I have always been a morning person. I wake up quite early and like to get going as soon as possible. When I was younger, I would get up and practice my scales for an hour or so before breakfast. That meant the day had got off to a good start. Looking back i’m not sure my brothers would have agreed! They had to endure many many hours of listening to me rehearse endlessly, getting each note just right.
Fortunately we had good neighbours who were very encouraging and loved to listen when I had the windows open during the summer months. During the winter though it was not so easy. The windows would ice up on the inside and because we didn’t have central heating it would be quite chilly.So I wrapped myself up in countless layers of woolly jumpers and gradually thawed out as once again I went through the scale or study routine. Nothing would stand in the way of morning practice.
Nowadays I begin with Tai Chi. The gentle movements of the form awaken the body and mind and allow me to become more centred. I find it a wonderful way of reconnecting my mind and body, to find a state of continual inner listening, coming closer to the deeper connection to what is within.
Having made this connection, once I take up my violin I can allow all that is within me to come out and express itself through the notes in a completely natural way, effortlessly.
These days it’s my children who still listen to me instead of my brothers. But as I used to play to them before they were born, they’re quite used to hearing the endless scales going up and down..and of course twinkle twinkle little star.