I am dedicating this post to the beloved memory of Anne Lane Vosough, my violin teacher, who passed away peacefully on February 21, 2012 at the age of 84. Her memorial service will be this Thursday, March 1st and I am deeply sad to be unable to make it. (The title of the post, Perpetual Motion, is one of the first songs a beginning Suzuki student learns.)
I’ve written before about my love of music, and the path I’ve taken to get where I am today in my Brazilian music journey. It all started at the age of four, with a tiny 1/8 scale violin and a sweet, patient Suzuki violin teacher named Mrs. Vosough.
I have so many fond memories of my time growing up with her. My dad would pick me up from school at noon on a Friday–McDonald’s drive-through already purchased and waiting for me in the car–and we would drive to Mrs. Vosough’s house. We would eat our lunch either in her driveway or on the shores of Loch Raven in northern Baltimore before my lesson.
I can still picture her home and her teaching studio, breathe the smell of violin rosin, and hear the sound of strings being tuned. The Suzuki method of training is quite rigorous, and for a young child to be taught and molded takes a very special and understanding teacher. Mrs. Vosough had all of those special qualities.
We shared so many great times together, as playing violin was a huge part of my childhood and adolescence. I played in the annual Baltimore String Orchestra camps held in the summer at Bryn Mawr School, pretty much every year I can remember. As I grew older, Mrs. Vosough urged me to play in junior competitions, as much as I hated the nervousness and anxiety. (I still have a trophy or two from those days.) We would pick out songs to memorize and practice, practice, practice. In fact, the Suzuki books I have from my violin days still bear her handwriting, and I look back on those margin notes fondly.
In junior high, I joined the F.A.M.E. (For the Advancement of Music Ensembles) Orchestra. We had weekly rehearsals, and performed for seniors at Charlestown Retirement Center as well as one memorable performance outside the huge Mormon temple in Washington D.C. The highlight had to be our two-week trip to Austria and Germany in 1992 to participate in the International String Workshop in Graz, Austria. I still have memories of that amazing trip.
All of this, thanks to Mrs. Vosough.
So her memory will live on: in my childhood memories; my dusty violin sitting on a high shelf in my walk-in closet; well-worn and scribbled on Suzuki music books; a children’s book entitled “What Daddies Do Best”, with her handwritten note to my eldest son inside — a gift after he was born. And most of all, the perpetual gift of music.
Photo courtesy of Kris Kerzman.