“When somebody asks you who your teacher is, don’t tell them it’s me.”
Apparently, he was not proud of me. He was dissatisfied with my playing. I was a shame and disgrace. Hearing those words from someone I looked up to, I froze for a moment and stared blankly into space. I was not able to move, not even a slight budge. My fingers on the fingerboard were shaking. I was not able to play one more note, create one more sound. Slowly and deliberately, I placed my violin in a rest position. I bent my head down and started to sob. My teacher went on with his speech, but it seemed like my ears were shut. That was the last violin session I had under his tutelage because we both got so busy. I went home with my handkerchief drenched in tears. He made me feel I could not amount to something great, but deep inside I knew he only wanted to challenge me and unleash the best violinist within. However, my heart was still weak to handle such heavy remarks that time.
I learned to play the violin (fiddle) at the age of fourteen (14) when I enrolled in a music workshop held in our church. The violin was actually not my first musical instrument. I had piano lessons when I was younger and even experienced a recital. However, I did not push it through because I was too lazy back then to practice scale exercises with both hands on the keys. I still have regrets about it until now. Anyway, the violin was my buddy throughout high school, but I never dreamed of pursuing a music degree in college and making it as a lifelong career. I had the interest in music, but not the passion. Those are definitely two different things. Interest may be but for a moment, but passion lives on until you die. Passion drives you to do something beyond mediocrity and makes you feel that you cannot live a day without doing what you love.
For the past years that I have been playing, I did not understand musicians who are so into the art of playing. What was missing in me? On my last year in college, I found out the answer to the question – love. I started to see music in a different perspective. Love found me after a long time. I began to have the fervor to step up my game. I wanted to perform with a philharmonic orchestra, experience solos, study everything about music in one of the most prestigious schools in the world, and share it to those who desire to learn the craft by putting up my own music studio someday. I love how these overwhelmed my mind. However, my dreams were shadowed by fear. I struggled how to tell my parents and loved ones about changing my career path because they have already set their expectations on me becoming a teacher for the rest of my life. Nevertheless, I pushed through.
After I graduated college, passed the board exam, and taught for an academic year, I decided to set sail on a journey – a journey to a place where the love of art is so alive and where I can grow in the craft I have chosen. I am uncertain what the future holds, but I certainly know Who (God) holds my future. There is definitely no turning back. I will become everything my teacher desires of me. No. I will go beyond that. When that time comes, I will find him, thank him for igniting a spark in me, and tell him that the spark has become a torch that is ready to set the world ablaze with wonderful music that would touch lives and change hearts.
I am The Blue Fiddler and this is the beginning of my journey.
Trivia: Why “The Blue Fiddler”?
The explanation is as simple as counting 1,2, and 3. My favorite color is blue and I am a fiddler (violinist). I’ll leave other interpretations up to you.