Thursday, April 21, 2016

Anna's Viola

opening 4 bw

We took a big step with Anna last week.

It's been a long time coming. Planning. Thinking, wondering, questioning, thinking more (on our part). Practicing and falling love (on her part)

We took a big step and decided to purchase Anna a viola.

I know it doesn't sound like a big deal. There are viola posts for years all over this blog. But we'd always rented a viola for the girls through a company in Boston that works with the Sazuki school here in Connecticut. Renting is really the way to go at their age.

Rented instruments are not the same though as the 'real deal'. Not even in the same neighborhood, state, or country for that matter.

So after eight years of playing we knew it was time for Anna to have her own amazing instrument. The pieces she's working on really require more depth. (she's playing this piece that brings tears to my eyes at what she's done)  Her hands, her fingers can only do as much as her viola would let her. It was time to have a viola that would allow her love for playing and creating rich, velvety, chocolate-like music to shine through.

So with the help of her Suzuki teacher we contacted shops in Boston and New York. It's a process Scott and I knew nothing at all about.

They sent us two violas, bows, and cases. We were told to have her use them for a while before deciding. And with the investment that it was we really needed her to take her time.

And then they arrived. Almost hard to believe, really. I kept thinking, 'this really happened'. Anna was so very excited.

box arrived

That night we opened the boxes and she got her first look at choosing a viola.

opening 1

opening 2

opening 3

opening 5

opening 6

opening 7

opening 8 collage

opening 9 collage

And then her teacher came over a few days later to walk her through the process of deciding which viola would be right for her. And which bow would sound best on which viola. She actually had three choices to make. The viola, the bow, and the case.

mr lee 2

Scott and I decided not to let her know the cost difference in each so that her decision wouldn't we wavered. We knew our decision and we knew it was time to make the investment. So we (tried) put it out of our minds and just watched our girl have these every special moment.

She played on each one. And her teacher played on each one. When it was time to really listen to the bow and how it sounded on the strings he had her close her eyes so that she could really listen.

mr lee 3

He spent a few hours with us. And it was a beautiful process.

mr lee 4

We watched her concentrate, and listen. Reflect, and think. And one viola above the others, one bow above the others stood out to her... spoke to her.

And she chose.

That night we hugged her in bed and chatted about 'this new viola' and where it might take her, where she might play it, how it would be an integral part of her life.

Just a few pictures of her practicing for the first few days with her new beauty.

after choosing 1

after choosing 2

On a post script... there is nothing like the sound of this instrument. Just to her her tune this viola makes me stop in my tracks and smile.

after choosing 3

after choosing 4

And there it is hanging right next to that little one played by Abigail.

after choosing 5

opening 4 bw

"Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart." Shinichi Suzuki


  1. What an amazing gift for Anna!!!

  2. How absolutely thrilling! So excited for your young musician :)

  3. How exciting Anna! Congratulations looking forward to more videos of you playing :-)



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