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Thrilled! (My payoff)

…My mind likes to play with numbers, while driving, out of boredom, I should have become a mathematician or an engineer, like all others in my family: October (my birth month, tenth, two fives of my age added together), 22nd day of year 2022 (bunch of twos, two students performing on day 22 of 22nd year, more or less two-hour drive to Boulder, and it goes on and on): second child in the family, second violinist in string quartet for 33 years, “second to the second”, Associate Principal of Second Violins in the Colorado Springs Philharmonic for almost two decades. I think I am good at being second, that is quite tricky skill actually if one does it well. Let me not go too far with it, the day turned out fantastically successful, beyond any expectations!

We, private teachers, work tirelessly and quietly in our studios (well, unless you scream “out of tune” to the seventh student of the day), day after day, week after week, long hours of tedious repetition, bad pitch and “go practice” lectures. Oh, my! I can share a lot! Highlight of last week: this adorable, wonderkid, fast fingers and sharp ear, talented, and only six-years-old, refusing to play in lesson, “I hate the violin!” Colleagues, sounds familiar? Ha-ha-ha… I think my childhood “I refuse-to-play” stories tricked her into a better mood and she played and laughed and enjoyed it, especially the promised candy and the treasure chest visit.

It is extremely gratifying when you spark their imagination and belief in their powers. My payoff comes much later, when after all the hard work, my students win scholarships, competitions, auditions, and are succeeding on their journeys.

This past week my students Kyla White, 14, and Lydia McConkie, 16, won the Colorado Music Teachers Association competition in their age groups. To say I’m thrilled is to say nothing! I’m happy beyond belief, surprised (and not a little relieved), and gratified that I helped them to spread wings. You go girls! And full praise and thanks to the families of these kids -- A large part of their success is due to your support!

Kyla White has been a member of my studio for about year and a half, referred by a Denver colleague. Kyla’s mom Vanessa, a violin teacher herself, brings Kyla to her weekly lessons from Pueblo West (what a commitment!). Kyla and her twin sister Capri homeschool. Kyla’s ambition is to become a professional violinist; and she practices very hard to achieve her goals; not that many 14-years-olds can present 35 minutes of music, from memory, with great stage presence, expressiveness, and bold execution. Well, this is not what she hears from me in lessons, we’ve no time to waste on praises then! Way to go, Kyla!

With Kyla White and Carol Wilson

Lydia McConkie, also a daughter of a dear Colorado Springs colleague, is my violin baby. When Ramona approached me nine years ago, I tried to talk her out of having Lydia take lessons with me; I didn’t have patience or language for young kids. But Ramona insisted. Well, after all those tears streaking the top of your violin, futzing with your fiddle set up and cracking its top, practicing before school just so Mom doesn’t hear, and, yes, enduring my practice lectures (no more though), you are finding your tremendously unique violin voice. Brava, Lydia! Your power and stubbornness paid off! Many more successes are coming! And it seems Mom did know best in the end…for both of us.

With Shirley Washenko and Lydia McConkie

I wanted to say it is a happy ending, but really it is just a beginning. Watch out for these two!

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