I don’t know, I just did a lot of soloing. It’s a little like a woodwind instrument. You start by going to the studio and learning, and then you gradually build from there. In violin, you have some things that are not very good at the beginning. So you have to do a lot of practice.
I did that when I was a kid. I did it because I was very hungry. It was a very difficult thing for me to do. My parents encouraged me. I was always hungry. I’d get up when dawn came in Italy (ancient region of Italy), and I’d go home to my grandmother and she would cook and it would be good. I just went and practiced really hard and it developed out of a situation where I was hungry, and that was a great thing. When I learned, I was happy. Because at the time I didn’t know much. I had just started studying music after high school, so I wasn’t really sure what I was doing or what I was trying to do. There certainly wasn’t much I could do with my violin other than to learn how to play. As you learn a instrument, you learn how to apply it to other things.
A lot of people tell me “you can’t play a violin, because you can’t even learn the violin.” I think that’s really dumb. First of all, it’s not only a matter of learning a violin. I’m very lucky. I love playing at the beginning, and I love playing in the beginning because I love hearing what I’m doing, and as soon as I get to the end of the process I start having to do these things… it’s very hard on me, because I’m getting ready to put it on the shelf, but if you look at an orchestra you see that the bass player is already a professional, and the violin player has to be. In violin school, it’s just very difficult. It’s just not a good plan for someone who’s going to play in a symphony orchestra.
How does the idea of doing a study abroad thing work for you in the early days?
It’s like any other kind of study abroad. The idea is to go out and play a variety of different areas that you are passionate. I like to do some guitar parts and some percussion. Sometimes I might study a bit in French or music theory. There’s a lot of opportunities here for study abroad that you don’t get anywhere else
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