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From “must practice” to easy flowy letting it happen

Feb 08, 2023

Some of our deep desires are brewing for a loooooong time and some of them need a time out! 

When I put away my violin 25 years ago with the overwhelming feeling of relief that “it’s over”...the journey since I was 8 years old, eager to learn my most favorite instrument… I didn’t say: I won’t play you EVER again! It was just so good to quit the private lessons and get out of the loop of must practice, must…I hate “must” sooo much : ).

I had daily fights with my mother about practicing (my dear mama is a musician and could NOT relate that I didn’t fancy practicing a lot) and even though I was quite talented and I liked playing WHEN I played… I wasn’t ambitious to do something more with my music and just practicing and going to lessons finally felt: DONE!

In 1997 before University, for one summer I was working as a waitress at the restaurant in the mountain valley we have our cabin at.

The owner, his wife and their friends regularly started a Swiss folk music jam session with their button accordion, a double bass and clarinet. When I told them that I play the violin, they forced me lovingly to join them with an old violin they had in their attic. No notes, no teacher, just fun and following the tunes with a melody I improvised on the fly. THAT’s how I like it : ).

Luckily in my last stretch of violin lessons my teacher taught me jazz improvisation. How to just play kind of "anything", play and land on the right note in the end. I could now fully benefit from this training.

I had fun, no stage fright, it was easy, no pressure and I got the nickname “the girl with the violin”...

After that summer my violin-playing went into hibernation for these 25 years I told you already. Maybe at Christmas I played a song or two… but the strings were out of shape or even ripped and it wasn’t free flowing fun. (Does life always have to be fun for you Ronja? Eeeeehm, yes please. Especially at things I do voluntarily and in my free time!)

Playing music had no priority at all in this time untiiiiil I started Swiss yodeling last year. A new hobby which fulfilled the wish of “more singing but not in a stiff choir”. On December 3rd 2022 we had a short yodeling performance at a traditional event called “stubete” which translates into “livingroomyness” : ).

It’s a term for “getting together and listening to music, playing music in a laid back manner”. There are stubete-events all over Switzerland. Big and small and I attended one for the FIRST time… actually no, in the mountain valley restaurant, that was a “stubete” too, when we had a full house and started to play…

Well, first official “stubete” for me and I loved it so much. Do you remember the “third floor dance-party” Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet had on Titanic? It reminded me of that scene. Lightness, zest of life and heartfelt rustic music.

Did you watch the video of "Echo vom Locherguet"? When I told their bandleader Werner who plays like 20 different instruments, how much I loved their performance he said:

W: You should join us! 

Me: With what? 

W: Do you play an instrument? 

Me: Eeeehm… I played the violin from 8 to 20 years old… 

W: Ok, deal!

Me: Whaaat : )? I have no practice! I can't read notes!  

W: Just join us for a rehearsal and let yourself play and get back into it naturally.

Oooh wooow… really?

On my vision board I put a little frog with a violin. Not too big, not dominant on my yearly plans and dreams…but the violin somehow called me (the long brewing desire for more music) and the froggy seemed like the light hearted solution to seeing the “violin-plans” on a daily basis without pressure.

Last Monday I joined the "Echo vom Locherguet" for their monthly rehearsal. I made sure that the strings were intact, nothing else.

It was so, so, sooo much fun. They just let me find my tunes, freestyle and get that improvisation-feeling again from the mountain restaurant. AAAAND the best part: We rehearse in a carpentry! Amaaaazing : )

Long story? Do you like storytime like this? Do you see where YOU could fulfill yourself a dream?  Or what kind of hobby from decades ago is calling you to get back into it? Maybe NOW it’s the perfect time to try it again? To give it a light, playful chance without pressure?

I have no idea where this violin adventure will lead me. I just know that playing feels exciting and GREAT in my heart and soul and the band members are simply wonderful! My yodeling teacher and other members were not there on Monday and that’s another thing I love: No pressure to show up. Also at the gigs they have every month, if you’re there the set-list gets adjusted to you… So stay tuned maybe there are solo-performances in store for me : )... nope, no pressure, just ease and flooooowing into more music in my life. Very special music. One of my besties said: "I couldn't stand 5min of a concert of THIS sound…" : ) : )  : )  

That’s the beauty of our lives. We don’t have to please everybody around us, the goal is to please OURSELVES and do whatever WE want to do!

Yodeludioooooo I love you. Thank you for reading my stories and tell me if you have thoughts to share or if you want to know anything or if you are curious about something specific.

Let’s make this world more colorful, playful and joyful by listening to our dreams and wishes… the old and the new ones, the buried and the plain in sight ones. Let’s listen to the whispers and the loud shouting… our dreams and wishes matter!

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