VIOLINIST? WHAT'S YOUR REAL JOB?
Let me share a short personal story! Many years ago on a bus ride downtown to the Athens Conservatory an old man who was sitting next to me noticed my violin case and started talking to me about the violin. He told me that he loves listening to the violin and that he also used to be a violin student. We had a long discussion about music and about the violin and just before I got off the bus he looked at me and in a very serious tone he said: “Playing the violin is enjoyable but make sure you choose a decent job so that you can make a living”. When I recall this story I immediately remember how people used to react when I told them that my main study is the violin. “Ok, you learn the violin but what profession do you want to follow in your life?” “Are you expecting to make a living by playing Mozart?”
Remembering all these, I realise how brave but special it must be for a young person to decide that they want to become a professional violinist. Especially in a society like the Greek society, which does not have a long tradition in western classical music. How might this person feel when realising that the society that they live in places little value in playing the violin and in western classical music? This also leads me to think about the role of western classical music in the Greek society today: Is western classical music valued by the Greek society the same way that it used to twenty years ago when I had this meeting in the bus? What future can classical music have in Greece and how can we nurture this future? How can we motivate young people to learn to play the violin or any other musical instrument and to pursue a professional career? Of course all these questions cannot be answered in a few blog posts. Through this blog I will try to motivate young people in Greece to think about violin playing as an attractive prospective profession by offering my views on issues related to violin playing and violin teaching and learning.