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Lee Gordon Seebach
Hi Timothy,

My life isn't as complicated as it used to be, and training on my violin isn't a sacrifice.  I would describe it as an enjoyable, challenging pastime - an addition to my regular creative activities surrounding my profession: painting.  I have a lot of freedom and time to pursue my passions, and the violin is one of them.  I also pick the banjo and play guitar.  I set goals and when I achieve them it is very satisfying. But then I set new ones and continue along my merry way.  I don't expect to perform at Carnegie Hall on my violin but I do enjoy the process.  I would like to play with other musicians, however.  I live the full-time RV lifestyle so I may be able to travel and attend jams and festivals when I get good enough.  That's a huge part of being a musician for me, even as an amateur, and whenever I've performed on that level, it was scary but rewarding to share the music.  To me, the violin is the ultimate musical instrument and I'm so glad I finally am able to study it and enjoy it.  I even have a Gliga Maestro Vasile as of October and she's a prized possession!

Keep going,

Lee
Lee Gordon Seebach
10 Responses
Posted: April 11, 2019
Last Comment: April 16, 2019
Replies

Lesley
Posted: April 16, 2019
I regularly attract birds when I play violin. They usually look annoyed, or else just baffled. :D

Timothy Smith
Posted: April 16, 2019
Lesley and Lee, thanks for your comments. The chickens weren't my idea. I somehow inherited them. They are almost like pets now, all 8 of them and a rooster. I get between 6 and 8 eggs every day.  These are Rhode Island Reds. Huge eggs. I mean double the size of eggs in the grocery store. We give most of the eggs away. I think the wandering issue  has been settled since I have a run for them now. I know they come back, but a few were in my neighbors garden...had to deal with that.  I'm not sure how much they( the chickens) like my violin music. I once attracted several thousand black birds when I was out back playing my guitar. No one has yelled for me to shut up outside yet so I guess I'll keep playing out when the weather is nice.

On order to make time to really learn something like the violin I know I need to back down on other things. I'm not really sure where to start cutting. Easter weekend is probably not the time to think about it.

Lee , not sure where you go in your RV. If you get to south eastern PA. there are some nice camp grounds around here. One is right down the road from me. 

Lesley
Posted: April 15, 2019
Thanks Lee, for the link and the tip -- I have been considering a video lesson or two!

Now I have to go and see what Buff Orpingtons are... ;)

Lee Gordon Seebach
Posted: April 15, 2019
Ha, ha, yes the chicken story... 😂
Actually, having raised my own chickens (Buff Orpingtons), you didn't really have to do that...at night they would just come home to roost...no bribing necessary.  😎Or were your neighbors annoyed and you just had to do before they went ballistic on you?

Here's an article that I found years ago regarding practice and I think it's super...

Then there's Beth's Practice Course, of course, and her private video lessons which are super, too.  I've had three lessons so far and I couldn't be happier with her instruction.  😄  

Lesley
Posted: April 15, 2019
The loose chickens story really made me laugh. Life is "what happens to you while you're busy making other plans," right? (Thank you Mr. Lennon.) As it happens I am actually looking into getting my own chicken coop, so I guess I'd better factor chicken issues into my violin time. Seriously though, you've pretty busy there, Timothy -- it's amazing you can find time to play violin at all. A most demanding instrument at the best of times...

My day is probably equally fragmented in different ways, and finding the time to practice sufficiently is very challenging. I would love to be able to log in four solid hours per day. I do feel like I won't get beyond this plateau I'm stuck on without either "more" or "better" practice, or both. I'm now researching what makes practice effective. Will post re. any discoveries...

Timothy Smith
Posted: April 13, 2019
Lee, don't feel bad about the double post. Glad to read your comments.I don't have time right now to look over the other post.
Today was a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Had to remove tree limbs around my property that the winter storms had blown over. After that a friend who is building a new house offered me free drywall for a job I'm doing. I went to get it. After all of that(lifting 20 sheets of drywall. I was pretty spent so I laid down for an hour. Then my friend who is an entertainer needed some recording work done. After that I sat on the porch with my wife and listened to the birds for a few minutes and then back to it again, this time pulling together the automation and assembling tracks for sound tomorrow. Making sure everything is in the right keys, etc. Playing through the songs.
My clock says it's 10:45 PM. I no way have enough energy left for violin practice. Tomorrow I play piano 1st half of the day. Maybe later tomorrow I can squeeze it in hopefully.
My teacher is beginning shifting with me. I had a lesson on Friday. I had every intention to get started this morning, then my wife tells me our chickens got loose, so I'm out at my neighbors house and wading through bushes attempting to bribe the chicken back with meal worms. It eventually worked. See what life does?


Lee Gordon Seebach
Posted: April 13, 2019
Hi Timothy,

So then you're looking for a balance between your violin and obligations, I take it.  That's something we all have to do, I guess.  

Re improving skills, I take frequent breaks with everything: violin, painting, exercise, whatever.  My attitude is: I go as far as I know or can each time which results in another step toward my goals. Works for me.  I know some have the "no pain, no gain" attitude.  Sounds like self-torture to me!

BTW, my post was a reply to your discussion and I didn't mean to start a new thread...it was supposed to go below your post.  Guess I goofed it up.  My bad.

Timothy Smith
Posted: April 12, 2019
Hi Lee,

I'm glad you have the time and a nice instrument to practice with. Retirement should be enjoyable. I'm glad to see you are enjoying it.

I should clarify that the idea of sacrifice in my case has more to do with making the time to play well and not really playing the violin itself. I enjoy 99% of the work I do on the violin!  Sometimes I think in order to get to the next level we need to put ourselves into more demanding situations. I compare this to a runner who enjoys running until they almost drop. For one person it might be torture. For another person it is sheer fun. The body does tire eventually. Most successful musicians will tell you they take small breaks in between. I think this is especially important as we get older. It does no good to drive ourselves beyond the place where we feel we are genuinely learning and improving. 
Some may feel the need to keep going when it hurts. For me, the return on that investment diminishes the longer I push beyond what I feel is good for me.
In that sense a few might see prolonging practice as a sacrifice.  I believe this is different for each individual and a personal choice. 

My sacrifice is more about finding quality time and keeping all of my relational balances in check. Doesn't always pan out the way I plan.

Lee Gordon Seebach
Posted: April 12, 2019
Thanks Maria,

"Music caravan" - I like that!  😍

My Gliga came with Pirastro Evah Pirazzi strings.  I want to experiment with others, though, to see what sounds best.  But these are expensive and sound fine to my beginner's ear so I'll keep them on for a while.

Your viola setup is interesting.  I've not heard of that before.

Maria
Posted: April 12, 2019


Lee, it's dawn here [still sleepy] and read your colorful music adventure, I see your RV as a music caravan and more exciting to know is that you also have a master Gliga Vasile violin! Angelina my violin is a cousin to yours, it's a master Vasile 14 inch viola strung with violin strings and tuned like one.May I asked what string you have?Thank you