Friday, November 21, 2014

Weekly Music Nugget 66


     I recently found an obituary for Melvin Ritter, my former violin teacher during my two years at Stephens College in Columbia, Mo.  He was my most influential teacher.
     Mr. Ritter played some crucial roles in my development as a violinist and musician.  He pushed me with personal and musical challenges.  I was a timid player, lacking confidence and preoccupied with trying not to make mistakes.  He pushed and pushed me to move beyond just focusing on the notes and to play with feeling.  I still remember him often tapping me on the head with his bow and nearly yelling, "I don't care if you play some notes out of tune.  Just play!".   I finally got it, and he gave me some performance opportunities.  I played aggressively with temperament.  A new me.
     I later had teachers who helped me refine my playing, but it was Mr. Ritter who believed I had music in me and somehow got it out.  I will always love him for that.

Obituary link
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/obituaries/melvin-ritter-dies-acclaimed-violinist-and-concertmaster-at-the-slso/article_54d4868c-8ca6-5d2c-8e61-ab76fbcc7a2e.html

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In addition to being a violist, I am a wife and mother (three sons). I dabble in writing, handwork, sewing and photography.