I hope so, but it is hard to say! There is no set age, and people just age differently. And, of course, as I grow up, my skills develop as I do. For instance, when it was a new violin being made, some of my colleagues were complaining when I got a chance to play it. “Well,” they’d say, “you’re not gonna learn this one; you can have your new one.” My mother was not pleased at their comment, not as she had expected. One day while my sister and I were playing together, I noticed, like a lot of children, that I could move the strings slightly. That is normal for a 7-year-old or 8-year-old, and the difference in technique shows that this was not a special trick I had learned with my teacher; I had learned it by doing it. Even though we both liked this ability, she didn’t like the idea of me doing tricks, so I made sure that the violin I got didn’t have any special strings.
As I grew older, I got into acting as the family orchestra was being rehearsed. I was also acting at the London Youth Theater as part of their summer program. My mother, having seen my acting, was surprised by the enthusiasm I showed in theater. She said, “Oh, but you can’t put too much on the violin while acting.” I was stunned at the notion. “Yes,” she said, “I can,” but said, “but what if you can’t play music while your violin-playing skills don’t improve?” And I responded, “Well, if that’s the case,” and she laughed. But the fact was, I could no longer play the violin while I was acting. Even today, with a violin, sometimes I feel I get into trouble. When my father was asked if he could play the violin with me and my sister, he couldn’t do it. Well that is to say, I could no longer play the violin and when I could no longer play the violin, I could no longer play it. My violin playing is still a little sloppy, and my parents always have to help me, but now I can, once again, play all the pieces of Bach’s piano sonatas that I want to. One of my violin lessons involved reciting a Bach sonata and then doing different parts of each sonata on each viola. It is an interesting challenge.
Do kids get into acting because they like music
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