By now, most people know that Americans Charlie White and Meryl Davis won a historic gold medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 with their beautiful skating. This was the first gold medal that the United States has ever won in ice dancing.
Did you know that Charlie White also plays the violin?
Earlier this year, he promised the Today show that if he won gold, he’d play violin on their show. They made sure he kept this promise.
In honor of our fabulous ice dancers, I decided to take one half-hour violin lesson from a friend. I spent the first seven minutes just trying to figure out how to hold the bow correctly and still be loose enough to move my arm.
After I could move my hand without dropping to bow, I got to hold the violin. I learned that violinists hold the violin between their chin and shoulders, their left hands supporting the fingerboard just slightly. This lets their hands be loose enough to finger quickly.
Even after I figured out how to move my fingers along the strings, I struggled to find the right places to place my fingers. Everything I played was very out of tune.
This lesson took embracing the awkwardness of early attempts at art to a new level, but after I got over sounding like a five-year-old, it was really fun.
Maybe I’ll try ice dancing next time.