This time last year I impulse-bought a violin. Inspired by a secondary school chamber orchestra and a desire for distraction, I embarked on becoming a violin maestro. Let me clue you in right now. Becoming a violin maestro is hard, really hard.
I plunged through thirty minutes of practice per day for a few months- scales, studies, trad pieces-
and then I hit the wall.
The really unimpressive part? I didn’t hit it at full force with a great big wallop. More like I slowly slid to the ground and then nudged myself inch by inch until the wall was near enough to touch with my aching hand if I stretched my shoulder the right way.
I needed help.
Help arrived completely by accident. I met Liz, a violin teacher among many other things, at a meeting for worship leaders (the only one in the series I attended).
Lessons began in September.
Within five minutes of starting I knew that getting lessons was a good idea.
We spent the first thirty minutes trying to coax the knuckle joining my right pinkie finger to my right hand to sit flat instead of poking up like a head of cabbage in a really flat field.
None of my bad techniques escape Liz’s notice: left thumb migrating towards the body of the violin instead of the head, bow sliding off the strings, right shoulder tensed up, and countless others. She refuses to pounce on them all at once, sending them scattering in all directions, leaving me to herd cats.
She places them in her sights one at a time, maybe two, and then shows me how to pull the trigger. None of the other bad habits notice until it’s their turn and even then it’s only for the briefest split-second as they’re blown away.
You can’t learn that from a book. It takes experience and a trained eye to help somebody leap forward.
Liz reminds me of the Holy Spirit in that way. Gentle, patient, instead of overwhelming me with all the things that need to change, she chooses one at a time, helps me work on it and improve before moving onto the next thing.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” John 14:26 NKJV
Liz also uses her words to over-encourage which is always a big hit with me (words and touch, people, words and touch!). I delight to rise to the challenges she sets because she delights in music and in the progress I make.
Lord, let me experience You more like that! More importantly, may I dish out encouragement generously to the people around me.