disappointment she did not, however she did give me the name of an older gentleman who was a restorer of violins who could perhaps help me out with a few basic things to get me started. The cogs had been set in motion and i felt this was definitely something which has presented itself at the right time.. in my mind i say to myself, this is meant to be.

I immediately set about contacting this older gentleman (Spyros).. he introduced me to my violin. He showed me how to hold Her, explained Her workings and parts, helped me hold the bow, how to apply the rosin as well as showing me many of the books in his collection all to do with the violin.

Spyros and i instantly connected, however he did and still does tell me that i am 'too old to be starting the violin' and learning this instrument should be started when one is aged 5!
That's ok.. i just smile and am thankful for what positive encouragement he gives me by way of his comments when i visit with him at least once a month to play for him.

Olga & Spyros.. Spyros started violin as a young adult after meeting with and being inspired by Olga and her playing the violin on board the boat trip that took one month to come to Australia, for Olga and Spyros both migrated from Romania to start their lives here. 
A few months back Olga was kind enough to invite me into her home,  someone she had only met with briefly at a function.  She was very generous to offer up her time to listen to me play and also introduced me to the very beginnings of the Kreutzer No 2.
She also performed Czardas by Monti.. i was left speechless!
There was a moment there when i looked over at Spyros whilst Olga played and he had tears in his eyes.
I had a wonderful day with them both.. it was as though they had opened a window, making me privy to a world they shared in when they were younger and played music together. 
I glimpsed momentarily what it was like for them, as they described what life was like on board that ship which took forever to reach this foreign land.. with only the music to lift their spirits.. for the tears i saw in the eyes of this man i know as Spyros as he listened to Olga play Czardas represented the great ocean crossing and memories of a distant time.
Olga and Spyros remain great friends till this day, they do not see each other often but keep in touch regularly via telephone.
For me it was so nice to have my journey in violin link us together, and this day spent in their company, sharing the beautiful music of the violin i will cherish forever. 

Getting back to my beginnings here.. Let me make mention that Spyros is a staunch realist, in reminding me each time i visit that i am too old to be learning this instrument - perhaps in view of the limitations he himself faced learning as an older student. Nevertheless after many months of getting to know each other, and hearing my progress on the instrument, he payed me the highest form of encouragement by gifting me one of his personal violins which he has had in his possession for 40 years - i will never forget Him for this very kind, thoughtful and generous gesture and more importantly faith he showed in me to pursue this dream of playing the violin. He placed this His violin into my hands, it is a 'baton' and i will do my best to honour him and be the violinist he always longed to be.
I named his violin 'faith' as all violins should bear a name and whenever i feel like it's all too hard, i remind myself that Spyros has faith in me... and his words to me that i 'am brave' giving this a go.

I still needed a teacher however and a few weeks later during a conversation with a friend Graeme, i reveal that i did something crazy and purchased a violin and am wanting to learn to play it. He tells me that his grand daughter is learning the violin and the conversation goes on. He mentions there is a violin teacher who is attached to one of the restaurants/reception venues he frequents. I make my enquiries and my investigations finally lead me to my Maestro.

Within a few days i am booked in to my first lesson which began Friday 5 June, 2009.

Yesterday when i attended lesson, it just slipped my mind to let Maestro know that i have been coming to him for one year now. Perhaps it was because i felt poorly during lesson and needed to focus all my energy on maintaining concentration and attention to what was being covered.
We spoke about many things all violin, and of course we are focused on moving forward despite not being given anything new to practice, for i believe i already have enough to keep me busy namely..

*Vivaldi Spring in part
*K2 which needs refining
*K9 & K13 has not moved at all from lack of practice
*Grade 2 pieces from the AMEB
*finally a piece from Riverdance

There are those of course who are there no matter what!
My mum and dad constantly ask how i am doing. Initially i had not told them or indeed anyone in my circle about starting violin. My plan was to surprise my father at his 80th birthday and play Happy Birthday for him.. i told my Maestro that i would be satisfied with just being able to cope with that, and this would indeed be an achievement for me also adding if this was all i could do with it, i would be satisfied! I had started June 5 and i had till September 1 to accomplish this. I had found the initial lessons extremely difficult. This instrument felt so foreign to me, even just to hold it in my arms let alone play any recognisable melody. Needless to say September quickly came and i managed to play for my dad, mistakes and all! - He was astonished as were others in my immediate family.
Each time i visit with mum & dad now, it is always with my violin in tow, and no matter how terrible i sound, to them it all sounds wonderful!

There have been many others who have touched my journey here up till now, and they are with me in their own special way offering support.
Whether it be via a face to face conversation or yelling at me from over the back fence.
Discussing progress or lack thereof and its difficulties with another beginning older student over a coffee before lesson, or simply receiving comments here over the internet by someone, unknown to me, that has simply taken some time to read and respond.
A neighbour, who as we water our gardens, makes mention that i have improved , to having someone watch and listen via skype who is on the other side of the world.
Even those that go out of their way telling me they despise the sound of 'the thing' and would like nothing better than to either set the 'DARN THING' on fire or throw it under the wheels of an oncoming semi-trailer, to watching the Rottweiler nextdoor head for his kennel when i start practice - it's all good!

I remember being told - you need a good sense of humour to learn the violin, for in the beginning which is where i am, it truly is a vile-in!

One year has passed.. i can say it has been nice to spend some time here telling of my beginnings.
Who would have thought that 12 months down the track i would be in possession of not one violin but four!
Who knows what other surprises are in store for donna con il violino blu

a presto
e sempre
dal cuore
donna con il violino blu

donna con il violino blu © 2010 patricia vannucci


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful story & such a beautiful photo.
It is so good to read the progress of your journey so far. Such a short journey too
You will be able to look back on this in years to come. So will others which makes us very lucky.
Your progress has been astounding & I cant wait to hear more. You have put so much effort into this journey & you deserve high praise. Dont ever think of stopping. Thank you for shareing this. Laurence

Anonymous said...

Happy One Year Anniversary.

I must admit the year has flown - but wow, how much have you acheived?!?!?!?!?!?

I had an impression that it was actually the end of June, rather than the begining......oh well - just think what torture - oops I mean - fun ;) I will put you through in the next year!

See you at tomorrows lesson!

Vov (a.k.a. Maestro)

violinista blu said...

Laurence you are very kind and supportive with your comments here - thank you!
It is a visual and written diary of sorts.. it will be as you say nice to look back on.
If i could turn my bow into a magic wand and fast forward 10 years from now.. i wonder what sound i will hear coming from that little wooden instrument we call violin.. if the blog is still happening i will have to rename it
The Old Lady with the Blue Violin.
Thank you for following and for your encouragement.

violinista blu said...

Hi VOV and welcome to my house of 'pain & torture'.. yes, your words not mine!
I giggle as i respond to you here.. firstly, it was surreal to have you leave comment - thank you, means so much to have you follow here.
Secondly, i remember (with fondness) last weeks lesson i actually questioned why it was that i am doing this (learning violin) as it was HELL i.e. being hard & i must be crazy!
You replied - "you've picked the right instrument!"

Unlike the notes of the musical variety which i am poor at reading, the very least i can do is leave a heartfelt and sincere note thanking you for your excellent tutelage, guidance and mentoring in all things violin over the last year.. for allowing me a glimpse into your world… a world which i long to be part of in being able to make the beautiful music of the violin!
If you say ”i have achieved much” it is that i owe it to your expertise in your field and your abilities as a teacher in being able to pass what you know on – a combination that i’m sure all your students benefit from having you as their teacher.

Vov, I have your former instrument in my possession now – that’s a good start!
She already knows how to do Her part – all i have to do now is learn to do mine.
Thank you for helping me i feel so fortunate & honoured to have you as my Maestro!

PS.. Let the next twelve months of torture.. oops.. i mean fun commence!