“How Can You Play the Violin with Only 3 Fingers?”

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When people become aware that I am missing a finger, they will state, “I don’t see how you can play with only 3 fingers!” To which I will good naturedly reply, “I don’t see how you can play with 4 fingers! It looks like that extra finger would just get in the way!”

Over the years, I have learned to have fun with my handicap. I love watching the reaction of people when they become aware for the first time that I only have 3 fingers on my left hand. I take lessons at the university where I work, and as a result, it is treated like a class – complete with an exam at the end of each semester. The exam consists of playing a couple of pieces before a panel of judges who grade you based on skill level and progress. The teacher I had those first few years used to delight in finding judges that did not know me. He would not tell them about my hand and we would both watch their reaction when they saw the “strange” fingerings I was using. Continue reading

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Shopping for a Violin

Shopping for a violin can be both frustrating and fun at the same time. It’s sort of like buying a car – don’t buy the first cheap violin that comes along. If you do, you may find that you have purchased a lemon. As a result, I don’t recommend buying a violin on eBay (or any other online site). You might get a super great deal, or you may get a piece of junk referred to by other violinists as a VSO (violin shaped object). Continue reading

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How determined are you to play the violin?

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All my life I have had a love for music and a desire to play. I was not given the opportunity to learn as a child and by the time I was in college, I was afraid it was too late. It was during my college years that I developed a love for one specific instrument – the violin. I had such a desire to play, that, shortly after I was married, I bought a cheap violin even though I couldn’t play and didn’t think that as an adult I would have the time to learn. It stayed in the case most of the time. I would take it out and attempt to scratch out a tune or two and then put it away. Continue reading

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