I have been following the release of Living By Ear by Mary Rowen, and thinking about music. She suggested we post videos of ourselves singing. Ahem. You really don’t want to hear me sing! So I will entertain you musically with a short tale (it starts out sad but has a happy ending.)
I took up the #violin in January, 2010. Tragedy had struck our family when we lost my husband’s two wonderful brothers in 2009. The younger of the two, who had died very suddenly, had in his house, among many other truly bizarre treasures, a violin. My husband brought me the violin as a parting gift from his brother. At my request, he bought me 10 violin lessons at the local music school.
My teacher could not have been more patient. I could not have been more devoted to the task, in memory of a man stolen from life so young.
And frankly, I sucked. There is no other, nicer word for it.
Fast forward four years. I kept at it, but simply could not learn. My family averted their ears, my friends mounted a campaign. I used the howling sound as a weapon against the uncooperative downhill neighbor who lit fires in his fire-pit on spare-the-air days, and in the midst of the drought. I screeched it day and night. I never got past page 37 of the beginner book. But I did learn to play Ode to Joy. So I played it over and over and over. Ode Annoy, it became.
On my last visit to the music school I saw that they had devoted an entire wall to an adorable-looking instrument: a
#Ukulele. “Is that hard to learn?” I asked the ever-patient and rapidly-aging teacher. “No,” she said, “I learned it last week.” No, I didn’t clobber her with the now sorry-looking violin. “Can I learn?” She paused….”I don’t see why not.”
So I have now taken two lessons on the ukulele, and can successfully play Help Me Rhonda, Surfer Girl, and California Girls. I would video it and post it, but you might find out where I live and come with pitchforks and torches. But I think I sound pretty good for two weeks! The one thing that’s really hard, though: I can’t annoy the neighbors–the uke just isn’t as loud or piercing as the violin. I think I’m going to ask for an amplifier this year..
Mary Rowen says
Go Claudia! I’m so sorry to learn about your husband’s brothers–how terrible–but am glad you’re becoming a ukelele master! Yes, by all means, get an amp! By the holiday season, you’ll be ready to turn it up to Eleven!
Get your ear plugs now!
Wish we all could be California Ukulele-Playing Girls!
Thanks! (The East Coast Girls are hip!)
Kudos to you for even trying. I visited by cousin yesterday and after lunch and the joyful perusing of family pictures, she pulled out a microphone, flipped on the tv and we were in karaoke land sans the cocktails. Her voice is great, of course. Chose Crazy, the Patsy Kline version. Pitiful! I plan on taking up the piano again . . . stay posted.
We can form a band! They’ll pay us big money to stop! Keep writing…
Heidi Swedberg says
You go girl!