Violin, Viola, Piano, Autoharp, Pennywhistle, Compose, Arrange, Music Calligraphy
My parents were both music teachers, so there was always a baby grand in the house. Mama started teaching me piano at age 3.
It took me two years to learn my first piece. As I perched on the piano bench, waiting for Daddy to come home from work so I could play it for him, I remember sitting there thinking, "I think this is rather strange. I can read those notes, but I can't read those words!"
As it turned out, Mama had seen that I was ready to learn to read, but she didn't want to teach me to read English, lest I get too far ahead of my classmates, wind up bored at school, & therefore do badly; so she taught me to read music instead.
So, Daddy came home, I played my tune for him, and he was so thrilled that ~ Well, he was the orchestra director at one of the 3 high schools in town ~ he arranged an accompaniment for his high school string orchestra to play along with me. I got to get out of Kindergarten for a day & go to school with Daddy, rehearse with the orchestra, and then hang out in the practice rooms all day while he did his teacherly duties.
My Grand Concert Début, at age 5, was playing piano with the East Waterloo Senior High School String Orchestra for the PTA at Castle Hill Elementary School ~ playing "Ten Little Indian Boys".
Soon after that, Daddy made me a musical instrument. He took a piece of 1" thick plywood and drove three nails in it, then stretched a rubber band around the nails. I could play it pizzicato, & change the pitch by pulling on the rubber band to change its thickness. And Daddy told me about this wonderful instrument whose strings automatically divided themselves into halves, thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, etc. (I was 5, and he was explaining the harmonic series to me!)
Soon, I had my very own half-size violin. (I was a very tall Kindergartener!). Daddy tried giving me lessons, but gave up after a month, because the strings were hurting my fingers, & I was refusing to press down all the way to the fingerboard. I must have sounded really bad!
So piano lessons continued until high school graduation, and I started violin for real in 4th grade, when my classmates all started orchestral instruments.
I first played viola as a senior in high school, and then got serious about it as a senior in college.