An old violinist

Becoming senior
As I become part of the older generation in my family, and move from middle age to old age, I think about what I have and have not yet accomplished. I am acutely aware these days of where I stand on the timeline of life. We classical musicians are time travelers. We enjoy new technology and new ways of playing our music but we are inextricably tied to the past. We travel back and forth on the timeline of life.

A whole new generation
It’s exciting to think that there is a whole new generation of teachers with lots of energy and inspiration for their work. They approach teaching with a level confidence that can feel at times overwhelming and even intimidating. However, it’s important to remember that playing the violin is an age old practice. As long as an older teacher is not set in their ways, we can all benefit from their years of experience.

Back in the 20th century
When I was a younger violinist I was fortunate to study with Roman Totenberg. He studied with Carl Flesch, George Enescu, and Pierre Monteux. He played at the White House for Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and premiered pieces by Darius Milhaud, Paul Hindemith and Samuel Barber.1  I always trusted his teaching because I knew it had stood the test of time. I’m not a luminary like Mr. Totenberg but because I studied with him, I can provide a bridge to the past for my students. I can transmit to them the knowledge and inspiration from a bygone era.

Violinist Linda Beers is the creator of the Inspiration for Violinists, a 50 card deck. Each card has a unique image and text inspiring musicianship, mindfulness and spirituality.

1. Roman Totenberg. (2024). In Roman Totenberg. Retrieved June 2, 2024, from

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