Highs and Lows 4/22

Steven Z -

With the project nearing a conclusion, I wanted to write about some of the reactions I got while playing. Imagine you’re walking through the doors of a hospital, maybe you’re in a rush to be on time, or maybe you’re feeling apprehensive, grumpy, depressed, or confused. What would you think if you heard a kid playing the violin? It is only natural that most people will walk by without looking twice. But there were a few remarkable exceptions.

It was one of those long afternoons and I was tired of playing my usual pieces over and over again. So I tried to practice my new etude at a slow tempo. Even though the etude wasn’t particularly melodic, and I was playing super slow, it still sounded decent, at least to me. An old lady with heavy glasses and slouching shoulders approached me, “Excuse me,” she said into my face, “can you please turn the volume down, nobody can hear anything in here.” Just then I was very embarrassed, and I immediately started playing pianissimo.

It was one of those sleepy mornings and I decided to take a break, having already played for an hour. I sat in a couch and pulled out my iPad to look for some music online. A worker from the cafe in the hospital lobby approached me, “Excuse me,” she said, carrying a plate of bacon egg and cheese sandwich and a bottle of orange juice, “one of our customers bought this for you, but he already left and wanted to stay anonymous.” Just then I was very grateful and slightly embarrassed to be caught taking a break.

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