Tuesday, June 16, 2009

105. Hrrnunguh

My first viola lesson was tonight. Fascinating, that.
Frankly, the instrument is so drop dead gorgeous I have trouble focusing on actually playing it. I learned very little in my allotted 30 minutes, except that I need to pay in cash and I could probably use a second job to cover my pursuits of personal enrichment. Also, we discovered that I am sort of double jointed in the thumb region and have a tendency toward locking my pinky rather than curving it.

I'm bored without homework. It's gnawing at me. I wish I was in a writing class just so I'd have something to focus my attentions on. Furthermore, instructors should not charge $1 a minute for their time. It's rude.


Janieac said...


But ... practice IS your homework, yeah?

Françoise de Fleur said...

I'm sorry, I charge $1 a minute when I teach. The piano teacher that I went to for four years during high school - and who completely changed the way I play and listen to music, forever changing my life - charged more. If the teacher is teaching you a skill that you want to learn and they teach you well, I think it much more deserved than a lot of other things we as a society don't think twice about spending money on. Please don't pass judgment after one lesson and say it's rude. Some teachers will take a student's financial situation into consideration and either lower the cost or try to help in other ways, if you talk to them about it. (Not sure how the teachers at KK work, so I can't speak for them, but...)

And I agree with Janelle: practice IS indeed your homework. You don't even have to "practice" - just make some noise on it for a while everyday to get used to how it feels in your hands. Listen to music that features viola (or any other stringed instrument for that matter) and try to sense how they're bowing the phrases. "Practice" is such a chore. Try "playing" and "listening" to music... It might feel more productive, but still fun at the same time!

The instrument is only as beautiful as how it's played, my dear friend, no matter how it looks.

Françoise de Fleur said...

PS. I didn't mean to sound preachy or condescending, and I hope you don't take my comment as such. I was taken aback that, of all people, you would think it not worth paying a teacher $30 a lesson to learn to play an instrument. (I had to deal with parents who didn't want to buy their kids proper instruments to take lessons on, pay "that much!" for lessons, etc. when I taught.)

I don't want you to get discouraged by just one lesson. Stringed instruments are especially hard to pick up as an adult because we're more conscious of what "music" is supposed to sound like, and more often than not, most people can only make dying cat sounds on a violin/viola/cello/etc for at least a couple weeks or so. I hope you play and find that you love it. If not, maybe something else? Who knows. But please, don't give up.

PPS. I have double-jointed fingers (all of 'em, yay) and they sometimes get stuck playing fast passages or loud chords in succession. I feel your pain.

Super Milk-Chan said...

Um...I think perhaps I am not a very good writer at all, if that is how I came across. I didn't seriously find him rude, it was meant to be a lighthearted joke.

I agree that he deserves to make $1 a minute. Mostly I was just excited/discouraged after my first lesson but didn't learn enough to delve into any sort of detail.

I am also feeling extremely guilty for spending even more money on myself, when I really don't have it. I was embarrassed to have to take an i.o.u. on paying him last night because I didn't realize before signing up that he only takes cash. And now that I do know, I am afraid I will have to quit altogether because I don't have the extra $120 a month unless I want to give up something else I do, or pay for it with student loans.

It wasn't my intent to insult what you love most, and I'm sorry that it offended you so deeply.

Janieac said...

I got the humor, Beth; but since Ms. Fleur is, as we know, deeply impassioned about music ... I can see how she responded the way she did. :)

And tell me about expensive habits. It's not as cool as riding or private music lessons (which I've regrettably never had the joy of experiencing), but my weekly Bikram habit costs me $80 month.


Françoise de Fleur said...


I am ashamed with my lack of 'umor un'erstandin's. Ranty McRanterson, this one.

Anyway, thanks for not hating me for my logorrhea.

Super Milk-Chan said...

I heart you. Always will.