My first and last music instrument

When I was in 4th grade we received a visit from the orchestra teacher. She explained that we would be given the opportunity to study any one of the 4 main instruments used in the elementary school orchestra. I was fascinated. A chance to learn how to play music on an instrument for free! “Sign me up” I thought to myself. She explained that I had to chose between these 4 music instruments – the violin, the viola, the cello, and the bass. My limited understanding of music at this point made choosing very difficult.

I reasoned that the violin was very popular and that I did not want to play something many people played. The viola I was told was similar to the violin and therefore I felt the same way. Why play something everyone was playing? I know now that this was not true. The viola is different from the violin in the sound it makes and is not played by nearly as many people as the violin. I as a fourth grader did not know 1/4 of what I know now. Next, I thought the bass was just too big, so that left me with the cello, which I was told was like a small bass. In reality the music the cello makes was much more like the music a viola makes than the music a bass makes. Saying a cello is a giant viola would have been much more accurate than saying a cello is like a little bass. Anyway, my choice was made, for better or worse, at that time. I would play music using the cello.

I did study music on the cello from 4th grade to 12th grade. I was pretty good at it too. I made the cut for  district orchestra which was composed of the best players from the school districts. It did help that not many people chose to play the cello, so competition was not that bad. The thing was that most music is written for the violin to star in. That was a sad realization. Also the cello was huge for a 4th grader and until high school, was a pain to lug around. Music did enrich my life, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have picked the violin or waited for the Band teacher to come around.

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