G D A E… 5, 6, 7, 8…

G D A E… those are the strings on the violin. 5, 6, 7, 8 is what you hear before you start hopping to Latin music in an exercise class 😉

And why am i talking about these things? Well, because i (yes me – the mummy, the well-over-the-beginner-age for musical instruments gal, the so-long-never-exercise woman) have started both violin classes and Zumba classes 😉

i have always been interested in music and playing a musical instrument. i did have piano lessons when i was about 12 years old. But it didn’t work out because i was a very impatient little girl and would not practice if i did not get the piece right the first couple of times. In the end, my piano teacher didn’t want to teach me and my mum sold my piano. i am still sad about it.

But now i have another chance at learning an instrument! Since Tobias had chosen the violin, i had been thinking about learning it too. Then i found out 2 of my friends have also embarked on their own musical learning journey; and interestingly, they are both also learning the violin.

So i plucked up the courage and asked Tobias’ teacher if it was too late for me to learn and how much are his private lessons. He was so very kind and encouraging. He said it’s never too late and that for now, till i am certain i really like the instrument and want to learn more, i can share the lesson time with Tobias at no further costs!

Excited, off i went to rent my instrument! Here it is, right next to Tobias’ half-size:

Tobias is playing a 2009 China handmade violin, i’m playing a 1920s Sachsen (by German violin maker, E. Martin Sachsen)

Tobias has been doing very well at his violin lessons, his teacher is very pleased with the progress he and i are making 😀

i simply love how concentrated and serious he looks when he plays 😀 *proud mummy*

Now to Zumba

i have been wanting to do a Zumba class for more than a year now. But the class timings and costs were what were keeping me back. Now i finally found a fitness studio, in the next village, which had a class which fitted into my schedule and was at a reasonable price. And i went for the trial class and liked it. The instructor is a latin woman, small-sized but oh such a bundle of energy, so very fit and fun!

Zumba really is quite a workout. It took me a while to get the basic steps and even after 3 classes, i’m still missing steps. There is such a lot of choreography to learn. But she does do the same few pieces each week so it is possible to learn it, just a matter of time. This week however, she introduced 3 new pieces… so… despite that, i do enjoy the class and do look forward to it.

Plus point, they even provide childcare for the particular class time i had chosen. So this means i can also go during the school holidays 😉

i don’t have photos of the studio… i was there to exercise so i didn’t bring my camera. But on the walk home (sometimes i take the bus, sometimes i walk) there is a nice view. So enjoy!

Pardon the quality. It was 2 images taken on my smart phone and pasted together in a free graphics program. But i hope you get an idea of the view i’m talking about.


1st Violin Lesson…

Tobias has been back at school for 1.5weeks now. He is now in Zweite Klasse (2nd Grade or Primary 2) and he is still loving school as much as before. He still has 2 long days at school and 3 mornings. He still goes to Judo.

BUT… he no longer goes for swimming classes – he got the last badge in July! So he is officially water-safe. 😀 Very proud of him!

NEW… He had his very first violin lesson, just yesterday. It was only  25 minutes, half of which was spent learning the basics such as how to hold the violin and bow, what the strings are called etc… His teacher, Herr Steiner, also had to tune his violin, which he reassured me would not need re-tuning for a while after this.

Look at how serious his face is 😉

After the introductory stuff, he went on to learn to pluck the strings with his finger. i believe it is called playing open strings. It was fun to watch. The teacher sang the name of an animal, first letter of the name corresponded to a string (G,D,E,A), such as Giraffe, in a specific rhythm and Tobias was to follow on the correct string, in the correct rhythm. After a couple of rounds of plucking, he was allowed to try doing the same thing with the bow, making sure he only plays that one string.

Herr Steiner told me he is doing great for a first lesson. Tobias’ homework is to practice plucking and bowing with those animal names and also to come up with 3 more animals for each string. What a laugh it was, when we came home and had to crack our heads thinking of animal names in German that begin with G, D, E and A. This is not something they teach at adult German classes or use in daily life and Tobias’ vocabulary isn’t quite big enough yet. So we went on the internet, looked through dictionaries and his little kiddy books and finally came up with 3 animals for each string; G was the hardest to find.

Tobias loved his lesson and looks forward to practising. Mummy looks forward to him playing nice little pieces on the violin in months to come 😉

See here for how Tobias decided on learning the violin and see here for how happy he was to collect his violin.