I had a really great mandolin lesson last night. My instructor gave me the first half of a hornpipe last week, and I loved the sound of it so much that I practiced even more than usual (ok, I haven’t been great about practicing some weeks, but I try) until I had it down. It totally paid off, and he was actually impressed with how good I sounded, and taught me the other half, so now I know a whole hornpipe. It sounds like actual mandolin music, and I’m kind of obsessed with it. I thought about skipping trivia so I could stay home and practice, but I’m glad that I didn’t, because it was a fun time and I need to get out occasionally (I made an embarrassing mistake on an anatomy question though, so I’m going to have to bone up on the bones before I go to Hopkins in May. And yes, that was a terrible pun, but I had to. I’m not sorry).
Back to mandolin though. I’ve had such a fun time with it this year, and I really want to keep playing when I move to Baltimore. My current instructor has offered to keep giving me lessons over Skype, which has a lot of potential since my schedule is going to be so crazy with school, but if that doesn’t work it’s still really important to me that I don’t just drop it. I got a mandolin for Christmas, and owning an instrument should commit you to playing it. Even with my mandolin future up in the air though (not whether I’ll play, but how much I’ll improve), I’m half-wishing for a better instrument. I like my current mandolin, but my instructor sort of hates it, although he agrees that it is a good beginner instrument, and there are some problems with its sound that he says just come with the territory. Once I get good it would make sense to upgrade to a solid wood mandolin, and for now I’m better off with the one I have, but I can’t help drooling over beautiful spruce and maple mandolins. I don’t like performing though, and it would be silly to get an $800 mandolin to play alone in my bedroom, especially since I’m still very new at this, and can’t play much of anything yet. It all comes down to patience. I had to prove to myself (and my parents, who were the ones who actually gave me my mandolin) that I was going to take it seriously before I got my own instrument, and so if I want to move onto something fancier I need to stick with it and get good enough to make it worth the expense. The sad thing is, I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford lessons at all when I’m in nursing school, let alone a swank new mandolin, so it might be a moot point, since I could be spending the next couple of years trying to learn things off of Youtube, and playing the same hornpipe again and again until my roommate kills me. At some point though, I’d like to think I’ll be able to really take it seriously, and maybe play for the laboring moms, while my toller accompanies me on banjo.