One ordinary life, with music

One of the wonderful, horrible things about the growing ubiquity of cameras is that it's just going to get easier and easier to produce videos like this one.

I say wonderful because videos like this give us insights into development and mastery that it's really hard to get without seeing and hearing how someone's abilities flower over years and years of practice and growth.  

I say horrible because everyone's record of growth looks mortifying after the fact.  I am so grateful no video like this of my progress on the piano exists.  I couldn't bear it.

A lovely thing about this video is that in it you see so many hands at work facilitating the musical development of this child and the children around her.  There are adults who are not only willing but eager to sit in a room full of seven-year-olds playing the violin, which is a lot to endure for the future of our children.  The church is central here - like it or not, churches are really where childhood musical education is happening in America today.

I especially like that at the end, the 22-year-old woman who emerges from this video is...just a pretty good violinist.  She's not a virtuoso.  She's not a professional performer.  Her musical ambition is to play the violin and teach other people to play the violin, and that's it.  This isn't about becoming a heart-stopping genius.  It's just about getting good at something.

One of the things you see her being taught in this video is how to get up in front of people and do her best even when it's not very good.  It was the most agonizing, hateful part of my own musical education.  It's so horrible.  But eventually, you learn what things can hurt you and what can't.  This is how she learned to tolerate making this video and putting it up on YouTube.  (Though she did disable comments on it.  She might be brave, but she's not an idiot.)


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