Thursday, March 04, 2010

Camptown Races

For those of you who were concerned, apparently Aragorn the Cat is in good health and is losing weight for no discernible reason. Wish it were me!

After I published the last post, I recalled the other thing I'd wanted to put in here. I didn't have pictures at that point so I decided to just forget about it until the next month or next blog posting went in. Here it is, a new month and a new blog post! Time for news!

After that buildup, you'd think it was something really special, right? Well, it's special to me but I don't know if it would be special to anyone else. Wanna see my new toy?

Ain't she purty? Her name is Vi and she's a viola. She lower and hopefully not as squeaky as her cousin the violin.

Here's Vi's story: Friend Husband had been all excited about the girls learning to play guitar and had me looking at guitars on Craigslist and everywhere else. I was doing it but probably not as quickly as he'd like. He finally found one and bought it and I expressed sadness that we hadn't encouraged the girls to play the violin or viola, each lovely additions to the home music circle. Secretly, I wanted to be able to play with a viola again. I figured that I could play with it when whatever girl was not practicing. Friend Husband, being the astute person he is, discerned this and told me to buy myself a viola. I didn't think he really meant it (I mean, really). He saw me looking online one evening and said, "Hey, that one looks good...order that one." So I did. And now it's here.

And it's mine, mine, all mine!

Of course, should a child wish to learn to play it, I would be happy to share, but for now, no one has evinced an interest in viola, so it's mine.

And why a viola and not its better-known and more popular cousin, the violin? Well, I did mention that violins squeak, right? They do. It can be horrid. Violas can also squeak but it takes more work than a violin does. Violas are 5 tones (octaves, I think) lower than a violin. They sing alto, like I do. I like them. And one glorious year (I believe it was 1978), I got to play the viola at school. They found me a school viola, which I practiced lovingly and gave up only reluctantly when I had to move on to junior high. Sigh. Mother was never one to pay for extras so that was the end of my instrumental music career. Such as it was. Friend Husband is a great deal more enabling of my strange little quirks and wishes. I am now in the process of finding a teacher to teach me how to play it.

At first I was totally flummoxed. I mean, I can sort of read music and I remembered how to hold the viola and the bow, but the thing was out of tune (of course) and I didn't even know what the strings were supposed to be to be able to tune it. After a bit of Internet research, I found out what the names of the strings were as well as a general idea of where to put my fingers to play different notes. Hot diggety dog! I was in business now.

So far, I've mastered Mary Had a Little Lamb (that perennial classic) and the chorus of Camptown Races by figuring out the note and finding it on the viola. They sound lower than I'm used to but are still recognizable, at least to me. And yes, I am proud of myself. It's terribly fun to do this, although it's killing my arms and hands and, I suspect, is building brain muscles as well. I can't wait until I can learn real songs!

I was practicing this morning when one of the twins snapped this picture.

And, this morning, we've also done school and made applesauce. The twins helped. They wanted applesauce something awful.

Now I guess I'll go do more of the housewife thing. Not my strength or my joy but it is a necessity, I guess. We're having beans and cornbread for about you?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How wonderful, Lori! I love the violin and the viola. My secret favorite is fiddling even though my Mom is an amazing classic violinist. I love to hear her play.:) Happy learning! And....good for you, to pick up an instrument like that.