The Violinist

When I was about eight years old, I began taking violin lessons because my mom had never yet heard the sound of ultimate suffering. How she braved it through the years, I will never understand, but her tenacity finally paid off when I received a violin scholarship all four years of college.

Here is a photo of my first recital. My bangs are… hairsprayed.1751874716_df0a7db74f_o

Apparently, our family has a gene strain called Not Learning From Your Parents Mistakes. My daughter begged to begin playing the violin about a year ago after my parents had shown her one of my early recital videos. Flattered– and concerned that if she liked that video enough to watch it 20-something times, she might actually be tone deaf– I went online and found the best quality instrument I could afford as a gift to my delicate ears and began her in lessons. This ritual involves me driving to the local music school once a week with all three children in tow. We trek up three flights of stairs because that’s where the only teacher who had room in his schedule has a studio. The daughter plays while the sons attempt as much mischief as is humanly possible in that half hour period. This is mostly comprised of the middle child trying to play the piano and/or play tag with the violin teacher, and the youngest child pulling things off the shelves and yelling, “Naked!”– which every parent appreciates a child adopting as his/her favorite word. In between lesson days, I practice with her at home and set raisins and almonds on her music stand and make her earn every single one by repeating scales and exercises over and over and over again, because my college scholarship might have been a little bigger if someone had given me treats instead of just setting an abacus in front of me to track my repetitions. Just saying.

Watching the development of a violinist makes my mommy (and musician) heart happy. Music is inspirational, thrilling, difficult, and worth it. So I wanted to take an early moment and capture the beauty of my tiny musician and also give her a tangible image of herself achieving a real skill. Thus this shoot.

The logistics just happened on their own. It had been snowing, but one day the sun came out and the temperature rose above freezing. The dress we chose was so long that my daughter could wear a couple of sets of thermal underclothes and snow boots and still put the dress on over. We went to a nearby forest path. She played “Twinkle Twinkle” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb” for about seven or eight minutes while I took pictures and my littles attempted to sled down the banks next to the path. I didn’t need a lot of photos or poses because this was just me trying to capture a moment in time. I’ll probably repeat this shoot again and again in different seasons and different places as she grows, and I hope to do a session with both of us at some point.

So here are my favorites from my little musician:


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