Sunday, January 29, 2012

Viola jokes

What's the definition of a minor second?
Two violists playing in unison.

What's the difference between a washing machine and a violist?

Why shouldn't violists take up mountaineering?
Because if they get lost, it takes ages before anyone notices that they're missing.

More here!!!

I play viola.  I was recently called "the other bad violist" in reference to my college years. I was never trying to be a performance major, but still - ouch.  Yet, I've kept playing for all these years for fun; which is so much better than playing for school.  I try to play most days, which is better than not playing at all.

I wasn't too sporty as a kid.  After junior high I was done with organized sports (until I tried an adult kick-ball league at age 25 that confirmed I still suck!)  I played music.  I started piano lessons in kindergarten and took lessons all the way through the end of high school.  You'd think I could play both hands at one time after 12 years.  I wasted those years.

I started trumpet in 5th grade and really liked it, except for the practicing part (same problem I had with the piano.)  I started violin soon after that and then took voice lessons somewhere in there, too.  When I got to high school I had to choose between band and orchestra.  Easy - orchestra dorks were actually a little cooler than band geeks.  Don't believe me?

Band nerds actually tried this.  I think they are better known as band tools.

And I would totally wear this shirt if I had it:

Via Squidoo
My last year of high school I switched to viola to help fill out the section.  This was a great fit for me because I've got big man hands, for a girl.   (Viola is bigger than the violin and a 5th lower.  It's still held under the chin.)

I went to college and transferred to music school and got a degree in Sound Recording. Basically, I wanted to do music without all the practicing and performing.  

Fast forward another decade of indie bands and private lessons and I'm now part of a community orchestra, a string quartet and a student of one of the best viola teachers I could ever want!

I've arrived at this little nook of hobby music playing by being a little brave, asking people to play and trying out different community groups.  All the while, I'm still practicing and learning about classical music.  This is great because I forgot most of the things I learned in college.

My string quartet is working on this lovely piece by Schubert:

String quartet No. 13 in A minor "Rosamunde" D804

My teacher describes this piece as "very satisfying".  Schubert was a great song writer from the early Romantic era.  Although he was first a violinist and pianist he did play viola in the family string quartet.  Sounds fun!  He wrote over 1000 works before he died at age 31 in the year 1828, probably from Syphilis...

Hopefully our informal quartet will put on a little recital before summer.  With wine.
Wanna come?


  1. Super cool you play the violin! Thats something I wish I always did in my life!

  2. Playing viola can be pretty satisfying. I play, too. I love harmony, and used to make up harmonies to songs I heard. My mom put me on the viola at age ten, thinking it would be a needed instrument for string quartets and community orchestras; that playing would be a social outlet for me, like it was for her. The last thing my folks expected was that I would want to play professionally, or that I would actually achieve that goal.