Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mississippi Hot Dog

"Why do you take violin?"

"Oh, because I love it, and because I want to be a teacher someday."

Well, a few weeks ago, the "I want to be a teacher" part came true with this little guy.

His name is Tripp, and I have to say, I've thought a lot about teaching before, but I had no idea how much I'd love it. Thinking that right now - this moment right here - I am starting a little boy on his musical journey is a wonderful and scary thought. My first lesson I was nervous as a cat on a hot tin roof and felt like I repeated myself a million times without making any sense.

But I really did love it. I can't completely put my finger on why, but I think it had something to do with the fact that I was reaching back to some of my favorite days ever, the days when I held my own violin for the very first times and scratched out horribly squeaky notes which made everyone within a mile cringe. The days when I played twinkle, twinkle, little star until Daddy never wanted to hear it again. (He didn't tell me that then, of course, but admitted it later.) The days when I listened to my Bach and Vivaldi cds over and over, thinking "some day I will play that." The days when AnnMarie went around saying she lived in Mississippi hot dog, because that's the phrase you say for the first rhythm you learn on the violin. It goes dadadada da da. And I played it until my fingers bled. (Just kidding.)

It helps tremendously that Tripp is one of the sweetest, funniest little boys on earth, and that he kindly chuckles at my non-funny jokes. My teacher was always amusing, and things always communicate so much better with humour that I decided to try it. I personally felt as though it fell flat.

So, here I am. A violin teacher. For real.

And yesterday, I taught my first student to play Mississippi hot dog. And I nearly passed out with excitement and a sense of deja vous.

To Tripp's family: Please don't hate me for telling him to play it over and over and over again every day. It'll be over soon, I promise.


towgbtk said...

Okay,so I'm breaking my own not spend time writing comments on blogs. This latest of Katie's has brought the tears and demands an acknowledgment. Those years of long drives to Oxford every week(yes, it was farther to Oxford in those days,)the financial sacrifice for lessons and gas, the constant awareness of the gift God had given us in this opportunity-it was truly an answer to specific prayer-and the responsibility we bore to receive such from His Hand in a way that would bring Him glory, the squeaky but oh-so-beautiful sounds that issued forth from the first 'half-size' violin..all these are precious memories indeed. To have Katie admit to me after teaching her first lesson that she really does love it has been sweetness so sweet as renders words inadequate. All through the years I have never ceased to be amazed each time she plays for me, whether performing for the yearly 'mother's day recital' or merely indulging her daddy's and my insatiable desire to hear our daughter produce soothing hymns or, wonder of wonders, a little Bach! She could never have attained such without the perfect teacher whom the Lord provided and who has become such a dear friend. Everything about his methods were exactly what Katie needed--so like our heavenly Father to give the very best. We are so thankful for Irwin Bell...more glad than I can express for this sweet kindness from our God--a violinist!

towgbtk said...

Clarification: We are so thankful for Irwin Bell *and* for our own violinist, Katie Larissa.

Katie said...

thank you, mama.

Just so everyone who is wondering knows, towgbtk stands for "the one who gave birth to Katie". And I love that one a whole, whole lot.

elliebird said...

I'm sorry the pictures were so fuzzy. I tried it with the flash and it just made the picture dark, and it startled Tripp, so I figured I'd better not try it again.

I can only imagine how exciting it must be to pass on your musical knowledge and ability to another person. I hope it's the first of many, sweetie.

Katie said...

Thanks for taking them. Our camera is like a menopausal woman anyway; sometimes it takes good pictures and sometimes not, for no apparent reason.