As much as I loved stuffing my head full of new stuff when I was a kid, I spent an awful lot of my school career figuring out ways to get out of going to class. When the Suzuki method made it to one of the four or five elementary schools I went to, I jumped at the chance to take violin lessons.
Small problem. Not only am I musically klutzy, but most of my family is musically gifted. Not only did I hate them for setting the bar impossibly high, but they hated me for inflicting unbearable pain on their eardrums. Even the family cat, whenever I opened my violin case getting ready for the day's practice, would jump off the furniture and put her head under the sofa. Just her head, the rest of her body was visible. The implication was clear: I refuse to leave the room because I was here first, but have you ever, just once, considered the possibility that you have all the musicality of a jackhammer?
This was all right down traumatic for a 10 year old, but I stuck with it for a year or two, or however long I was at that particular school. Mostly to get out of class for an hour once a week for violin lessons in the school auditorium. Plus, I loved the rosin. I loved the crumbliness, the stickiness, the smell [I think I want this job]. To this day, every time I hear Johnny you rosin up your bow, it brings back intensely pleasurable memories.
For years afterwards, I had this love/hate relationship with the music of string instruments, dominated mostly by hate, I hate to say. But one afternoon spent with Erik Friedlander on my computer has changed all that. My list of CDs that I have to buy isn't as long as my list of Books that I have to read, but I've just added Block Ice & Propane to it.
ErikFriedlander.com [great photos]