I was just thinking about one of my early violin teachers, and was shocked to discover that she passed away just last month. I studied with Laura in the 1980s for probably 4 years, and she was a major influence on me as a musician, violinist, and just as a person.
There’s a thing that happens almost every day when I’m practicing. As I move through scales and etudes, little bits of memory will bubble up and it’s as if all my teachers are chiming in at various points. They’ll comment on my bow arm, or my intonation, or my vibrato. I’m pretty sure I owe my vibrato to Laura.
I’m also reminded of this wonderful line from the play I’m in right now, Jessica Dickey’s Charles Ives Take Me Home:
…the people we know in life
If we go about things the right way
Are like instruments we can pick up and play
Whenever we want.
Whenever we need.
You can come back to this at any time.