I got some very, very good news yesterday.
After several bouts of technical difficulties, I was able to send recordings to a very excited bride to be. I emailed three WAV files, after several attempts to capture what I thought were acceptable recordings, of me playing Ode To Joy, Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring and Cannon in D on the violin. And then I prepared for the worst. To my critical ear, my playing did not sound good. Ode to Joy was decent, Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring was OK and Canon in D made me cringe. I heard every pause, every off key note, every shaking bow stroke. The songs were flawed. Each and every one. So when I pushed send on my email, I reminded myself not to get my hopes up. I had given the bride the option to back out, and she very well could.
Much to my immense relief the bride, Dorrie, told me she loved them. She even said I sound "AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Canon in D made her tear up.
Based on her response I learned two things: 1.) I have an overly critical ear toward my own playing. And 2.) Holy shit! I'm playing a wedding! It's official. I'm am a violinist again.
My last public performance was toward the end of my senior year of high school. In other words, it's been close to a decade. And that performance was with an entire orchestra. This whole playing solo in front of 100+ people on the most important day of two peoples' lives is completely new to me. I try not to let the pressure of that scenario creep into my playing, but sometimes it does. And that's when I tell myself how horrible and unprofessional I sound.
But if the bride's happy, I need to be happy as well. I need to stop being so judgmental of how my music sounds. I need to just enjoy playing. And I do really enjoy my violin, especially when I am able to stop reminding myself of a missed note three stanzas ago. On the big day, I'll have four songs and a lot of stanzas to get through. And chances are I'll have a lot more on notes than off ones.