3 Essential Public Speaking Lessons I Accidentally Learned While Playing the Violin

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There I sat, fear pulsing through my veins. I had never seen anything like this before. The page had so much black ink it seemed more like a string of 918308_53296922_violin_royalty_free_stock_xchng_300incomprehensible Chinese characters than the opening music to the Overture of My Fair Lady. Mind you, I had dwelled with the elite of the orchestra pit since my freshman days in high school. Nothing scared me. Usually. This thing did.

Bluntly facing me lay four measures of thirty-second notes – a “run” in the vernacular of the musician. I had easily tackled runs of eighth notes and, perhaps with a little more practice, runs of sixteenth notes. I’ve even snuck in a furtive trill of a thirty-second note – but never a four measure run of these speedy bars. I looked at my teacher and agonizingly admitted, “I can’t play these.” What she said next stunned me.

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The Who Dat?

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Jim Croce once crooned a melody 618143_fading_away_royalty_free_stock_xchng_300that began “If I could save time in a bottle.” Ironically, through his participation in a fatal plane crash, he did, at least in terms of his own career. Unlike Bob Dylan, Jim Croce remains forever young. Of course, in the case of Bob Dylan, a seemingly senile – as in unintelligible – folk singer from the beginning, age simply doesn’t matter.

The same, unfortunately, does not apply to the band performing under the name “The Who.” CBS did the surviving members a disservice by airing commercials with clips from their heyday. I certainly didn’t expect to see a reprise of their guitar-smashing gyrations of an earlier generation. Still, the oh so apparent erosion of time stunned me. Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend appeared less a classic rock act and more a Simpsons parody of a has-been group doing one more reunion tour. They couldn’t cover up the wooden movements of their atrophied muscles, but I held out hope they’d at least lip sync to their younger voices.

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