Standard: Violin, violin, violin, violin!

Today has been a great day, because of 2 things:

  1. I had my first violin lesson with my new teacher.
  2. I am one out of three orchestral leaders for the School Orchestra!

It was a really long violin lesson – normally the 1.5 hours I get is split up into one hour and one half hour. It went over my lunch break too, so I have not had anything to eat since 7:45am this morning. (Dinner is at 6 o’clock!!) This is pretty much torture for my body – no decent food for over ten hours?! It cannot cope without snacks. I also can’t cope with my stomach growling in academic lessons, I have by far the loudest in the world; earthquakes… On top of that, straight after lunch I had Chemistry which lasted for 1.5 hours also. The growling food baby would not let me concentrate on… what was it, chemical reaction rates?

(There is an orange currently sitting on the piano of the room I am typing this in, but unfortunately I cut my nails very recently and cannot puncture the waxy skin.)

My new violin teacher is absolutely lovely. I feel the main differences between her and my previous teacher are focusing on technique, asking myself what I want to achieve from practicing a scale/study/exercise, and just more attention to detail. I’m not saying that my previous teacher did not work on these things, it is all a different approach?

It was really difficult telling my previous teachers that I wasn’t going to be their pupil anymore.

Just think of what it does to their confidence? Particularly if it’s not the first time this has happened to them in recent years…

It’s not quite like sending an older pupil off to music college, where the teacher may feel that they have taught them all that they can. When it’s a student’s decision to stop having lessons with them, the teacher could still want to teach them? It’s almost like you offend their abilities as a musician, ability to work with young people, personality, versatility… such a delicate situation, especially if you’ve been with one for your whole musical ‘career’. My previous piano teacher taught me how to play; I had been with her for nearly 11 years, so you could say we had a really close relationship. Now it feels very strange to not see her regularly, I had been so used to it ever since I was 5 years old. I only pass her on the corridor and smile.

So, my new violin teacher. She mentioned Yehudi Menuhin a few times in her lesson. Have a video…

I think everyone in school was dreading the orchestra seating list. Obviously they want to know if they’ve been ‘promoted’ – string players in particular. It can be a bit of an awkward discussion amongst friends over who is sat in front of who etc, given that we are a tiny school. I don’t know what to think so I don’t say too much, but I know that I feel delighted to be one of the leaders! I’ve never been the leader of an orchestra before, it’s very exciting and very scary. The seating has changed pretty much for everyone since the last concert because of the leavers, making orchestra somehow seem empty? It feels like something brand new.

We have three main school concerts, one each academic term. I assume that Roald* and Joanne* will lead the Christmas and Easter concerts and me for the Summer? I haven’t a clue, that’s just the order that the names were written!

Anyway I must go practice the basics of playing violin – i.e. open strings – and hopefully find the will to do some Maths homework.

Thanks for reading!

(* – not their real names.)


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