Life in a high rise is great – we feel very secure, the view is extraordinary, and the rest of Chicago is 17 stories down, which makes it a quiet escape. But it has some downsides, sometimes including the necessary courtesy we extend our neighbors. Along those lines, I’ve decided I cannot practice before 9:00 am. My work schedule is such that I work late into the evenings often, so most days I try to wait until around 10 to go in to avoid a workaholic’s life. In some ways, starting up the violin and writing this blog came out of a wish to be more productive in the mornings, a time when I’m naturally up and able to work very efficiently. I’ve often said I can do more in two hours before 8:00 am than I can do in six hours later in the day, and it’s true.
Even after 9:00, playing the violin will apparently bring you some fans. When Teacher arrived for my last lesson, she told me she rode up with a woman who also got off on my floor. Of course Teacher had her violin with her, and my neighbor engaged with her pleasantly in the elevator, thinking hers was the new violin she had been hearing in the hallway. Apparently my neighbor plays the cello (I had no idea) and thought she was meeting another strings-playing neighbor. I laughed and wondered how quickly Teacher distanced herself from the squeaks to which the neighbor has doubtless been privy.
Teacher said carrying a violin around gives people a license to speak quite freely to her about playing an instrument – it’s a great conversation starter. Not schlepping an instrument around for lessons is convenient for me, but apparently it also means I’m missing out on a whole world of musical conversation. I suppose for now I’ll just have to keep bringing it up myself.
Thanks for reading.
[…] I’ve written before about the joys of high rise living, worrying about the neighbors, and a desire to keep the peace as it pertains to subjecting people to the undeniably problematic sounds of a beginner playing the violin. Happily, our units do a pretty good job of soundproofing, but still, violins are made to be loud, and though I’m improving day by day I do still produce some mighty awful sounds here and there. […]