I started playing violin when I was five years old. There was a tradition in my town where all the students would come together and perform a concert. The most advanced student would perform a solo, then the next advanced would join them and they’d play a duet, and so on until everyone was on stage. To top it all, every song had to memorized, making it a rather difficult competition (if you were up first, you had a lot of songs to remember). When I was about seven or eight, I decided I wanted to be number one. So I practiced and practiced. And I didn’t get it, but I was like number two or three…I was really high up. To say the least, I was pretty excited.
There I was the night of the concert, waiting for the soloist to finish to join her on stage to play our duet. I waited, my teacher introduced me, and I made my way to the steps to the stage. And I promptly tripped and fell. My violin shot out of my arms and shattered. In front of the whole friggin town.
My teacher ran up to me to make sure I was okay, and I very clearly remember her telling me I could sit the concert out. I just stared at her on the verge of bursting into tears and said “No, but I don’t have a violin.” She handed me her violin and I played the concert.
Flash forward thirteen or so years to my senior of high school. In that time I had started playing the cello, guitar, and dabbled in piano. My teacher back then was (and I think still is) the orchestra conductor for the elementary, middle, and high school…basically I studied with her for thirteen years. It was the night of our last orchestra concert before I was graduating and going to college. Our orchestra was making our way up on to the stage and she was sitting back stage collecting herself (she gave a rather emotional speech when she introduced us…she was losing a lot of students who she knew since a really young age). I was last in line, carrying my cello. Just as I was walking up the stairs, I tripped just like so many years ago. This time, however, she caught me. She then chuckled and said “careful, you wouldn’t want to trip.”
It’s just funny that my whole music career with her basically started and ended with a trip.