Text 14 Aug Savings

So I’ve started thinking about when would be the right time to upgrade my violin. I didn’t want to jump the gun by asking Paul, but this week he mentioned (as he often does) how impressed he was with how advanced I was already, having only been playing for 2 years. (I know a lot of this has to do with me being an adult and able to easily follow instructions and understand things like timing, etc… compared to his other students who are much younger). Anyway, I took the opportunity to ask him when would be the time to upgrade and he said any time! He said most of his students upgrade around Book 4 (which I’ve just begun) and that he knows I’m serious and want to stick with it. He said it all depends on your budget but ideally you’d always want to play the best violin you can get. I googled and found that at my level I could be looking anywhere in the $1000-$3000 range. I’m probably right in the middle of that and I think I would have a ton of options with that budget. I started a savings account to put some money away toward this and I put a note on my calendar for January to start looking. There is a violin store in Bonsall that Paul recommended. Exciting!

Text 12 Aug

learninglemni said: Happy 2 year anniversary! I love following your blog and your progress (especially since you juggle so much). I am so glad you recently updated your blog with a video. I am halfway through the 1st suzuki book myself.

Thank you for your kind words! I read some of your blog and it’s great! It’s a really good way to track your progress and make the most of the journey. Best of luck to you!

Text 7 Aug Nathan Pacheco with the San Diego Symphony

I got to see Nathan Pacheco with the San Diego Symphony on Sunday. It was fantastic! I had seen him once before (and also with Yanni on the Voices tour) and most of his songs were the same as when I heard him before. He’s really great and so personable with the audience. He seemed really grateful to be there. The venue was so cool! Right on the water behind downtown, so you just brought your blanket and lawn chairs and the concert started right at sunset.


This was my first time seeing a symphony since I started playing violin. Actually I think it has been my only concert other than Samvel Yervinian since I started playing! (I’m finally seeing Yanni again next month, can’t wait!)

Anyway, I had the chance to see Nathan and get a photo and autograph after the show but there was a long line and I felt bad keeping my girls out so late and my sister had to leave for work early the next morning so we skipped it. I was bummed but I have met him before and gotten my picture and autograph so no big deal. (But kind of a big deal, because this is always me. If it were up to me and only me, I would always try to meet these people. I’d have pushed my way up to the front of the mosh pit at the Oasis concert in 2005, and waited outside the rear exit of the venue for them afterwards. I’d have gone down to the stage after the Yanni concert to try to get a “hey there” from Charlie Adams or whoever else had come back out, but that’s just me, and it’s not up to just me anymore, but that’s not a bad thing.)


Here I am with Nathan in May 2010

It was great to be inspired by the symphony! Also Eric Rigler was there, he’s like the best bagpipe player in the world and has played for Gladiator, Titanic and Braveheart. It was a really casual “San Diego” style concert. It was kind of a last minute decision but I’m glad we went. Also they didn’t charge me for either kid so it wasn’t bad for $20!


Here’s the instagram I posted…


and a “Like” from Nathan himself! Thanks Nathan!

Text 1 Aug 1 note Happy 2 Year Anniversary! (to myself)

Today marks my 2 year anniversary of owning a violin and taking lessons! My teacher claims that I am further along than most people would be at this stage, especially adults who usually give up after a few months. So that’s encouraging! I genuinely love practicing and my lessons. I am so thankful that I found my teacher, Paul, and although I complain that I “never” get to practice as much as I’d like to, I am thankful for the time that I do get to practice and that I have managed to progress as quickly as I have. I haven’t kept up on this blog nearly as much as I’d like to and I still have ideas pop into my head about things I could write about but it’s hard to just sit down and do it. Anyway…2 years in and 3 Suzuki books down. Not bad!

Photo 14 Jul I graduated to Suzuki Book 4 today!

I graduated to Suzuki Book 4 today!

Text 30 Jun

universaleyemedia said: I really liked reading your blog and listening to you playing. I can't figure out how to do tumblr yet and don't think I will since I have my own blog which I can't mention here. Google me "Dona Omanoff" I guess you don't allow comments. I really enjoyed the interesting facts about you. Well done what an adventure.

Thanks Dona for your kind words! Can’t wait to see your blog! And I’ll turn on comments, I didn’t realize I had it turned off.

Video 28 Jun 1 note

Practicing “Bouree” from Suzuki Book 3

Text 10 Jun Great Grandpa Ole’s Hardanger

Now here’s something to blog about! We spent the last two weeks in Wisconsin visiting our families and attending the weddings of two close friends. On our first morning, I was up super early (it’s like Alaska there, I woke up to the birds outside our window and thought to myself it must be 10 am already only to look at the clock which said 5:20! I swear the sun straight overhead!) Anyway, I couldn’t get back to sleep so I went down to the kitchen to do my absolute favorite thing: sit at my mom’s kitchen counter and wait for her to serve me coffee and muffins! It’s the best. I am so well taken care of at “home”. Anyway, we started talking over coffee as we always do on these mornings and she suddenly mentions to me that the week before while she was at my Grandma’s house, my Grandma had gotten out this old Hardanger violin of her dad’s! I got goosebumps hearing this, seriously an old European violin in our family?! So she goes on to tell me my great grandfather played the fiddle in a band back in Norway! Now I probably don’t have all the specifics correct. I believe my great grandpa Ole came over from Norway as a boy on a boat, so maybe it was his father who played this Hardanger. I really need to get my ancestry correct. But anyway, she was telling me all about this violin with hand painted designs, inlaid ebony and ivory, and a dragon scroll. I was in disbelief! My Grandma came over a few hours later and brought it with her so I could see for myself.

Now that’s something! We didn’t take a picture of the label inside but I think it said 1841. Amazing.

I guess there was some debate among my Grandma’s 10 children over who had claim to the violin but I’m quietly lying in the shadows as the only violin player in the family so we’ll see. I’d love to get my hands on it and take it to get restored and restrung and see how it sounds. I am in the market for a new violin you know! (I’ve started a savings account for a violin, more to come on that).

She also had an old viola and I can’t remember who played that. It had what looked like a homemade wooden case with silver clasps. Cool.

Video 7 Dec

Group performance of Joy to the World

Video 7 Dec

Gavotte by J.B. Lully, 2013 Violin Recital

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