The Call of the Cello


[I'd like to introduce you to one of my beautiful adult students, Glenda. She and I have decided to use her writing to assist her learning process. I believe it's vital to take time to retrospectively analyze your own learning. Taking this time can open so many new windows and doors in your brain, it's wonderful! This is part of why I have my own blog! I thought Glenda's words would be so applicable to so many folks, I wanted to share them with you! So with her permission and with no further ado I give you Glenda!]

There is an old saying that has literally thrived through the ages—“We do what we want to do.” I have been living that demure (but mighty) axiom every day now for almost a year, as an adult student of the cello! Until last summer, I didn’t know how to read a note of music—not to mention how to even play an instrument. I only sight-read when singing in high school and college chorale groups.

Even though, family tree-wise, I had a rich musical heritage—violin, piano, guitar, cello—I had decided early on in my life to pursue a different art form, that of interior design and clothing design (btw, I continue to be astounded daily by the similarities of the art of playing the cello and the art of design, which I will save for a later post!). I hold an Education degree as well, having taught high school math and sciences for several years.

All the while, the music…cello music to be precise…kept drawing me into its waters. With its constant inviting waves, gently splashing, it was like there was this dialogue going on:

”Come on in, Glenda—the water is so beautiful and warm! You’re gonna love it!”
“But what about all of the others—the young ones—who already know how to ‘swim’—won’t I get in their way?”
The steadfast waves replied…
“There are oceans of room for you—anywhere you want to start—no matter what age….but only if you really want to do it!”

And so, I acquiesced. Thus began this relationship with my cello last summer. I began ‘doing what I wanted to do’. I have found myself living that adage blatantly—even ‘high school rebelliously’—with a boldness that sometimes scares me if I stop long enough to think about it…but I don’t stop long enough to think about it—I just keep playing. I keep learning. I keep growing every single day. It is truly teaching me a form of discipline that I had never quite encountered before now.

As I said, this is a relationship—and any relationship that is significant to you demands effort and time and a permanent spot on the ‘top 5’ list of your priorities. (Whatever you put into it, that will you also receive in return!) Also, as in any human relationship, there will be those awe-inspiring mountaintop moments as well as the deep, dark chasms that can take you where you can’t even see straight! So goes life with the cello as well. You celebrate those ‘tippy top’ times and continue to work through the tough ones, where the long awaited celebration can be even sweeter. This, my fellow cello friends, is life with this magnificent instrument. And I am permanently hooked!

I will have more to reflect upon (good times/bad times, encouraging reading, etc) in subsequent posts as I joyously journey through this life, cello in-wrapped, counting my blessings as I play.

Oh, by the way, I am just about to proudly turn 58! We are never too old to learn…We do what we want to do.