Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Dream Man

My Granny Pat was a twin; she and my Auntie Bob were born around the turn of the 20th century in rural Texas.  The twins were so small at birth the family says they were bundled up inside the house’s stove as a sort of early incubator.  She was my Papa’s mother, my mother’s grandmother, […]

Christmas Music

Growing up I loved Christmas music – when I was a churchgoer the music was the marker of a true holy-day – we sang in special programs and in the worship services, and the music resonated with me deeply.  But sometime after I stopped being a believer, the whole season took on an air of […]

Assessment and Progress

I showed my new violin to Teacher at my lesson yesterday.  She played it for me (I have no ability to test an instrument), and it sounded great.  The 87 year old violin has a couple of things that need repaired, in addition to having the bow re-haired.   I’m also contemplating replacing the very old […]

My New Violin

My new violin arrived yesterday.  It’s German, a 1926 Ernst Heinrich Roth Stradivarius 1714 (I think) copy that my father-in-law has had since 1948, though he hasn’t played it since the mid 1950s.  He purchased it with the help of his beloved music teacher, Virginia Franks, at a good shop in High Point, North Carolina.  […]

Lament, Excitement

My work life is crazy busy right now; it always is at the end of the year.  Sadly this past week, I found that too many twelve hour days can be incompatible with other pursuits.  For the first time since I brought it home, I went two days without playing the violin.  I don’t want […]

Music and Wellness

I often write for my organization’s e-newsletter.  One of our features is “Violence Prevention Field Notes” – the issue we’re releasing next Friday will  contain this: Last month, I was co-teaching a wellness workshop with a colleague for a group of pre and neo-natal service providers from Ounce of Prevention, a local non-profit organization. One of our […]


I feel very fortunate to have had three years or so of music before the “critical period” of my brain’s development.  I know that most adult beginners struggle quite a bit more than I am struggling, and the only reason in the world for that is my earlier start, though I have almost no active […]

Dr. Suzuki’s Kenkyusei

Memories of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki:  Son of His Environment is a brief, 2012 memoir by Lois Shepheard, a devoted master teacher of the Suzuki method.  Shepheard spent a good deal of time studying with Suzuki in Japan.  She was kenkyusei – loosely, “Research Student” to Dr. Suzuki, in a school/studio devoted to learning the master’s […]

Son of His Environment

I will admit to allowing availability on the Kindle to sway which books I read, especially as it pertains to beginning an exploration.  Not only are the books cheaper, but I don’t have to wait at all to start reading.  I’ve just started the Kindle download of Dr Shinichi Suzuki: Son of His Environment, by […]

Joyful Noise

The day after Whitney Houston died I was transferring trains downtown and came across a licensed street performer belting out Whitney tunes accompanied by an old battery powered boom box.  I confess to feeling the loss of Whitney about as deeply as I can feel the loss of someone I don’t know personally, and the […]