There's a story here.
You see, Mark has mentioned a few times that he's interested in persuing the fiddle. A couple weeks ago, he timed his mention at the same time that I'd seen that there were fiddle lessons being offered at our local Opera House.
I immediately posted on facebook that we were in search of a fiddle for him to begin on, and found one from a coworker. I picked it up the last day of spring break - brought it to the local instrument store to get it tuned up and looked at - and he had his first lesson last Tuesday, and has practiced every day since.
A bit more to the story: Mark and I play a different CD in the van each week on the way to school. We play everything from Imagine Dragons, Adele, REO Speedwagon, Chris Stapleton, Waylon, The Highwaymen and more. Something new each week. A few weeks ago we listened to Neil Woodward, our state's Troubadour. At that time, I turned to Mark and said, You'd be a good troubadour! You have a passion for history, you love music, you have a crazy memory for lyrics and - well, you should research troubadours.
So to have, within weeks, the troubadour offering lessons a few blocks from our home on an instrument that Mark has several times mentioned he's interested in, well - like Mark said, "Mom, you're kind of tripping out!" True.
Everything fell into place just so.
As it turned out, the fiddle ended up not being the right size and needed a little work, so we made our way out to Elderly Instruments in Lansing this past Thursday evening. It was way more fun than spending the evening at parent's night for reproductive health. Mark and I had our own chat about reproductive health on the way to Lansing and called it good. (sorry J) He thought it made perfect sense to take the course in school because the boys at the lunch table have already been chatting about what they'd been learning and first hand knowledge seems to make a bit more sense than the lunch table version.
But back to fiddle shopping....
We had to laugh when we walked in the door and the first guy we saw was Mr. Woodward. He had a banjo lesson to teach in a bit, so he spent some time giving us some shopping tips while he waited for his student and while we waited for Brian the fiddle guy to have time to help us out.
About thirty minutes to ourselves while waiting, Mark took his time and tried all the fiddles in our price range - about fourteen of them in all. He was very specific on what type of sound he was looking for (bright) and which looks he preferred. It took some back and forth deliberation, but he narrowed it down to three by the time the salesman (Brian, the fiddle guy) was able to come in and give us the pros and cons of each one.
Mark had absolutely no hesitation on his final choice. He's able to switch between notes easily, it feels right on his shoulder, the weight is good and the sound is bright.
I love that he didn't even notice the detail on this one until after he had put it in his top three.
Being the son of a woodcarver, he couldn't WAIT to get home and show dad.
Lesson two coming up on Tuesday.
A phone conversation before Mark's first lesson
Neil: Why is Mark interested in the fiddle?
Me: Hey Mark, why are you interested in the fiddle?
Mark: Because it's cool!