I grew up playing the violin. I started taking lessons from my aunt when I was about 8 years old and continued my lessons through my senior year of high school. I still have night terrors when I think about those early years. I learned piano too but quit once I switched teachers. It’s amazing how much a teacher can influence how much you enjoy something. It’s why I hate math.
Piano and violin seemed to be the obvious choices for a 2nd generation Asian American. You always had to pick two instruments because one wasn’t impressive enough. Harvard and Yale could care less if you were a virtuoso on the violin, but with two instruments they just might offer you a full scholarship.
Perhaps it’s because I played violin for so many years in different orchestral groups, but I love listening to classical music. I have a classical Pandora station that I listen to at work and it actually helps me to focus. I listen to it while I read my books. It puts me at ease. But for some reason when I go to a live orchestra concert, I have to fight the temptation to fall asleep. Unless I’m going to hear Itzhak Perlman or the London Symphony Orchestra, I’d much rather listen to classical music on the radio.
It’s the exact opposite with jazz. I cannot stand listening to jazz on the radio. If I’m trying to read, I feel like the music is so distracting that I can’t concentrate. And when KK turns his radio to the jazz station, I just stare at him agape with wonder that he can absorb anything when listening to that music. But oddly enough, I love live jazz music.