It’s a piano…it’s a flute…it’s a violin!

This post sort of parallels the previous post I put up, “Love the music you play” because part of this takes place at the same time as the stuff in that post, and they both end up at the same point in time, which was when I started using game music as a tool to learn how to arrange, record, and produce covers.

Now, you guys have heard me talk a good bit about the piano now, and yet…my avatar is clearly playing the violin. What a way to misrepresent myself, right? Well, no, not exactly.

I started off on the piano, that’s true. Then, in 5th grade, I picked up the violin in school. My memory’s a little hazy, but if you’re interested in the story, this is pretty much how it went.

We were all rounded up one day and led to the music room. At my school, all students had to pick an instrument (though I think visual arts were also an option), and it could be whatever you wanted. Anything from strings to winds to brass to percussion. We were given some time out of the day to do a little exploring–give all the instruments a test drive, if you will.

At the time, I was pretty enthralled with the flute. I really wanted to play it, so I made a beeline for the wind instruments. Picked up a flute. And could not, for the life of me, get it to make any sound.

We were pretty much left to our own devices. Teachers weren’t really there to teach us how to play at this point. I think their role was more to observe and make sure we didn’t destroy the instruments.

billy-joe-guitar-smashing-o_ratxpa
Not gonna lie…it hurts a little to watch this…

After what was probably a while of trying and sucking balls at the flute–I think I got it to squeak a grand total of four times–I wandered around until I found the strings section. And…well, there ya go. 5th grade string ensemble is where I learned to play the violin.

Just like learning the piano, the beginning was painful. My neck and shoulder hurt from holding the instrument up. My fingers hurt from the strings. And I’d imagine my parents’ ears hurt from listening to my screeching.

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Staaaahp

Still, all through middle school and high school, I played in our school orchestras. Things weren’t quite as intense with the violin. Most of my violin-ing came from these large and small-ish group lessons. No Suzuki method, just whatever the orchestra instructors told us to play. Sometimes we’d have fun with songs from movies like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Phantom of the Opera, and Indiana Jones, but generally, it was classical stuff.

For the most part, it was a time for me to hang out with my friends. It was a fun class overall, and there was extremely little pressure to do well. An easy A, in other words.

I took only three private lessons before deciding I’d rather not deal with lessons for both the violin and the piano, and I dropped private violin lessons. Epically stupid of me, but what’s done is done.

stupid
Yes. Yes I am. 

Once I graduated from high school, I didn’t touch the violin again for the next five years. This was my personal “dark ages” for music. Not a whole lot to say for this period, it’s pretty boring, music-wise. Anyway, once I’d found that spark for music again, I picked up the violin again shortly after returning to the piano. It was a lot of hard work to relearn it, and though my roommates at the time told me otherwise, I’m pretty sure my playing was atrocious.

I didn’t have my old orchestra sheets to learn from, and everything else I had was for the piano. My “practice sessions” came in the form of a YouTube play-along list that I put together. Anything I liked that sounded easy enough went on to this list. This probably isn’t the best approach to learn/re-learn an instrument since it doesn’t really include exercises that emphasize techniques, but eh…*shrugs* Gotta start somewhere.

Almost every day, I’d rush home from the lab and play. Gradually that playlist got longer and longer.

So began the road to music recovery, and to taking the next step…recording. More of that in the next music post!

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