Old Flowered Wallpaper

Nothing to do with music – but since VB is about a journey –

Waiting for my cereal to cool this morning – standing at the sink – looking out the window –

Thought about how probably 90% of everything that has ever squashed my real self – due to real, actual squashing, or discouraging me, or my own timidity – is gone from my life.

It was a pretty euphoric feeling to realize that. I wouldn’t trade this point in my life right now for anything – except for my tomorrows. Thinking of all the days, decisions, experiences, that landed me in this spot at this time – I have bucketloads of regrets as well as pats on the back – nothing, and I mean nothing, is a better teacher than experience.

Which has given me a deeply felt assurance – not simply faith or hope – that whatever I allow to enter my life from here on in is to be accepted as a gift, which I will appreciate and celebrate.

Those things that are not me? I will just keep on walking by.

The remaining 10% – just a matter of self-confidence, ripping off old flower-wallpapered beliefs. All physical labor – the doing, the undressing and re-dressing. Accepting as truth not what I see in a mirror, but through another’s perfect eyesight.

Practice – why I hate it!

Because I’d rather play beautiful and fun music that I excel at. Not hard stuff that constantly reminds me of my weaknesses.

I know! The most difficult thing for me and violin is walking into the room where I practice, facing music I can’t play well (or even at all) and making myself do it. It forces you to look at the ugliest or weakest part of yourself in the mirror – and fix it.

Once that’s patched up, you know there will be another, and another, and another after that. Is kinda like performing plastic surgery on yourself. All I can hope is to satisfy my worse critic (me) at the end.

My learning goals for this upcoming week:

The 4th and 5th lines of the Bruch concerto

Start working on the Helios Overture and Peer Gynt (luckily I’ve played this one before, but not the 2nd violin part)

Doesn’t seem so bad written out here.


Every couple of months for 10 or 15 years I have had recurring dreams that go like this:

I enter a house that I own (icompletely different in every dream). Walk through rooms that are familiar to me, but then it gets strange –

Someone, never anyone I know in real life, a realtor-type person,takes me through an interior doorway, or up or down a staircase, trap door, whatever, and I enter a part of my house I have never seen before.

It’s beautiful in every recurrence of the dream, breathtaking, realizing this all belongs to me. Usually the part I have never seen till then was larger than the part I knew. Sometimes it’s room upon room furnished opulently. In one dream it was an empty concrete cellar with cobwebs. Even so, I was filled with ideas of what that room could be used for. I was always astounded to know that all these rooms have been wasted and unappreciated for such a long time.

In another dream it was a little cabin on top of a flat-roofed building I owned.

Whatever version, I was left with a kind of euphoric feeling after waking up. And as far as I know, these dreams always woke me up when they were done. But the joy was very real as I discovered room after room after beautiful room, because it was all mine. And I was never doing anything other than just walking through the houses.

I know my brain was trying to tell me something important, but have been stumped all along as to what. What specifically should I be doing that I’m not? I still don’t know, but………

I realized this morning that there have been no recurrences in several months, maybe as long as a year. And I wonder if it was Lucy aka VB aka my real self, trying to tell me there is more to me than what I think I know, my reality is larger than I think.

I think she finally got pissed at my density and said oh for fucks sake! and set things up.


Just a post to dump ideas that pop in my head as they come.

1)     When students accomplish something, they get to play my electric violin. But, do I want to be lugging another instrument around? As it is I lug a violin AND viola on Saturdays.

2)     Which wouldn’t be an issue with my own music school.

3)     Speaking of which, what are my options for that? There’s lots of room in my house, but no parking. And neighbors close by. I had an aha moment many years ago when entering this particular studio. Perfect place. I should take a pic of it and post it here, a wild dream, or what?

4)     Time management. I used this grid today to find time for everything I think I need to do in order to get to where I want to go – things as they stand right now.

5)   Is funny – this year’s story turned out to be a completely different book than what I planned for 2014. Much, much better in every possible way. If only I could write here all the good things that turn me on and light me up.

6)     The purpose of going to the “camp” this summer is to learn rock/metal violinning in order to bring it to students. Where? How? That is the question. First, learn it myself. Am asking questions with no answers yet, but anticipating the need to know. It’s a leap of faith and hard to not have all the answers yet.


In registering for this summer’s rock music school, a question asked is, you will be performing activities that require a certain amount of physical exertion. Will you be physically able to participate in these activities?

Well…..if that’s not motivation to get out of my physical comfort zone and build up some muscle and stamina, I don’t know what is!

Plan? Gym 3 days a week, aerobics 3 days. Now, how to fit this shit in…………………….

All in a day’s work for a rock musician!!!!!!

Law of Attraction

Catching up on the last couple Strings mag issues. Is it because of where my mind is focused? Dunno – but the normally staid, conservative, traditional, stuffy mag devoted to classical music seems to be getting a shakeup.

Articles covering alternative styles. Shocking, right? 

Among the traditional articles about technique, auctions, notable recordings of old music, instrument care, are these:

Jazz violinist Sara Caswell on the art of being yourself. And:

How well do US conservatories prepare music students? Many are catching up to the 21st century, starting to teach students things like technology, running your music biz, the need to have more than one paying job after graduation, helping graduates have viable careers considering there are far more musicians than orchestra openings -, and alternative careers for musicians.

The new initiatives at conservatories come as the classical music industry is becoming tougher and students need to be fully prepared for what lies ahead.

Then there’s the San Francisco Conservatory of Music – beginning in the Fall of 2015, a new curriculum – new tech lab, courses in improv, MBA – based business studies, studies on the creation of music for film, games, video, and other multimedia.

The Frost School of Music in Miami is collaborating with record label Universal Music Classics to reinvigorate both. This joint effort covers:

concert programming, new recording paradigms, audience development, entrepreneurship, touring, stage presence, long-term career development, and business management

Wow – and up till recently, conservatories taught performance and theory. Which today is largely impractical if that’s all there is.

Then there’s the story about cellist Maya Beiser embracing classic rock:

People should be able to embrace who they are, and the classical world needs to get less uptight.

An article about California violinist Gabi Holzwarth. While a fantastic musician, she never wanted to play professionally because it just wasn’t cool. She graduated as a history major. Started playing her violin on the street to make money, better pay than any “real” jobs. She did it for two months. Popular tunes and improv. Played along to tracks she downloaded to her iPhone on Spotify.

She got the attention of a prominent Silicon Valley investor. Which lead her to gigs with Samsung, LinkedIn, Google, art museums, and private jets. Point is, she was first a “classical” violinist but branched way the heck out.

Her motto? Never ask permission. You just go, and then you ask forgiveness.

High school string player? There has never been a more exciting time to be one.

Tidal Pools

….describe my mind since starting VB. Where water is ideas and beliefs about my life.

Tides flow into the pools, empty out, flow in, out, day after day.

The water is different, but the pools remain the same.

First, my dream was to play in a kick-ass orchestra, be among peers (if only!), live the music that makes my heart sing.


How about playing in – or starting my own – kick ass rock/metal group/orchestra?

Improve my playing to widen options, yeah – but electric violin, in addition to acoustic

My peers? No longer want to hang with the post-mortem classical musicians; the cool, mind – blowing rock bands are where things are happening.

This tidal pool filling – emptying – filling cycle is gonna continue until everything feels just right.

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