You want to play WHAT instrument?

The following article is about Sabrina Mapes (or in other words, me), a girl who has been playing the violin since she was four or five years of age. So if you’re not interested in learning about a girl’s personal life developments of late, then I recommend that you travel to our homepage and check out some of the awesome articles from this week.

I’ll even give you the link.

Now that we’ve established that, onto what I was originally going to talk about.

So yes, the first paragraph speaks truth. I have been playing the violin since I was around four or five years old. And let me tell you, it’s been a journey. I remember when I started out I was “forced” to practice against my will. I used to throw quite the fits (keep in mind that I was roughly five).

In the beginning I wasn’t all the good (at least, I think so. Some might tell you otherwise, I don’t know), but over time I improved. Now I find myself a first violin in the orchestra that practices near my school (AKA the Youth Ensemble of New England).

But recently I’ve decided to start something new; the viola. Now for those who aren’t a part of the orchestral music world, the viola is what some may refer to as an “oversized violin”. There are actually more differences such as the strings and the staff that is read (or the music), but I’m not gonna spend time on that right now.

I became interested in the viola about two years ago (around the time I was looking to purchase my own violin) and had mentioned this to my parents a few times. However, my parents weren’t all for it and thought that the viola was very different from the violin. They were concerned that all my lessons would go to waste. At the time I didn’t question it too much, since the viola isn’t a very popular instrument to play (which is odd, because it’s beautiful).

However, the viola and the violin both require roughly the same skills. Of course, those who play the viola tend to have longer limbs and are typically taller (not stereotyping, just repeating what many have told me. Obviously this doesn’t apply to everyone who plays the viola but… Well, you get the idea).

In the end we bought a violin and I continued on from there. That is, until about a month ago.

I was in an orchestra practice on a Wednesday when our director (Dr. Connie Rittenhouse-Drexler) let us take a break from our practice. This was when I took the opportunity to borrow a violas from one of the violists. She was happy to let me play (I’d played someone else’s before) and I began to perform one of my solos.

A few minutes later our director popped in to hear me and was baffled (at least, that was the expression I perceived). She then proceeded to tell me that I sounded great and encouraged me to pick up the instrument. She even went so far as to speak to my mother about it.

Now, my mom isn’t a musician, but when Dr. Drexler says that I sound good on something, my mom listens. Not long after I found myself borrow my director’s viola to pay with the orchestra and renting one of my own for lessons.

Recently I applied for a music scholarship for the violin (or viola) at Walla Walla University. I played a piece on each and plan to have the viola down by the time I head off to college.

That’s where I am now. Tomorrow I’ll be having my first ever viola and violin lesson (they’re joint). I’m looking forward to improving my skills and enjoying the viola for the melodious and mellow instrument that it is. Wish me luck and please, keep me in your prayers!

Thank you so much for reading, I greatly appreciate it! And please, leave a comment below. I love getting feedback and hearing your stories! Let me know if you’ve every played an instrument, are still playing, how many you play, or if you don’t play an instrument, let me know about your favorite musical instrument in the comments below.

God bless!


About Sabrina N. Mapes

There are only so many people who can say they're fans of pirates, superheroes, and violin pop; I am one of them. Some would describe me as spontaneous, others a spazz, and some a caffeine addict... that last one is no longer true.

Posted on March 16, 2016, in Top Stories. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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