In 2009, there was an option offered to students of CK Burns school to play a string instrument in the school orchestra. I don’t remember why I joined, but that decision changed my life. Sometimes I try to imagine what my life would be like if I never joined, but it’s inconceivable. Violin is an integral part of me. Some people who have made a profound impact on me, I met in orchestra or String Camp.
It took many years to make my playing sound like music. I started learning in a class under the instruction of Anne Wilkinson. She got us started on the basics, but it was clear that I wasn’t getting very far. I never practiced, so for two years I progressed very little.
In 2011, my mom got me private lessons with a teacher named Susan LaVerriere. To this day, both Ms. Wilkinson and Susan are my teachers. Since I started taking lessons, my technique improved rapidly. I owe where I am today to Susan. My lessons are half an hour once a week, and our routine is usually the same: first, the scale I’m working on, then the solo or duet I’m working on and exercises to improve my technique. I don’t remember when it was exactly that I actually started to love playing violin or when I knew I wasn’t going to quit, but it was after I started taking lessons. Continue reading Why I Play Violin→
Jenna loves the arts and especially enjoys attending the theater to watch plays. When I asked her if she’d like to see a play for our Festibond date together this year, she quickly said yes. I originally wanted to take her to see Annie playing at the Lyric Music Theater in South Portland. I’d met a couple of great people at TEDxDirigo last month who were both performing in it. Unfortunately by the time I tried to purchase tickets, it was sold out. I searched other theater, ballet, and music venues, and Jenna decided on The Snow Queen playing at Portland Stage. Continue reading Festibond 2013: My Date with Jenna→
This morning I was so excited to go to the play of “A Christmas Carol.” My dad asked to chaperon earlier during the month, so he got to. The number one reason he offered to chaperon is to ride on the bus. He hasn’t rode a bus since he was a kid. Three more reasons he offered to chaperon is so he can see Mr. Reinhartsen, spend time with me, and watch the play. When I got to school I couldn’t wait until 9:05 am. That was the time we were supposed to get on the bus. I did the day starter (morning time work) I’m supposed to do in the morning. I waited and kept looking at the clock. I was so excited. Soon they called us to the front doors. I got to see my old friends from my class last year because they are in fifth grade reading. Mr. Reinhartsen wanted all the reading kids to come to “A Christmas Carol”. Suddenly I saw the bus and my dad, so we got on.
While we were on the bus I taught my dad Concentration 64, Tom Boy, (those are hand shakes) and talked to him.
When we got there we sat in comfy seats. Before we watched the play we had to sing “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. They divided the audience into twelve groups, one for each day. When it was our turn we had to stand and sing our part and do our hand motions. It was fun. Finally we started watching the play. It was really good. Some parts were so scary I gasped! It was about a grouchy man named Ebenezer Scrooge who hated people and Christmas so he was haunted by three spirits. At the very end he had a happy life and he was nice to people. It was the best play I’ve seen in a long time. After the first act we got to eat a donut.
On the bus ride home my dad and I did a debate about god. When we got to C.K. Burns, I said good-bye to daddy and went inside. Since we were late for the regular lunch time, Mrs. Walton said we could eat lunch in the classroom while we work. We ate a pasta kind of stuff, strawberry juice with cut up strawberries, bread, and chocolate milk.
When we got home there were fresh-baked cupcakes on the counter. Mommy told us that we could decorate them. It was fun. I did cool designs.