My favorite time of year as a violinist is the time immediately before Christmas. There are a couple reasons for this.
First, it seems to me that the most interesting amateur orchestra concerts occur at Christmas. I don’t know why that is. Maybe I just prefer listening to (and playing) music with which I am already familiar. Maybe I enjoy hearing new variations on favorite songs. Maybe I just enjoy the enthusiasm students show when they play songs they’ve sung for years.
Second, the songs and carols just seem to be ingrained in my fingers. I hate to admit it, but there was a time that my instrument lay unused for almost a decade. When I picked it up again, the songs were still there in my fingers. My wife thought that I was reading music, and walked into the room to find me with my eyes closed standing next to the open violin case playing and improvising. Some of what flowed from the instrument had been parts of pieces I’d played years before. Some were improvisations produced on the spot. But they were not only recognizable, they were pretty. When I’m just too busy…when I’m sad…when I’m frustrated it is the music of Christmas that returns to me again and again.
So, I’ll play this year. I’ll listen this year. I’ll enjoy the songs for my 57th Christmas as much as I did for my tenth — when violin was still a new and wonderful mystery to me. I hope you enjoy the music of the season as well.
Well, back to the Violin Student Central website.
Remember, we don’t work the violin, or struggle the violin, or suffer the violin…the verb we use is play!