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First Violin (Lesson)

Last night I gave my first violin lesson since I was in high school. Our friend, Lori, had bought a violin somewhere and wanted to learn how to play. Lucky for me, she had played clarinet before so that meant she could read music. Plus, the fact that she's an adult helps speed along some of the other bits about learning to play an instrument. To top it off, she had bought a beginner's violin book which laid out detailed lessons I could work from, and it had a DVD she could consult later.

Still, I was nervous. I had to gauge how fast we could go through each lesson. I wasn't sure where to start Lori initially with holding the violin or the bow. This is where I used her beginner's book as a big crutch. I've been removed from the teaching, and learning, process enough that some of her questions left me scratching my head for an answer. She asked good questions like, "Will I always play that note on that string? How do you know?"

Primarily, we concentrated on playing notes on the violin via pizzicato, per her book. We made our way through 11 pages worth of exercises, which should keep her busy until we can get together again. I figure at that lesson we'll start with bow work. Of course, I encouraged her to go ahead and try using her bow since we went over how to hold it.

One thing I'll need to adjust is lesson time. Between spending copious amounts of time tuning and re-tuning, consuming some hot beverages, looking at my CD collection, and actually doing the lesson we were engaged for almost 2 hours. I think that's fine, especially for a friend, for a first lesson but I was a little beat afterwards. Plus, there is a limit for how long you can keep your concentration as the student, no matter your age.

We'll see how this goes. I liked doing the lesson with Lori. It was good to finally get to a point in the lesson book where she was playing recognizable songs, even if just by pizzicato.


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