Yes, by the way! Just like I learned chess, or Latin, or Chinese! I started from playing violin when I was two years old and I still continue to play today. If you’d heard that, you could’ve been pretty confused. But I’ve learned so many things over the years from what I hear, from the music that I can feel when I practice, from reading and watching movies that inspire me. For me, it’s like a family of musicians who all play things to the same tune. There’s the violinist, the soprano, the tenor, the bassist, the singer, all different musical styles, but all united together as one person.
JG: Your violin is a beautiful and magical instrument, doesn’t it?
M: It is! But you know, one of the things about living in a city that’s hard to get here in the US is that there’s a lot of musicians that you would never think of as “music people”. My husband plays drums and plays jazz, my daughter is learning to play guitar, some of my neighbors are playing trumpet and playing jazz, a cousin of mine plays fiddle; they’ve all moved to this whole different world, which gives me such a unique perspective.
JG: What do you see as your greatest challenge and/or inspiration in your life now?
M: I think my biggest source of inspiration today is the people that do this for a living. Not a lot of people go out and study to learn how to play the violin. I get my hands dirt cheap from my husband, who taught me how to play with him years ago. That’s where my inspiration comes from, to get started, to learn in a way that doesn’t feel forced and that gives my mind an opportunity to find things out. I also listen to the music on Radio New Zealand when I can, it sounds so unique, the way the people express themselves. When I’m practicing, I like to tell my husband to start playing piano, it sounds a lot more complicated, I tell him, but you get used to it, you have to.
JG: You mention a cousin of yours, how do you stay in touch with her?
M: I used to go there every week to visit her and she’d stop up and do a little talk (I know we’ve been through a lot on our way down the rabbit hole). I guess I’m just lucky to have such a supportive family
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