"That is so cool, I (used to) play the Violin."

The common response when you told someone that you play an instrument is, "That is so cool! I used to play (insert an instrument here)."

At the beginning of the year, I decided to stop playing Violin, thinking that I am hopeless with Violin and it might be better for me to learn a woodwind instrument. Since I finished high school, I did not even bother to improve my Violin skills anymore. Two of the main reasons are: I do not have a good tone (yet!) and imagining myself holding the bow incorrectly makes me sick. Therefore, I did some research on Oboe and Bassoon, had a chat with some friends who play those instruments and even looked for some prospective teachers. It was pretty hard to decide especially because I have always wanted to learn Oboe, although I ended up having Flute lessons because I think that Oboe is too hard for me, but now I feel that Bassoon is also super interesting. I have not really decided on what I want to learn until I got an email saying that I have been accepted to the Minor Music Performance program in Violin, which means that I will be able to have a weekly lesson with the allocated teacher at the university.

Then, I let my mind wander back to the first time when I fell in love with Violin.

I was twelve and I was performing in a concert where I watched my cousin Felicia Yap playing Minuet in G . I admit that I look up to her and I have always been a competitive kid. Hence, I asked my mom to find me a violin teacher and she did. She got me the cheapest Violin (approximately $50) and promised that she would get me a better one if I keep practicing. Like almost all of the Suzuki Violin students, I had Twinkle-Twinkle Little Stars as my first piece. However, I tried to learn the Minuet in G at the same time. I smiled when I realized that I must have played it super out of tune. Since then, even though my lesson was on and off, Violin has been my second favorite instrument although deep down, I know that I am not 'designed' to be a violinist. Nonetheless, I always cover my inadequate skills with the love of playing Violin (in an ensemble).

I finally chose the Violin.

It means that I cannot learn a new instrument, otherwise, it is going to be impossible for me to have enough practice time for three different instruments. I knew that I had the right decision when I first met my Ukrainian teacher. In the first lesson, he made me change the way I hold the bow and my finger positions, and I could feel that the sound I produced with my Violin changed a lot. In the middle of the lesson, he said to me, “You did Grade 5 exam four years ago?! Imagine you didn’t stop having lesson and practicing, you might be preparing for your Diploma exam right now. Don’t you think that those four years were a waste?" 

Four lessons later, I am now enjoying those left-hand pizzicatos, double stops, and harmonics. Every week, I always come early and wait in front of his studio with full of excitement and I am now looking forward to the next Violin lesson. Isn't it funny that the statement came from a person who wanted to give up, a person who never took the lessons seriously? In addition, I also found out that I do not want to be the person who said "That is so cool! I used to play the Violin."