James' Story - Private Music Lessons

James and his mom started violin lessons together in the Child/Parent Strings program when James was four. He fell in love with the Hillis sisters’ string quartet at church when he was barely a toddler,  and had been asking for violin lessons ever since he could talk. Now he’s seven and has been enjoying private lessons with Andrea Hedlund and group lessons with Jon Achtzehner for three years.

James has made some great friends in the group lessons and learned a lot about  how to play music with others — playing while distracted, playing in turns, playing with dynamics — all useful skills for the symphony some day if he decides to do that! In private lessons he’s learning the finer points of technique. There are so many things to remember: wrists, fingers, elbows, chin, bow hold.

One of the things James likes best about the violin, now that he knows all the notes, is figuring out how to play some of his favourite tunes “by ear...like the Star Wars theme. But his very favourite thing is putting on his dress shirt and black bow tie and heading off to a recital. He had a little bit of stage fright the first couple of times, but that didn’t last long. Now he loves performing and is asking when he can play in church, just like the Hillis sisters.

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