December marks six years since I took my very first violin lesson.
An interesting session. It went something
my teacher was, and remains, the super-talented and incredibly patient pro violinist, Anna Hughes.
first, I merely dipped my toe in: I rented a violin. After all, I might hate it
or be impossible to teach; in either case, I could just give up.
neither happened. Novice though I was, every time I picked up the violin to
practice, I felt a lovely, sweet shiver of connection to centuries of great composers
I was dipping my toe into a mighty river of art.
So I committed
to the learning and the practicing. The rental agreement was basically a lease;
after twelve monthly payments, I owned the instrument.
Instant humility. When I arrived for my lessons, the student before me was ten
years old; the one after me was seven. And they were really good. (Anna teaches
the Suzuki Method which starts students young – often as young as four – on small
A happy bonus
has been my new, deep appreciation of professional violinists. I had always enjoyed their
playing – whether virtuosi of
classical works, spirited fiddlers of toe-tapping jigs, or cool individualists
of jazz – but only by learning each baby step of technique myself have I come to be in
awe of their artistry.
turn, has made concert-going thrilling. I’ve watched enthralling live performances
by Itzhak Perlman, Natalie McMaster, Joshua Bell, Luri Lee, Sally Fields, and
And I have come to love the works of brilliant composers who
were new to me, like Florence Price. Listen to her String QuartetNo 2. (Note the ravishing second movement.)
So, that funny
picture I showed you at the top of this post? That was after my first lessons.
Now, six years later, I’m daring to dream like this:
Barbara Kyle is the author of the bestselling
Thornleigh Saga series of historical novels and of
acclaimed thrillers. Her latest novel of suspense is The Man from Spirit Creek. Over half a million
copies of her books have been sold. Barbara has taught
hundreds of writers in her online masterclasses and many have become
award-winning authors. Visit Barbara at https://www.barbarakyle.com/