To start playing the violin again, after a break of around 50 years, has been an interesting experience. There were parallels with riding the bicycle. I found that I had not forgotten how to do it but I wobbled a bit at first. On the violin this took the form of failing to control the bow and playing a bit out of tune – apart from that it was fine! Well, I did remember a few tunes but it took a while to regain “the touch” – to the extent that I ever had it!
So what next? Well after many hours of practising scales and arpeggios and improving my sight reading, I have been considering how to move further ahead. For starters I decided to treat myself to a better violin (with the help of a very generous contribution from Granny-Anne – by way of an early birthday present!). While the old violin was by no means a disaster zone, there was no scope to improve it further and it was time to find out what a good violin would sound like in my hands.
Meanwhile I have been looking at sources of tuition for would-be violinists. I do not rule out one-to-one lessons from a well qualified and recommended teacher but not just yet. If possible I want to avoid the plethora of long-winded and tedious beginners’ books which abound in all the music shops – but perhaps they really are more suitable for absolute beginners, and very young ones at that. I didn’t find anything inspiring by way of online tuition for much the same reasons and the video-based tutors (that I saw) failed to convey any sense of enthusiasm. In stark contrast there are some really inspiring guitar tutors online.
For the time being I am trying to devise a plan of action of my own, which will keep me busy for 2-3 years at least. There needs to be a plan, with milestones along the way, probably loosely based on the ABRSM grading system, because already I have one informal pupil and there may be more -but that’s a story for another day.
I have altered the new violin by increasing the micro-adjusters from one to four and by adding a central chinrest, which seems to suit me better but time will tell.