Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Violin Teacher...

Judie Schiller was about 17, a fine violinist at Woodstock School in  north India around 1950-51. I  had been a student at the school for about a year and played violin in the school orchestra of which she was the concertmeister. Now to back up a few years......

In hindsight it appears my father, William Kinzie, once he realized that I had some musical inclinations decided that he was going to grow a violinist if at all possible. He passionately loved music and would have made it a career had not being a missionary taken first place. He was my beginning teacher and stated  a rote to note sequence of instruction that resembled the now well known Suzuki school. before there ever was the same.

When we returned to America in 1945 he found a well known teacher, a Mrs. Spruhan living in Salem, Va, who continued my instruction. I performed in several of her recitals but was certainly not the star.

The family returned to India for a second term of missionary service and I became a full time student at Woodstock. From letters I had written home my father sensed that my musical enthusiasm was lagging and that his dream of violinist son was going to wither on the vine. What to do?

Seems there was this outstanding senior girl violinist who just might get my enthusiasm back on track....so some sort of agreement was reached where she would give me lessons. For several months she did and
making music on the violin became a challenge and a possibility. I did look forward to my violin instruction with her. After she graduated I did not see her until recently

Several years ago at a Woodstock School reunion (WOSA),  we met again and talked briefly about our
lives in the intervening years. I never was the famous violinist my father dreamed of, but through fortunate encounters and opportunities seized ( my personal view is that the Lord had a great hand in it, but why me?)
I was allowed to live the life of a strings teacher in the Roanoke City  schools, played in the Roanoke Symphony, was a part time violinist at The Greenbrier resort hotel at White Sulphur Springs, WV and played many weddings at the famous Homestead Hotel  in Virginia  with trios and quartets of long standing.

In a few weeks if all goes as planned I will once again meet my second violin teacher at another WOSA gathering in Maryville, TN. Since we're to provide some music for the occasion there will be a real opportunity to learn of our lives and the outcome of their brief intersection. Hopefully we'll be able to learn from each other how to continue playing and functioning in our golden years..

To grow a successful musician takes patience, the right teachers and opportunities at the right time. I read somewhere that to grow a concert violinist there were some 16 steps that pretty much had to happen in sequence. Strings playing was passed on to our two girls and to two grandchildren.. A grandson who lives nearby has permitted me to teach him for a number of years since he was six. The experiment goes on.


1 comment:

Philip said...

Thanks, Bill. Great stories, great experiences, still going on.