Well, good news and bad.
My epiphany was kind of, really, an epiphany.
My counting discovery that the one, two, three, four or one &, two &, three &, four & can also become simply one, two, three, one, two, three.
However, one is supposed to actually play the notes like that...one, two, three. Playing my practice pieces revealed that I was counting one, two, THREEEEEEEE. one... which gives the songs a lovely wheeze.
So. We did some clapping. And some breaking sections down into tiny little three note segments.
When he was somewhat satisfied that I could indeed clap one, two, three and play three notes in a row, he thought he'd tackle my self-confidence.
Trust me, self-confidence and the violin are not comfortable friends. The violin definitely lets me know immediately when it's not happy with me. I guess I could call it a hypercritical little thing.
However, Mr. Teacher said that making faces when I hit a sour note, or cringing when I poise to play, or laughing my way through a dismal, mistake-filled performance all scream that I don't believe I can master this little, wooden beast. Can you imagine the message I'd send if I did actually toss my cookies on his shoes?
So, he played a little game with me. Told me to pretend that he was a Donald Trumplike entity and he could make or break my career. But that he knew nothing about music. I was supposed to play 5 measures of this simple little song as if I was nailing and had nailed it. Because he wouldn't know any difference since he was music illiterate and the only way he'd know something was wrong was if I gave him non-verbal clues.
I reverted to a childhood tactic (real story) and asked if I could play from the hallway. He asked me if I'd ask that of Donald Trump. I said I would because I couldn't possibly play in the same room as the hair. I got a look, then I played. And I cringed through the entire thing. It was wicked awful. I peeked over at him. He told me Donald Trump fired me and told me a story about confidence being as important or even more important than skill or talent. He also told me that a perfect performance is almost impossible to pull off. No matter how much practice, preparation, talent and skill, there are so many things that can go wrong that perfection is so not going to happen. Amazingly, perfection or lack of, is not even going to be noticed by the average music lover. What they will notice is my lack of confidence.
So. There you go. Counting and confidence. On my to-do-list.
Change. I've learned to embrace it, ride it out til the end. Sometimes I'm kicking and screaming, other times weeping with my eyes clinched tight. Once in awhile I ride like a dog in a car, head out the window snorting what life has to offer. Mother to young adult children, a marriage of thirty years, and a desert to mountain to valley waltz with God have shaped me into someone I never imagined I'd be. Life is short and I want to live it. Tears, sighs, laughter and change. Every morsel granted to me. Scrambled, shaken or stirred.