I think it was in 1st grade that we started the general music class. Then, in 4th grade, it became a bit more specialized and I started school violin lessons. Since, for the purposes of reading at a distance, I can’t really see, it was a challenge to come up with a solution. Today, the solution would probably involve a computer. I think I tried everything, including the kitchen sink but nothing worked.
These trials and errors are in no particular order since now they kind of run together. A special music stand that had a manually mobile arm on it was tried but that didn’t really work; moving a regular immobile music stand wasn’t effective. Then enlarged music was tried, first enlarged music with a foam back to make sure it didn’t fold over was tried. Then, plain enlarged music, without the foam was tried, but both foam and no foam were unsuccessful. I don’t blame anyone for having me try all these, after all, it wasn’t anyone’s fault technology hadn’t caught up. I finally just memorized the music. Some of it’s probably still rattling around my cabeza, it’s just that the time spiders keep weaving their webs. I wish I could show you some of the stuff I had, talk about dinosaurs. Some of my stuff was as big as some dino’s.
I was able to play the pieces in the school concerts we had and I stayed with everyone else’s playing. I also have an extremely good ear and memory. It seems to be generally true, across all disabilities, when one sense is diminished or absent; the others’ take over and become more acute. I remember I had to play Pachelbel Canon a half-dozen times or so over a number of years.
I believe I started taking private lessons sometime in 5th grade. I was referred to Patty, my teacher for the private lessons, by my school music teacher. He was a very nice man. You should’ve seen the violin I started on, it was tiny. In the lessons I was taught from the Suzuki music books. The books also had demonstration cassette tapes with them. This wasn’t something strictly for me, it was for everyone.
Patty’s students had recitals too, they were at the Everhart museum. Once, I remember I tripped and broke the bridge on my violin but luckily I was able to use a replacement for the recital. All the recitals went fairly well. There was an interesting graduation ceremony from each book. One had to either play the songs from the book a lot or play some of your songs at a nursing home. I chose the nursing homes, though I seem to recall at least once where I attempted the other. At Patty’s house, where I took the lessons, she had a cat named Autumn and even though my mother loudly protested to me that she didn’t like cats, she was always petting and scratching it.
A lot of the time, it was insisted that I use a metronome to keep time and eventually, I wanted to something violent with the metronome. That’s all for now folks and thanks for reading.