Monthly Archives: April 2014

Running without Rufus

As I set out to run yesterday, I thought my iPod Shuffle was all set – its battery tends to be pretty remarkable.  I wrote about refreshing my playlist for the new season a few days ago, and yesterday I was excited to get out on the gorgeous though slightly chilly Chicago lakefront path to […]

Unexpected Delivery

Nana sent me a CD.  It’s of the family-compiled variety, and the first track on it is “The Dream Man’s Train,” a song with a provenance unlike any other I know.  My great-grandmother (Granny Pat) used to sing it to us kids as kind of a lullaby, and Nana tells me that Granny’s mother passed […]

Graduation Piece

Teacher tells me Dr. Suzuki chose this final piece in Book One as a sort of graduation piece.  In addition to being by far the longest piece I’ve worked with to date, it’s by far the most complicated too.  It’s called Gavotte, by a Classical French composer named Francois-Joseph Gossec.  Gossec does not have the […]

Running with Rufus

Maybe it was the Boston Marathon in the air, but something about Monday just felt like the start of my running season, though I could still feel my lingering cold.  I decided I could go for a long walk instead, so I set about freshening up my iPod Shuffle’s playlist.  I use the Shuffle almost […]

Playing vs. Practicing

I’ve been under the weather for the past week, very slowly getting over a cold, and though I’ve kept up my practice, during yesterday’s session I realized that I was playing instead of practicing.  Prior to yesterday I hadn’t thought about what that means – to me it means that I was playing without worrying […]

The Limitations of Da Da

So now that I’m playing songs that I recognize, I’ve tried to tell people about them with mixed success.  These are not tunes that are known by their titles – Minuet 3 and Happy Farmer mean nothing to anybody except those of us who have played through Suzuki Book 1!  I do not have the […]

Happy Farmer

Robert Schumann is the latest great to end up in my burgeoning repertoire – his tune Happy Farmer is the second to last piece in Suzuki Book 1.  Yesterday in my lesson Teacher introduced me to the first three lines or so, and I thought we were going to stop, but we just kept plowing […]


As I stepped out to drop the trash down the chute yesterday afternoon I ran into our neighbor across the hall, a generally nice veteran in his 80s who of course mentioned my violin playing.  He has complained to me before about noises on our floor, so I know he can be a bit sensitive […]

Your Brain on Music

My building’s laundry room has a swapping bookshelf – you can take or leave as many books as you want.  Of course I’ve done my share of both – my most recent find is “The New Brain,” by Richard Restak, M.D., a 2003 book published by Rodale on the changes wrought by modernity on the […]

Joyful Noise

About a block and a half from my condo there’s a tiny little one room church that rents space out of a building that also houses a convenience store and a hair salon.  Sometimes I go on a little walk on Sunday mornings, and I often see people entering the church – smiling young families […]