Potential Teacher just confirmed our first lesson for Wednesday, and I’m just back from the violin shop, where I rented the instrument above. I hope it meets her standards. The family who recommended her to me told me that their first instrument had to go back after failing her tests. We’ll see – the shop will gladly trade it in if I’m not happy with the sound quality. At present I must admit to not being very discriminating.
In karate we have a fixation on “shoshin,” meaning “beginner’s mind.” The old Buddhist proverb goes, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s, very few.” As a karate teacher, I have developed some ideas about how things should be done. But I do my best to maintain my beginner’s mind too; I try to be as open to possibilities as I can be. That’s one of the things I love most about karate – it gives me the chance to be a lifelong student. Taking up the violin again has a lot to do with my pursuit of lifelong learning too.
When I got home with my violin, I immediately pulled it out and started plucking. I quickly remembered how to make Twinkle Twinkle Little Star come out of the thing, so I tried it with the bow, squeaks and all. I then remembered what to do to produce a scale. I can’t remember the key, but I know it’s a major scale of some sort. I wonder how quickly the language of music will come back to me.
Since I’m a linguist by degree, the human language faculty and the languages it produces hold a lot of interest – I speak Spanish, and studied Chinese (Mandarin) for a year. Karate has given me the opportunity to learn some Japanese, and of course it has taught me a beautiful movement vocabulary as well – a new kind of language I would not have been able to talk much about before learning it. Music is the most universal of languages; returning to this path after so many years away is exhilarating. I’m excited to be a beginner again.
Thanks for reading.