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Music in My Soul, Part 2

February 5, 2024


antique-violin-greenery

(This is an old family heirloom violin, not my Gottfried Raabs.)



Last week, I shared a little about my musical background, so this week I will pick back up and finish this riveting tale (hehe). The time machine travels back to fourth grade, many moons ago…


 

I was highly motivated to take violin lessons. As far as I remember, no whining or crying took place about practicing (Mom, you can correct me). Almost every day I carted my little violin and music bag to school for class lessons 3 days a week with orchestra on Mondays.


At the close of our year-end concert, I remember looking at my mom and asking, “Can I please take summer violin lessons?” And so began the yearly cycle of school year lessons punctuated with the relaxed atmosphere of summer lessons. Not a summer went by that I didn’t take lessons. Now that I’m a parent, I realize the tremendous sacrifice of time and money that my parents willingly made for me to study musical instruments.


In 7th grade several wonderful things happened in my violin world. First, I transitioned from class lessons to private lessons with my very own teacher! What a treat that was to have one-on-one instruction. Second, my parents bought me my very own violin. I still distinctly remember standing in our kitchen and having a “countertop conversation” with my mom (another tip for the keen parent…countertop conversations are vital and poignant in the growth of a child). Mom, busy as usual, paused for a moment to ask me how serious I was about continuing violin instruction.


woman-playing-piano-dress


With ardent enthusiasm, I assured mom that I was very interested in continuing my violin instruction and had no intentions of quitting. And so mom informed me that she and dad had discussed buying a violin for me.


What a euphoric moment that drive home was on a hot, hot South Carolina day from my violin teacher’s house! (We bought my violin through my teacher and her husband’s business.) Mom drove the big family van, and I sat shot gun with my new violin on my lap! My very own violin! For anyone wondering, I have a lovely Gottfried Raabs violin, circa 1997. It’s a wonderful instrument that suits my playing level just fine. It’s like a Toyota of violins, dependable and steady, yet not flashy or top shelf.


High school was a pivotal time in my musical development. Through some hand problems that I experienced around 9th and 10th grade, I realized that piano would not become a full-time job or major in college. Violin had always been my first love and passion, and the endless rounds of lessons, orchestra rehearsals, recitals, All-State orchestra concerts delighted my musical heart.


I knew that I wanted to be a music major in college, probably a violin pedagogy major. But something strange happened in college; I quickly began to loathe my violin. A multitude of factors influenced my dissatisfaction with a violin degree: certain attitudes of some faculty and fellow students, the terror of a senior recital with heavy memorization (a great struggle for me), and the intensity of practice and study. It all drained the joy out of music for me.


antique-violin-greenery

Do I wish I had stuck with a music major? Probably, but I cannot change the past. The ironic thing about the path I trod was that now I have a YouTube channel where I can play to my heart’s content any music that tickles my fancy, and there’s actually people who listen to it and enjoy it! Fancy that! And I didn’t even major in music…(a thought for the observant on the efficacy or lack thereof of college).


Well, this post is getting long-winded. So here’s the rest of the story very quickly. Following marriage, I started a music studio which grew to about 25 violin and piano students. I loved those days!


Fast forward again to life after babies, and I am happily focusing most of my musical time on composition and church music. Our family attends a small church where the needs and opportunities are both great. I currently direct the choir (quite a surprising and exciting venture!), play the main piano, play offertories and specials, and create the music schedule. My opportunities at church have shaped my vision for how I write sacred music and have inspired a passion within my heart for simple and lovely music for the average church.


I have so much to share with you about music, but for now I will wrap up this post. Next week, I plan to take a break from music to keep things interesting. But I am really enjoying this new series on music!


-Ashley


Personal Disclosure

As the author of Ashley Qurollo Blog, all opinions are my own. Any possible applications are universal in nature, not directed at any one individual or people group. My sincere desire is to help others by sharing what I am learning. Nothing stated on this blog is ever intended to hurt others. Ashley Qurollo, owner of Ashley Qurollo Blog and Website, is not held liable in any way for any application of the ideas and thoughts stated here.


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