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When I was taking photos of famous Italian violins at the Sforza Castle museum in Milan a few months ago, I did not imagine that very soon I would begin my first violin lessons to keep a company for my six-years-old daughter. These are the first formal music lessons of any kind for both of us, I might add!

So here are my first impressions of learning violin.

The initial stage of learning the most basic fundamentals of this highly technical skill, which is completely foreign to me (that is, I cannot draw upon my experience in any other field) is incredibly rewarding. Immediately, after the very few first attempts to extract a clear sound, I have a completely new level of appreciation of classical music that opened to me. If before, when I heard some virtuoso play a violin concerto, I would think: “This must be incredibly difficult.” Now I have a first-hand sense of what specifically is so difficult and how many of these tremendously difficult aspects must align perfectly for the music to appear that fluid. It’s a different world from what I could imagine!

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Also, it was nice to hear my teacher draw an analogy between violin-playing and martial arts in that the essence of practice in both areas is to focus on the form. If the form is executed flawlessly, the result is automatically beautiful.

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