I took violin (not fiddle) lessons from Mr. Belfiglio, a passionate Italian professional violinist, for six years.
I played in orchestras and ensembles, performed as a soloist until we moved to NoVa where there was no strings program. I did get conscripted by the music teacher in my new high school to play a violin solo of "O Holy Night" in the Christmas Music Show. Some of my classmates had never heard a violin before!
My original violin, a cherished Christmas gift when I was 10, is the one I am playing..... I'm a little rusty but I still have it.
A memoir by Robin Russell Gaiser
Digital, Print and Audio available now!!!
What music do you recall from your childhood? Did you listen to it or perform it?
What is your favorite guitar playing style? Your favorite player?
An astute reader of Musical Morphine has informed me that an incorrect statement was made in my Introduction to the book. With her kind assistance I have revised information to replace this oversight. Music for Healing and Transition, (MHTP), the training organization for therapeutic musicians from which I received my credentials, is NOT the only organization of its type to offer board-standards certification. In fact, as of 2017 there are three accredited programs besides MHTP: International Harp Therapy Program, Clinical Musician Certification Course, and Bedside Harp.
It is imperative that all of these programs work together to support each other in the training for and delivery of live therapeutic music. I apologize for this error in my manuscript. Upcoming book presentations, subsequent printings,my March 3, 2018 TEDxTalk, as well as all social media expression will make every effort to correct this error.
I hope you are pickin' on a big juicy turkey next Thursday on Thanksgiving. Speaking of pickin,' my favorite style of playing guitar is finger picking.
I think my classical training led me to playing arpeggios, broken chords, so often heard in that style of music.
Do you listen to classical music? Can you hear folk music styles in it? I am thinking of folk tunes, dance tunes, hymns, gospels, I often hear embedded in its rich orchestral arrangements.
The bowed psaltery creates a high, haunting sound. I was surprised that one of my Hospice patients requested I play it for him over a long afternoon session. Often the psaltery's timbre is too neurologically stimulating for very ill or anxious patients. It can be too much for well persons!
How did today's audio clip of my bowed psaltery affect you?
Master Prose class begins Aug. 29th.
I am dictating the handwritten first draft of Chapter Eleven, entitled "Helmer," of my book-in-progress into the iMac. I would like to have sixty pages of OPEN FOR LUNCH ready for the start of class since every four weeks I need twenty pages of fresh manuscript for oral and written critique by my classmates and professor.
I have come to love the critique process. Usually a full hour! So helpful!
Did you or your kids get these plastic recorders for school music class? I can recall hearing the entire assembly of children, including our kids, tooting away playing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" on their recorders. They were thrilled.
If you look carefully, you will see our youngest child's name written on the side of this instrument, which has been lying in one of my instrument collection drawers since he was in fifth grade, a mere 26 years ago. I played a little of Dvorak's "New World Symphony, Largo" on his recorder during this audio take.
Do your kids. grandkids, even you own one of these school recorders?
Maybe you have heard or seen one of these. My late Aunt Nan sent me this Door Harp when we moved into our last house in Northern Virginia. Notice she had Dogwood blossoms painted on it--the State Flower of Virginia. Since our new home is in North Carolina I was delighted to learn that NC shares that state flower with VA.
I tune this instrument to a chord using my regular goose neck tuner. Great way to welcome guests with music!
Do you own a Door Harp? If not, have you seen one?
Pardon the out-of-tune strings but this Harp Zither or Guitar Zither, as it was coined in Germany, is well over one hundred years old and I was very careful not to push tuning since these are original strings you are hearing me play.
Sears began making this instrument in 1902, calling it a Zither #2. My great-grandmother Nora Thayer Duncan ordered one from the Sears catalogue and played it for her family as an accompaniment for hymn singing, usually on Sunday evenings.
My Grandma Char, her youngest daughter, granted my wish to inherit this treasure, recalling her mother playing it.
On her hundredth birthday ....... I surprised her by playing several of those old hymns on the Zither. There weren't too many dry eyes after that special music.
Do you see the shape of another more common instrument in the Zither? Ideas?
Starting July 6th, I am bringing you recorded music along with a photo and a story every other week about some really interesting instruments I have in my collection. I use certain of them for therapeutic music and will explain why they are effective.
For starters, I'll begin with my family's 115 year old Zither #2, as it is labeled. However, that is really NOT its name according to research I uncovered. Learn more. And of course, listen, too.
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Award Finalist in the "Health: Alternative Medicine" category of the 2017 Best Book Awards