My first performance of Pierrot Lunaire is fast approaching. This is a piece I have always wanted to play, and to do so have had to learn the viola, another long-dreamt-of undertaking.
I have been facetiously telling friends that taking up viola is my latest attempt to stave off senility….. It is never too soon to start. After all, learning new things and challenging the brain is the best way to stay mentally sharp and flexible.
The most surprising part of the process has been discovering how deeply ingrained treble clef is in my mind. Those little dots are linked by bands of steel, not just to physical locations, but – more importantly – to a specific sound.
The difficulty is, with string instruments, as with the voice, if you can’t hear it, you really can’t play it…..