Monthly Archives: March 2014

When in Tejas

As a person who grew up speaking Spanish in a country that borders on Mexico, I’ve always loved Mexican culture – its lack of pretension, the food, the sounds of traditional Mexican music, the art, the tight-knit families, and the progressive sensibilities that govern the stewardship of resources. I was thrilled, then, to learn that […]

The Holy Syllable

I’m in Austin at an Anniversary celebration for a friend’s school, and yesterday I participated in a meditation circle to honor a woman who recently died.  Peg dedicated her life to empowering women, and I was honored to participate.  I did not know her personally, and the form of meditation was not one that I […]

Leaving a Minuet Behind

I’ve always loved travel, but there’s always the tug of the stuff you leave behind – like your bed, perhaps your family, and possibly your violin.  Wednesday’s lesson brought me the rest of my new minuet, and I am having a great time learning it.  It’s challenging, and my three days away beginning in an […]

Warming Up Is Playing

So far, I’m still starting all my practice sessions with Twinkle Twinkle.  I then play all the songs I’ve learned to date in succession, often repeating ones that aren’t coming out right that day.  I will throw in scales and arpeggios often, especially if I think I need to be more in tune.  I do […]

Playing and the Berimbau

Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art descended from African slaves.  Inherent to the art is the use of music and dance; it was practiced and developed in secret, and the presence of music helped it appear to the powers that be that it was part of a harmless ceremony.  Music is such a part of […]

Party Quotes

“My book is about two women: musicians.” “Many composers – Mozart, Beethoven – wrote for flute and violin.” “I hear you’re really falling in love with opera.” “They call it ‘playing’ at Capoeira, because of the music, right?” “It seems like when you clap long enough people start clapping in unison.” “Are you going to […]

Relaxation and Grace

In Wednesday’s lesson, we returned to the issue of relaxing my bow hold.  Getting this hold right is an iterative process; the nuances are myriad, and as I improve I’m realizing that there’s definitely an art to it.  It’s more paintbrush than exact-o-knife.  Any unnecessary tension held in the hand and arm are reflected in […]